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TC Daily Pit Stop: Justin Haley: Safest Cup Driver in 2023; Rev Names 2024 D4D Class; Elliott Undergoes Surgery; Ken Squier Passes; Williams, Garcia Find New Homes; Alfredo Not Returning to BJMM
TC Daily Pit Stop: Tuesday, November 21st, 2023
For the second consecutive season, Justin Haley was the safest full-time NASCAR Cup Series driver on the circuit, according to TobyChristie.com’s #TobyTracker, which calculates on-track incidents throughout the season.
Haley, who piloted the No. 31 Chevrolet Camaro for Kaulig Racing, ended the 2023 season with just nine on-track incidents in 36 races - equating to 0.250 incidents per race. The number is a slight uptick from 2022, where Haley had seven on-track incidents.
The 24-year-old racer also had some solid results throughout the season, finishing second-place in the inaugural Chicago Street Race, while also collecting a career-high six finishes inside the top-10.
On Monday, NASCAR and Rev Racing announced the 20th Anniversary Drive for Diversity Driver Development Class. The 2024 class was selected following participation in the Advance Auto Parts Drive for Diversity Combine, which was held in Concord, North Carolina, and Florence, South Carolina.
Andres Perez de Lara and Lavar Scott will lead the Drive for Diversity Class, with both drivers competing full-time in the ARCA Menards Series.
Nathan Lyons, Eloy Sebastián López Falcón, Lanie Buice, TJ DeCaire, and Regina Sirvent, Cassidy Keitt and LaQuan McCoy Jr. will also join the two ARCA-bound drivers in the program for 2024.
Chase Elliott has undergone a successful shoulder surgery to aid a lingering injury, the driver revealed in a video shared to his X account on Friday.
“Just wanted to give you a quick update. I had a little procedure on my shoulder,” Elliott said in the video. “I had an old injury that I needed to get tended to. Obviously, the offseason is a much better time to do that than my last surgery. So, here we are, everything is all good and ready to go for 2024. Certainly looking forward to the Daytona 500 in February.”
Elliott joked that the offseason is a much better time for a surgery than his last surgery, which was for a broken leg suffered in a snowboarding accident following the second race of the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season.
Josh Williams, a long-time underdog in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, will get an opportunity with one of the series’ larger teams in 2024, announcing mid-week that he would drive the No. 11 for Kaulig Racing in 2024.
Alloy Employer Servies, a long-time partner of the driver, will continue their relationship with Williams at Kaulig.
“After only an hour in the shop, I already feel like it’s home,” said Williams in a team release. “I’ve known a lot of these guys for a long time, and I felt like coming over here would give us a good opportunity to get wins. That’s the goal, Trophy Hunting.”
Ken Squier, one of the key figures of NASCAR’s exponential growth from the late 1970s to the 2000s, has passed away at the age of 88. The legendary radio and television broadcaster had battled numerous health battles over the last few years.
According to a post from SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s Dave Moody, Squire took his final breath at 8:20 PM ET on Wednesday, November 15th.
We now know the car number that Zane Smith will utilize in the third Spire Motorsports car during the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season. Smith will carry the number 71 on the sides of his race car in the upcoming year.
A Spire Motorsports representative confirmed the accuracy of an initial report from Bob Pockrass on Wednesday to TobyChristie.com but cautioned that the team has no news to officially share at the moment.
On Wednesday, Pockrass also reported that the Spire Motorsports NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series program will field three trucks in 2024. The driver lineup will consist of Nick Sanchez (full-time), Chase Purdy (full-time) and a third truck will feature a rotating cast of drivers. The team representative also confirmed the accuracy of that report as well.
The 24-year-old racer recorded two top-10 finishes for BJ McLeod Motorsports and finished 20th in the NASCAR Xfinity Series championship standings in 2023. However, in a media video teleconference on Tuesday, team owner BJ McLeod confirmed that Alfredo will not return to the organization next season.
“I want to thank Anthony for everything that he did with us this year,” McLeod said. “He brought a great group of guys over to our shop over the offseason last year. He’s an excellent driver, has a ton of speed, really good kid with a great family. They have some opportunities that they are going to pursue also, so BJ McLeod Motorsports is actively looking for our driver for 2024.”
Jake Garcia, who put up solid results during his rookie campaign in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in 2023, will move to ThorSport Racing for the 2024 season.
Garcia, 18, finished 13th in the overall NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver standings in 2023 with McAnally-Hilgemann Racing, but he’s excited to see what he can do for the team that fielded the truck for 2023 NASCAR Truck Series champion Ben Rhodes.
“To have the chance to race for a championship organization like ThorSport Racing is huge for me,” said Garcia in a team press release. “I’m extremely excited for this opportunity and cannot wait to get the 2024 season started.”
In his rookie season, Garcia racked up three top-five finishes and nine top-10s over the course of 22 starts. Garcia recorded a best finish of second, which he achieved in the final race of the year at Phoenix Raceway.
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