JR Motorsports has been linked with a move to the NASCAR Cup Series for several seasons, but nothing has come of it yet. In fact, Dale Earnhardt Jr., co-owner of JR Motorsports, said the organization “absolutely wants” to join the Cup Series last year.
Unfortunately for the NASCAR team, nothing lined up and the rest of the Cup Series organizations retained their charters. This is due to new TV and charter deals that will arrive shortly.
The rumblings continue to linger for JR Motorsports as one of their own drivers, Josh Berry, will replace Kevin Harvick at Stewart-Haas Racing. Will the NASCAR team make the jump alongside Berry or will it continue to advance in the NASCAR Xfinity Series?
Related: JR Motorsports Reveals NASCAR Driver Who Could Drive #8 Car In 2024
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JR Motorsports gives a big update on the possibility of joining the NASCAR Cup Series in 2024
There were previous opportunities for JR Motorsports to join the NASCAR Cup Series. Before the charter market exploded to around $30 million, the organization had options that would qualify as fleece in this current market.
In fact, Earnhardt said it’s “insane to imagine now what we’ve passed on” as JR Motorsports continues to push for NASCAR’s top tier. At the same time, the organization is looking to find a replacement for Berry.
The #8 car is vacant and with a driver already signed for the 2024 season, the NASCAR team is tasked with replacing their beloved full-time driver. However, will there be a need if they make the jump to the Cup Series?
Earnhardt hopped on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio to talk about JR Motorsports’ process to find a charter for the Cup Series. What’s the latest on the organization’s lawsuit as NASCAR’s silly season continues to ramp up?
“There is no movement on our side. Me and (Kelley Earnhardt-Miller), (LW Miller), and everyone at JR Motorsports are always looking forward to the opportunity to compete in the (NASCAR Cup Series). It interests us, but it must make sense. I’m thinking beyond just trying to get into the Cup Series, I’m thinking about my own family, my kids and their future and what I need to do, what’s smart for me personally, financially, to make sure that long after my departure everything is in good order. For me personally, taking such a financial risk feels a bit selfish.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. on JR Motorsports’ pursuit of the NASCAR Cup Series
This may not be the update many NASCAR fans were hoping for from Earnhardt; however, it’s understandable to see where it’s coming from with the current rental market. In November 2022, the market was around $30 million and there is no guarantee that the charters will be extended.
This would be a very massive risk for JR Motorsports as prices could inevitably drop after a potential deal is finalized. Plus, there are certainly other factors at play for the Earnhardt family when it comes to finances.
It would be great to see the NASCAR organization make the leap to the Cup Series, but the current racing series landscape doesn’t allow for the idea. There are huge hurdles to overcome and although they are not impossible to overcome, it would take a big commitment.
What if JR Motorsports decides to push all its chips into the middle of the table and make the big bet of acquiring a charter? Read on to discover three ideal candidates the organization should consider in 2024!
Related: Final Prediction on JR Motorsports Potential Move to NASCAR Cup Series in 2024
3 ideal candidates for JR Motorsports if the team moves to the NASCAR Cup Series
It seems unlikely that JR Motorsports will make the jump to the NASCAR Cup Series for the 2024 season at this time; however, what if that tune changes and the organization finds itself looking for a pilot to compete in its new entry?
Sam Mayer would be a logical choice for JR Motorsports as he currently drives for the NASCAR Xfinity Series organization. Mayer, 20, is in his second full-time season with the team and has failed to win a race so far.
The 20-year-old probably needs more development time before making the jump, but it could be ideal for both parties to grow together in the Cup Series. Mayer is the youngest rider in the organization’s Xfinity Series lineup and has perhaps the most potential.
Justin Allgaier would be an easy choice for JR Motorsports should they decide to purchase a charter for the 2024 season. Allgaier, 37, is in his eighth full-time Xfinity Series season with the organization as he represents the veteran of the driver lineup.
The 37-year-old driver could bring his sponsor, Brandt, and give sponsorship to the NASCAR team with his new entry. Allgaier wouldn’t be a flashy selection but he is one that would bring money, experience and an already established relationship.
Todd Gilliland would be the flashy option for JR Motorsports as he represents the driver with the most raw talent on this list. Gilliland, 23, is in his second full-time season with Front Row Motorsports in the Cup Series but could soon be looking for a new car.
The 23-year-old could be on the outside, with Zane Smith potentially joining Front Row Motorsports’ Cup Series program. JR Motorsports would be lucky to walk away with Gilliland and just like Mayer, the two parties could grow together.
There will be a lot of speculation and hopeful individuals regarding JR Motorsports until they make the jump. Frankly, NASCAR would be better off with the Earnhardt name joining the ownership group in the Cup Series.