Saturday, March 2, 2024

Noah Gragson joins Stewart-Haas Racing for 2024

After a tumultuous rookie season cut short by suspension, Noah Gragson has landed back on his feet at Stewart-Haas Racing. On Wednesday, the team announced he will drive the #10 Ford Mustang Dark Horse for the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series onwards.

Gragson was indefinitely suspended halfway into his Cup rookie campaign in 2023, and eventually departed Legacy Motor Club. NASCAR reinstated him in September and he returned to action in late models and even raced the Pinty’s Series season finale in Canada, finishing tenth at Delaware Speedway in the latter.

“I’m grateful for this opportunity with Stewart-Haas Racing and while most people in the industry are happy that the offseason is here, I want to get started on 2024 and go racing as soon as I can,” said Gragson. “Stewart-Haas is filled with racers and I saw that and felt it as soon as I walked onto the shop floor. There are high expectations here and a strong desire to compete and win races. I have high expectations for myself and I want to deliver for Tony (Stewart) and Gene (Haas) and everyone at Stewart-Haas.

“I race to win and winning at the Cup level is what I’ve been working toward since I started racing Bandoleros as a thirteen-year-old at the Bullring in Las Vegas. To be with an established team with a history of winning is what every driver wants. I’ve got exactly that here at Stewart-Haas and I aim to make the most of it.”

He failed to qualify for his Cup début at the 2021 Daytona 500, but was able to make the show the following year as part of a part-time schedule with Beard Motorsports and Kaulig Racing followed by five rounds in substitute duty for the injured Alex Bowman. During this stretch in 2022, he scored a fifth-place run at Daytona.

Legacy signed him into the #42 Chevrolet for the full 2023 season on the heels of a successful four-year stint in the Xfinity Series where he won thirteen races and finished runner-up in the 2022 championship. However, the team struggled for much of the year as Gragson recorded just two top-twenty finishes. His departure was likely primed to occur even without the suspension as Legacy has switched to Toyota and brought in the manufacturer’s top prospect John Hunter Nemechek to drive the #42 Camry.

Gragson will replace Aric Almirola, who stepped away from full-time competition after 2023. He and Josh Berry, a former Xfinity team-mate, are newcomers to SHR as the latter takes over the #4 from the retiring Kevin Harvick.

“Noah deserves to be in the NASCAR Cup Series and we’re very happy to have him as the driver of our #10 Ford Mustang,” Stewart stated. “Noah has performed at every level where he’s competed and has regularly been in championship contention. That’s the kind of driver we need at Stewart-Haas and that’s why Noah is a part of our team.”

SHR will be Gragson’s first Ford team in the national series after exclusively racing Toyotas in the Truck Series, Chevrolet in Cup, and a mix of both in Xfinity. He previously raced Fords in what is now the ARCA Menards Series East and West, respectively finishing second and third in the latter’s 2015 and 2016 championship battles.