Joe Gibbs Racing will field four cars in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2024, it announced Dec. 13.
It will also continue to field the No. 18 in the ARCA Menards Series.
The No. 20, meanwhile, will be split between Legacy Motor Club NASCAR Cup Series driver John Hunter Nemechek, who drove the car full time in 2023, and Aric Almirola, who retired from full-time Cup competition at the end of 2023. Nemechek will contest 10 of the events, starting with the season opener at Daytona International Speedway, with Almirola filling out the rest of the schedule.
“Over the last couple of months, we’ve been working diligently to put together our 2024 Xfinity program which will include the addition of a fourth team,” Steve DeSouza, evp of NASCAR Xfinity Series/Development at JGR, said in a team release. “Our 2024 roster has a great balance of experience, youth, wisdom, and talent. We believe the veteran drivers will continually benchmark our program, compliment, and challenge each other, as well as assist our younger drivers to further develop their skill set.
“We are also excited about our crew chiefs and the teams they have assembled. We take a lot of pride in not only our program’s on-track success, but also in the opportunity to develop and promote our team members.”
Jeff Meendering will helm the No. 81’s pit box, while Sam McAulay, Seth Chavka and Tyler Allen will crew chief the Nos. 18, 19 and 20, respectively.
The ARCA entry will be driven by Sawalich full time on the ARCA Menards Series East circuit, as Frontstretch previously reported, as well as all tracks at which he can race while he is younger than 18 years old (he turns 18 on Oct. 3, 2024). The other six races will be filled by Tanner Gray (Daytona, Talladega Superspeedway, both events at Kansas Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway and Michigan International Speedway. The release did not specify if the team plans to enter the No. 18 in any ARCA Menards Series West events outside of its combination race with the main series at Phoenix Raceway.
Creed joins JGR from Richard Childress Racing, for whom he drove full time since 2022. He earned seven top fives and 15 top 10s in 2023.
Smith previously raced for Kaulig Racing in the Xfinity Series, scoring a win, eight top fives and 13 top 10s last year.
Graf drove a full Xfinity schedule in 2023 split between JGR and RSS Racing, finishing in the top 10 three times. It’s not yet known if he will supplement his season with starts for other teams like in 2023.
Truex drove the No. 19 part time in 2023 as well, earning his first series win as well as three top fives and three top 10s in six starts.
Sawalich figures into the No. 19’s lineup once he turns 18 on Oct. 3, 2024. He is the defending ARCA East champion, winning four times in eight starts, and also snagged four wins, 11 top fives and 12 top 10s in 13 main-series starts. He made his Truck debut for TRICON Garage last year and scored three top 10s in six appearances. He’ll make his debut at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Taylor Gray races full time for TRICON in the Truck Series, racking up three top fives and six top 10s in 20 starts in 2023 once he turned 18.
His brother Tanner has been full time in the Truck Series for TRICON since 2020; he also scored three top fives and six top 10s in 2023. His ARCA career consists of three top fives and nine top 10s in 15 starts between 2019 and 2021.
Nemechek ran full time for JGR in Xfinity last year, posting seven wins, 17 top fives and 24 top 10s. He’ll drive the No. 42 full time for Legacy in Cup this year.
Almirola retired from full-time Cup competition at the end of 2023, scoring two top fives and five top 10s in the No. 10 for Stewart-Haas Racing last year. He has four wins in 104 Xfinity starts since 2006, the most recent coming last year at Sonoma Raceway.
About the author
Rutherford is the managing editor of Frontstretch, a position he gained in 2015 after serving on the editing staff for two years. At his day job, he's a journalist covering music and rock charts at Billboard. He lives in New York City, but his heart is in Ohio -- you know, like that Hawthorne Heights song.
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