It has only been a few days since NASCAR Cup champion Kevin Harvick announced that the 2023 season would be his final year as a full time driver after over 20 years in the sport; and people are already speculating as to whom will be the driver to take over driving the number four Stewart-Haas Racing in 2024.

At the end of the 2022 season, SHR replaced Cole Custer as the driver of the number 41 car with Ryan Preece.  Both Preece and Cussler are on the list of drivers who could possibly replace Harvick in the number four car next year.  Preece may have a slight edge over the competition since he is being represented by Harvick’s marketing agency KHI Management.

Cole Cussler lost his Cup Series ride for 2023, but he is still in the game as a SHR driver in the Xfinity Series.  Preece isn’t the only driver with connections…Cussler’s father Joe is the team president at SHR.

Melon Man Ross Chastain is in a contract year, but after his performance in 2022 with two victories and a historic racing move at Martinsville; it is a sure bet that Trackhouse Racing owner Justin Marks will work hard to keep the watermelons smashing for his team.

Craftsman Truck Series regular Zane Smith made a substitute start at World Wide Technology last year and is set for a part time run in the Cup Series with Front Row Motorsports this year…and a chance to show off his skills in the Next Gen car.

Hendricks Motorsports driver Alex Bowman is also in a contract year; and it should be noted that he is the only HMS driver who has not received a contract extension.  The seven time winner has been in the Cup Series driving for HMS since 2016 and replaced Dale Earnhardt Jr when the Hall of Fame driver retired.

Riley Herbst is another driver contracted with SHR and is about to begin his third season in the Xfinity Series driving the number 98 car.  The 23 year old driver has yet to collect a checkered flag but has an average finish of 13.0.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr is the lone Cup Series driver for JTG Daugherty Racing in the 47 car.  The two time Xfinity Series champion is also represented by KHI Management and has a contract extension that begins this season.