Skip to main content

Stewart-Haas Racing, Josh Berry finalizing contract for full-time 2024 NASCAR season

Stewart-Haas Racing and Josh Berry are finalizing a contract that would make him a full-time driver in the NASCAR Cup Series for 2024.

NASCAR: Practice and Qualifying

Stewart-Haas Racing has been the talk of NASCAR silly season as the organization’s driver lineup is possibly undergoing a massive overhaul. This is due to Kevin Harvick’s retirement, Aric Almirola’s possible retirement, and Ryan Preece’s one-year deal.

However, there appears to be some clarity on one seat for the 2024 season. According to The Athletic’s Jordan Bianchi, Stewart-Haas Racing and Josh Berry are working toward finalizing a contract that would make him full-time with the team in the NASCAR Cup Series next year.

Berry, 32, is currently a driver for JR Motorsports in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and has been the replacement driver for Hendrick Motorsports. What are the details behind the move and when should the deal be completed?

Related: Stewart-Haas Racing could be nearing announcement on No. 4 car for 2024 season

Stewart-Haas Racing, Josh Berry working toward a contract for 2024 NASCAR season

Josh Berry
May 21, 2023; North Wilkesboro, North Carolina, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Josh Berry (24) during the All Star Race at North Wilkesboro Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Berry’s rise in NASCAR has been a topic of conversation since the 2021 season when he drove part-time with JR Motorsports. After winning two times in his part-time campaign, he went full-time with the organization in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.

The driver of the No. 8 car for JR Motorsports won three races in his first full-time season and made the Championship 4. However, the majority of Berry’s attention was not earned until the 2023 NASCAR season.

Berry served as a replacement driver for both Chase Elliott and Alex Bowman after they suffered injuries. The Xfinity Series driver ran well and impressed enough to where Stewart-Haas Racing is willing to make him a full-time driver in NASCAR’s top level.

It has previously been reported that Berry was considered a top candidate to replace Harvick for the Stewart-Haas Racing and it appears to be coming true now. Bianchi said a deal is expected to be completed in the coming weeks.

It was also reported that Berry is expected to be paired with Rodney Childers, who has been Harvick’s crew chief for the last decade. Obviously, he would thrive in a partnership with a championship-winning crew chief.

The potential new relationship also means Berry would be switching from Chevrolet to Ford; however, there are no major ties to one side. It is obviously a disappointment for Chevrolet to lose one of its promising drivers.

Berry has done enough to deserve an opportunity at NASCAR’s top level and it appears he is on his way with Stewart-Haas Racing. It has been an incredible journey for Berry but it is only getting better moving forward.

With the JR Motorsports driver now firmly linked to a ride, which other drivers would make sense for the organization as the lineup could be far from complete? Continue reading to find out three ideal candidates for Stewart-Haas Racing!

Related: Stewart-Haas Racing at big ‘crossroads’ regarding future in NASCAR Cup Series

3 ideal drivers for Stewart-Haas Racing to hire for the 2024 NASCAR season

Stewart-Haas Racing
Apr 15, 2023; Martinsville, Virginia, USA; Xfinity Series driver Riley Herbst (98) race during the Call 811.com Before You Dig 250 at Martinsville Speedway. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

There are several solid candidates for Stewart-Haas Racing to hire for the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season and beyond. The first one is a driver for the organization’s NASCAR Xfinity Series program.

Riley Herbst would have been a surprising name to hear just a few months ago; however, the driver of the No. 98 car has really shown that he can be a quality driver in NASCAR overall. Herbst, 24, currently sits ninth in the point standings with six top-10 finishes through 11 races.

The 24-year-old driver has Monster Energy so it would allow Stewart-Haas Racing to grab a driver with sponsorship and talent. Herbst should be near the top of the list and if he has a breakout season, this will be an easy decision.

Zane Smith is a hot commodity for Ford and he will have a full-time ride in the Cup Series very soon. Smith, 23, is the defending Truck Series champion and currently has two wins during the 2023 season.

The 23-year-old driver would be a perfect driver for Front Row Motorsports; however, his talent and potential should allow him to join a more competitive organization. Smith would be a good fit as it would allow the team to have another young driver.

Todd Gilliland currently drives the No. 38 car for Front Row Motorsports in the Cup Series and he would be a brilliant option for Stewart-Haas Racing. Gilliland, 23, sits 23rd in the point standings above the likes of Erik Jones, Arc Almirola, Ryan Preece, Austin Dillon, and more.

The 23-year-old driver could be looking to move out of Front Row Motorsports and to be a better team starting next year after the organization made him a part-time driver for a period of time. The idea of joining an organization with a winning culture could make Gilliland flourish.

Stewart-Haas Racing will have plenty of decisions to make for the 2024 NASCAR season; however, the organization should be really attractive to drivers looking for a shot in solid Cup Series equipment.

Mentioned in this article:

More About: