JR Motorsports has been a topic of conversation during the 2022 season for many reasons, including Noah Gragson joins the NASCAR Cup Series and the organization’s desire to compete in Cup Series racing.
Let’s take a look at JR Motorsports’ updates during the 2022 season and what the future holds for the organization.
Overview of JR Motorsports updates during the 2022 season
JR Motorsports had an incredible season as three of its four full-time NASCAR Xfinity Series drivers reached the Championship 4, only to lose to Joe Gibbs Racing driver Ty Gibbs at Phoenix Raceway.
Gragson led the way with eight wins during the 2022 season as the organization totaled 15 wins in 33 races. However, the leader of this field will not return as he competes full-time in the NASCAR Cup Series with Petty GMS Motorsports.
So, Brandon Jones will leave Joe Gibbs Racing and the No. 19 car to drive for JR Motorsports and the No. 9 car next season. Sam Mayer, Justin Allgaier and Josh Berry will all return full time.
Meanwhile, the organization wants to join the Cup Series. Dale Earnhardt Jr. said JR Motorsports “absolutely” wants to join the highest level of NASCAR and Kelley Earnhardt Miller said many conversations have been had.
However, it’s not for lack of effort, as the pieces simply don’t fit together for financial and other reasons. The organization continues to lobby but nothing has yet come to fruition.
For this reason, JR Motorsports will not compete in the Cup Series next season. This includes any consideration in favor of part-time action that has taken place, according to Earnhardt Miller.
What does the future look like for JR Motorsports and would NASCAR benefit from the team’s move to the Cup Series?
JR Motorsports’ future in NASCAR beyond 2023
The earliest JR Motorsports can compete in the NASCAR Cup Series is the 2024 season. If that’s the case, the team must have it in place by the middle of the 2023 season.
It is clear that JR Motorsports wants to take the plunge. If this jump happens next season, the team should be ready by the middle of the 2022 season. This will remain the same almost every year.
The cost of a charter and the impending TV deal are also factors in the process. It is unclear what might change with the new agreement as the charter agreement ends in 2024. However, the ithe intentions are to continue said agreement.
It seems realistic that JR Motorsports will join the Cup Series at some point, but it’s just a matter of getting there. This is not a guarantee, but the organization is working to achieve this feat in the coming years.
Otherwise, they will continue to be one of the flagship organizations in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. The team has been incredible as evidenced by their 15 wins during the 2022 season. Regardless, there is a lot to like about the future.
NASCAR would benefit from having JR Motorsports at the highest level. The sport already has Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart and Brad Keselowski in major roles on Cup Series teams in ownership and other positions.
If the legacy of the Earnhardt name can continue in the Cup Series, it would be a major and great addition to the sport. This is still difficult to achieve because the charter market is ultra-competitive, estimated at $20 million.
As stated above, no matter what happens in the future, JR Motorsports will be an important part of NASCAR. However, the organization would be even bigger if the Cup Series ever came to fruition.