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On Sunday (Sept. 17), Daniel Dye announced that he would be competing in three of the last six NASCAR Xfinity Series races with Alpha Prime Racing, driving the No. 44.
Frontstretch first reported the news on Saturday (Sept. 16) after the announcement was leaked on Dye’s partners’ website (which has since been made private).
The announcement comes in the wake of Dye’s Craftsman Truck Series team, GMS Racing, announcing that it would shut down at the end of the 2023 season, leaving Dye, Rajah Caruth, and Grant Enfinger without a ride for next season.
Not long after the announcement came out, Dye took to X to state that he had already secured a full-time ride in 2024, which he has yet to announce.
This isn’t the first GMS Racing driver to make Xfinity starts with Alpha Prime Racing. Caruth has made all of his Xfinity starts with APR, and while nothing has been announced on his end as far as 2024 plans, Alpha Prime could be a landing spot for Caruth.
APR runs Chevrolets, so while Dye’s three-race schedule is no indication that he will call APR his home in 2024, there is a good chance Dye stays with Chevy. In Dye’s X post confirming he has full-time plans in 2024, the post said Dye’s ride will be with “another top-tier racing organization.”
Perhaps the most coveted open ride in the Xfinity Series in 2024 currently is the JR Motorsports No. 8 that Josh Berry will be vacating at season’s end. Dye certainly could be a candidate for that ride, as he brings sponsorship in Champion Container Corporation, the same sponsor that will be on board Dye’s No. 44 Xfinity car.
Plus, JRM already has sponsors that could fill out other races that Champion would not sponsor.
If Dye can convince the team enough, maybe an opportunity for a third Richard Childress Racing car in the Xfinity Series with Champion’s backing. There could even be a possibility that Dye could come in and replace Daniel Hemric at Kaulig Racing. Kaulig announced Hemric is leaving behind his Xfinity ride to join Kaulig’s Cup Series program, and Dye could slot into that seat.
But Dye’s 2024 ride doesn’t necessarily mean promotion. Kyle Busch Motorsports already confirmed that Chase Purdy will return in 2024, but KBM has fielded as many as four full-time trucks before. If Dye brings sponsorship to the table, KBM could conceivably open up a new entry for him and field a three-truck team in 2024.
While not exactly “top tier,” Rackley WAR is currently in search of a new driver after Matt DiBenedetto announced his departure from the team. DiBenedetto has consistently outrun Dye this season, so even a move to Rackley could be considered a promotion for Dye. Rackley fields Chevrolets as well, so the move could also make sense – especially if the team were to find an alliance of some sort to elevate its performance.
Speaking of Chevrolets and sponsorship, McAnally-Hilgemann Racing is in the midst of a championship run with Christian Eckes. While Eckes is a dark horse contender for promotion to the Xfinity Series, there’s a real possibility MHR could retain him next season. However, Dye’s partnership with Champion could lead to MHR opening a third truck, with Dye as a teammate to Eckes and Jake Garcia – assuming neither driver moves teams or is promoted to the Xfinity Series.
While Dye’s 2024 plans are still under wraps, his three-race schedule with APR shows that he isn’t stressing about what he’s doing next season. It could even be a practice run for a full-time Xfinity ride.
Context clues behind Dye and APR’s agreement can let us speculate what he could be doing. But with the surprise of GMS shutting down after this season, anywhere Dye decides to go, be it in the Truck Series or Xfinity Series, will have some element of surprise to it.
About the author
Anthony Damcott joined Frontstretch in March 2022. He is an editor and co-authors Only Yesterday (Wednesdays) and Fire on Fridays (Fridays); he is also the primary Truck Series reporter/writer and dabbles in SRX coverage too. A proud West Virginia Wesleyan College alum from Akron, Ohio, Anthony is currently pursuing a master's degree. He is a theatre actor and fight choreographer-in-training in his free time. He's a loyal fan of the Cincinnati Reds and Carolina Panthers, still hopeful for a championship at some point in his lifetime.
You can keep up with Anthony by following @AnthonyDamcott on Twitter.
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