Stewart-Haas Racing ceasing Cup operations after 2024, selling four charters


Stewart-Haas Racing, which has won two Cup titles and captured 69 wins since its formation in 2009, will close after the 2024 season, shuttering a four-car Cup operation.

Co-owners Gene Haas and Tony Stewart have appeared focused on other aspects of their businesses in recent years. Haas has a Formula 1 team that has struggled and the three-time Cup champion Stewart started an NHRA drag-racing team a couple of years ago that his wife drove for last year and Stewart is driving for this year.

SHR has struggled in recent years and its hefty support from Ford is set to end after this season. It also lost two major sponsors in Smithfield and Anheuser-Busch prior to this year, so without that Ford support continuing it would have been difficult to sustain a four-car operation.

“We have made the difficult decision to close Stewart-Haas Racing at the conclusion of the 2024 season,” Stewart and Haas said in a joint statement. “It is a decision that did not come easily, nor was it made quickly.

“Racing is a labor-intensive, humbling sport. It requires unwavering commitment and vast resources, with a 365-day mindset to be better than everyone else. It’s part of what makes success so rewarding. But the commitment needed to extract maximum performance while providing sustainability is incredibly demanding, and we’ve reached a point in our respective personal and business lives where it’s time to pass the torch.”

The organization has four charters that it can sell, and sources indicated at least three of them will go to existing Cup organizations — one to Front Row Motorsports, one to 23XI Racing and one to Trackhouse Racing. All three of those organizations indicated they had no comment on any charter acquisitions today. Where the fourth charter goes is not clear.

Not having SHR on the Cup grid will be eye-opening next season. SHR started with Haas operating Haas CNC Racing in 2002. Haas gave Stewart half the team in 2009 for him to come drive and help operate the organization. They won championships in 2011 with Stewart and 2014 with Kevin Harvick.

The organization has 69 Cup wins with the last coming in 2022 with Harvick, who retired after the 2023 season.

“We’re proud of all the wins and championships we’ve earned since joining together in 2009, but even more special is the culture we built and the friendships we forged as we committed to a common cause —winning races and collecting trophies,” Stewart and Haas said in their statement.

“That is the same commitment we made to our personnel, our partners and our fans coming into this year, and that commitment will remain through the season finale at Phoenix. We have tremendous respect and appreciation for all of our employees, and we will work diligently to assist them during this transition to find new opportunities beyond the 2024 race season.”

‘This is a pivotal year for me’ – Chase Briscoe on his future of racing being a veteran on the SHR team

The closure leaves Cup drivers Chase Briscoe, Noah Gragson, Josh Berry and Ryan Preece in transition, as well as Xfinity Series drivers Cole Custer and Riley Herbst.

Here’s a quick look at what could happen with those drivers:

Briscoe, who is 16th in the Cup standings, is the driver most often mentioned as a possibility to drive for Wood Brothers Racing next year with Harrison Burton on the hot seat as he struggles for the third consecutive year. Briscoe was in an option year with SHR and can now start to have more extensive talks with other teams.

Briscoe said he has no idea where he will drive next year.

“Crazy time,” Briscoe said in a video on X, formerly known as Twitter. “I never thought this day would come. … I just hope all of the guys and gals at this place finds a great opportunity because each and every single person here deserves it.”

Berry, at 19th in the standings in his rookie season and who has surged over the last month, was under contract with SHR for next year but obviously is now looking for a ride. He doesn’t have much personal sponsorship but now will be talking heavily to sponsors and teams. Whether he remains in Cup is still to be determined.

Gragson’s impressive run in his first season at SHR as he sits 21st in the standings (he’d be 19th if not for a 35-point penalty earlier this year plus what appears to be support from Bass Pro Shops, potentially could give him Cup options either at Front Row Motorsports or other teams.

Preece sits 28th in the standings (he’d be 22nd if not for a 35-point penalty earlier this year) was already looking for next year as his contract was up after this season. His future seems uncertain.

Custer, the former Cup driver and defending Xfinity Series champion who is third in the Xfinity standings, will be driving a car next year but still to be determined whether it is Xfinity or Cup. SHR’s Xfinity programs — it not only fields two cars but also supplies cars to other Ford teams — could be siphoned off into a new team. Also, if Haas wants to continue involvement in NASCAR, Custer would be the natural driver for his Haas Automation company to sponsor as it has sponsored Custer for several years and Custer’s father, Joe, is an SHR executive who has worked on Haas motorsports programs for decades.

Herbst, seventh in the Xfintiy standings, has sponsorship from Monster Energy, and that should give him options, potentially on the Cup side.

FRM (which would have two seats available) and 23XI will be seeking drivers if they obtain charters and would need sponsorship as well for them, making them possible landing spots for Herbst.

Trackhouse already has a logjam of drivers with Ross Chastain, Shane van Gisbergen and Zane Smith currently under contract and Daniel Suarez expecting to sign an extension soon. There is a possibility the new charter system could limit organizations to three charters, and if that happens, Trackhouse would have to form an alliance with another team, keep van Gisbergen in Xfinity next year or release one of its drivers.

Legacy Motor Club, RFK Racing and JTG Daugherty Racing have all considered expansion but are not expected to be in play for any of the SHR charters. Dale Earnhardt Jr. confirmed to FOX Sports last week that JR Motorsports also is not part of those conversations.

Bob Pockrass covers NASCAR for FOX Sports. He has spent decades covering motorsports, including over 30 Daytona 500s, with stints at ESPN, Sporting News, NASCAR Scene magazine and The (Daytona Beach) News-Journal. Follow him on Twitter @bobpockrass.


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