Home Articles 2024 NASCAR Power Rankings & Tiers (Cup Series)
Kyle Larson | 2024 NASCAR Power Rankings & Tiers (Cup Series)

2024 NASCAR Power Rankings & Tiers (Cup Series)

by IBT Media Staff

In the world’s premier stock car racing series, every year brings new challenges, surprises and intense competition. As we gear up for the 2024 Cup Series season, it’s time to delve into our NASCAR power rankings, considering various factors such as talent, team dynamics and track preferences.

Before revealing our rankings, it’s important to note that this analysis is more focused on overall NASCAR performance, encompassing elements of betting, Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) and season-long fantasy leagues. While we lack specific fantasy prices, championship odds do play a role in shaping our outlook.

Let’s get started with the contenders for the 2024 Cup Series season.


2024 NASCAR Power Rankings & Tiers (Cup Series)

1. Kyle Larson | No. 5 – Hendrick Motorsports

Topping our NASCAR Power Rankings is none other than Kyle Larson. With his exceptional skills and adaptability to the new short-track package, Larson is poised to shine on tracks like Phoenix, Richmond and Martinsville. Being part of the Phoenix testing crew, he seems well-prepared for the new changes coming to his favorite track style. Despite a potential early fade at superspeedways, Larson’s overall track record, including 15 T5s and four wins last season, makes him a strong contender. Keep an eye on him during the early part of the season, especially on the shorts.

2. Ryan Blaney | No. 12 – Team Penske

Fresh off his championship win, Ryan Blaney is positioned for a standout season. While his metrics might not scream dominance, leading the most laps among Fords last season is a notable achievement. Blaney’s championship victory and breakout in the latter half of the 2023 season signals a potential shift at Team Penske, with him emerging as a top driver. Expect the No. 12 car to be a force to be reckoned with as they aim for a repeat championship.

3. William Byron | No. 24 – Hendrick Motorsports

William Byron’s resurgence in the 2023 season, plus his eight wins in the Next-Gen car (most among drivers), places him high on our power rankings. Returning the iconic No. 24 car to its glory days, Byron is set to continue his impressive performance. With Hendrick Motorsports likely to reclaim their position at the top, Byron’s consistency and success in the new car make him a formidable contender for the upcoming season.

4. Denny Hamlin | No. 11 – Joe Gibbs Racing

Denny Hamlin, the perennial bridesmaid in recent seasons, remains a strong force in our NASCAR power rankings. Embracing a no-fuss attitude, Hamlin’s determination is evident. While the playoff format may have denied him a title, his consistent wins and solid races make him a favorite. Watch for Hamlin to secure regular-season victories and establish himself as a leading contender in the playoffs.

5. Christopher Bell | No. 20 – Joe Gibbs Racing

Chris Bell rounds out our top five with his versatile racing skills. Competent on road courses, superspeedways and various track types, Bell’s ability to adapt makes him a valuable asset for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR). Despite being somewhat streaky, Bell’s late-season surge last year demonstrates his potential to make a deep playoff run. Keep an eye on him as he continues to develop into a true NASCAR superstar.

6. Chris Buescher | No. 17  – Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing

Chris Buescher kicks off the B-Tier with high expectations for the upcoming season. The resurgence of Roush Fenway Kelelowski (RFK) Racing and Buescher’s consistency in 2023 have sparked optimism. Winning multiple races and advancing in the playoffs, Buescher has the potential to be a standout performer. The No. 17 car could be a force to be reckoned with, especially if the 31-year-old continues to hit his prime. Keep an eye on the top RFK team as they aim for a strong presence in the regular season.

7. Ross Chastain | No. 1 – Trackhouse Racing

As the watermelon-themed car graces the track, Ross Chastain emerges as a driver to watch in the B-Tier. Leading the fifth-most laps last season, Chastain showcased his ability to contend for victories. The confidence boost from a win at Phoenix in the championship race – despite being out of the playoffs then – and the support of Bush Light positions Chastain for success. Trackhouse Racing is in a prime position, and Chastain aims to deliver with two to three wins and a deep playoff run.

8. Martin Truex Jr. | No. 19 – Joe Gibbs Racing

Despite challenges in the playoffs last season, Martin Truex Jr. remains a reliable mid-B-Tier pick in our NASCAR power rankings. The veteran driver has a history of winning races and championship pedigrees. With experience and consistency, Truex Jr. could once again secure a couple of victories and position himself well in the playoffs. Don’t underestimate the No. 19 team’s ability to rebound and compete at a high level.

9. Chase Elliott | No. 9 – Hendrick Motorsports

Despite a challenging 2023 season, Chase Elliott still has the potential to return to his winning form. With five wins in the Next Gen car in 2022, Elliott is a viable contender when in top condition. The shoulder surgery recovery and lingering issues from the previous season are factors to consider, but Hendrick Motorsports’ ability to adapt may play a crucial role in Elliott’s resurgence. Keep an eye on the No. 9 team as they navigate the 2024 season.

10. Joey Logano | No. 22 – Team Penske

Joey Logano enters the B-Tier with a history of success in even-numbered years, showcasing his capability to contend for victories and championships. As one of the elder statesmen in the Cup Series, Logano brings experience and consistency to Team Penske. While he may not be a favorite for a third title, Logano is still likely to real off a win or two, locking himself into the playoffs. Expect the No. 22 car to be a formidable competitor in the upcoming season.

11. Tyler Reddick | No. 45 – 23XI Racing

A potential breakout candidate, Tyler Reddick, aims to build on his successes from the previous season. With 16 T10s and 10 T5s in 2023, Reddick has showcased his ability to run competitively. The key for Reddick will be translating strong performances into the finishes he deserves. Watch for the No. 45 car to make strides and contend for victories, mainly at road courses and intermediate ovals, in 2024.

12. Kyle Busch | No. 8 – Richard Childress Racing

Kyle Busch lands just inside our top 12, a testament to his raw talent and past achievements. Despite facing challenges last season, he secured three wins by early June. Another year with Richard Childress Racing (RCR) and his truck team and energy drink now behind him, the No. 8 car should run more consistently down the stretch.

13. Brad Keselowski | No. 6 – Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing

Brad Keselowski finds himself alongside Busch at the end of our NASCAR power rankings’ B-Tier. With 16 T10s and 470 laps led in the previous season, he displayed competitiveness but fell short of securing wins. The challenge for Keselowski is to break the victory drought and turn promising runs into triumphs. The third year of RFK should see him gunning for more Ws.

14. Bubba Wallace | No. 23 – 23XI Racing

Bubba Wallace earns a spot atop the C-Tier, reflecting his potential and the improvements expected from the 23XI Racing veteran. While consistency is key, Wallace has shown flashes of brilliance, competing for wins regularly. The issue has been finishing the job. Despite no wins, 2023 was a solid season for the North Carolina native with increased T10s and competitiveness. The question remains whether or not he can punch a ticket to victory lane as a contender in the playoffs.

15. Ty Gibbs | No. 54 – Joe Gibbs Racing

Ty Gibbs enters the C-Tier with anticipation for his sophomore Cup Series season. The young driver, part of JGR, has the potential to break out as a top performer. Further adjusting to the Next-Gen car and gaining experience will be crucial for Gibbs. Keep an eye on his progress as he aims for victory lane and seeks to establish himself among the elite.

16. Alex Bowman | No. 48 – Hendrick Motorsports

Alex Bowman, part of the Hendrick Motorsports stable, resides in the C-Tier after a season of ups and downs. A consistent start followed by challenges in the summer hindered his overall performance. Health concerns also played a role. Bowman’s goal will be to maintain early-season success throughout, avoiding mid-year slumps and contributing to Hendrick’s overall dominance.

17. Daniel Suarez | No. 99 – Trackhouse Racing

Daniel Suarez claims a place in the C-Tier of our NASCAR power rankings, representing Trackhouse Racing. A consistent and solid driver, Suarez faces a make-or-break season with his contract nearing its end. With 10 T10s in the previous season, he needs to elevate those finishes to T5s and another win to secure a future with the team. Keep an eye on Suarez during road course events, where he has shown prowess.

18. Shane van Gisbergen | No. 91 – Trackhouse Racing (Part-Time)

After winning the Chicago Street Race in his NASCAR debut, Shane van Gisbergen, who will now participate in various series, including Cup, Xfinity and ARCA, is placed in the C-Tier. The New Zealand driver, known for his success in other motorsports, faces growing pains on ovals but excels on road courses. Keep an eye on his Cup Series appearances, especially during road course events, as he adapts to the competitive field.

19. A.J. Allmendinger | No. 16 – Kaulig Racing (Part-Time)

A.J. Allmendinger, a road course specialist, earns a spot in the C-Tier. While not a full-time Cup driver now, his impact is significant during road course races. Known for aggressive and skillful driving, Allmendinger is a contender for victories in specific events. After winning the ROVAL in Cup last season, consider his odds in road course races for potential betting opportunities.

20. Erik Jones | No. 43 – Legacy Motorsports

The underrated Erik Jones finds himself in the C-Tier of our NASCAR power rankings as Legacy Motorsports transitions from Chevy to Toyota. With increased manufacturer support, Jones aims for improvement on his 2023 season that resulted in seven T10s and one T5. Watch for his performance on different tracks; if he can accumulate more laps led, he might become a noteworthy contender.

21. Michael McDowell | No. 34 – Front Row Motorsports

Michael McDowell continues to show improvement each year, with an impressive 2023 season that includes eight T10s and two T10s finishes. His notable win at the Indianapolis Road Course showcases his capabilities as a solid stock car racer. McDowell’s fiery personality and 97 laps led last season contribute to his overall appeal. With a 20th total speed ranking (courtesy of ifantasyrace.com) last year, McDowell and his Front Row Motorsports team appear to be on an upward trajectory, making them a team to watch in the upcoming season.

22. Chase Briscoe | No. 14 – Stewart-Haas Racing

Despite a somewhat lackluster performance in 2023, Chase Briscoe remains at the tale end of our C-Tier. With one-career win and 10 T5s in Cup, Briscoe’s potential shines through, especially on specific tracks like Phoenix. Now, as the top driver at Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), a bet on him achieving Over .5 wins at +170 (via DraftKings Sportsbook) seems reasonable.

23. John Hunter Nemechek | No. 42 – Legacy Motorsports

John Hunter Nemechek leads the D-Tier, highlighting his dominant return to the Truck and Xfinity Series after a tough initial Cup stint. While showcasing grit and determination, Nemechek faces an uphill battle, but will hopefully have formidable equipment with Legacy’s switch to Toyota.

24. Josh Berry | No. 4 – Stewart-Haas Racing

Josh Berry’s transition to the Cup Series after grassroots racing and a successful career in the Xfinity Series raises expectations. Despite just 12 career Cup appearances, including a T5 and three T10s, Berry’s performance last year while filling in for Hendricks showed promise. However, moving to the downward-trending SHR introduces uncertainties about his ability to maintain that level of success. While deserving of the opportunity, Berry’s progression in the Cup Series remains a question mark.

25. Ryan Preece | No. 41 – Stewart-Haas Racing

Ryan Preece presents a unique challenge for our NASCAR power rankings due to his sporadic but notable success. With no career wins and just two T10s last year, uncertainty surrounds his potential to be a real contender, making him a challenging driver to project. Despite his capability, Preece’s unpredictable outcomes in questionable SHR equipment contribute to his placement in the D Tier.

26. Austin Dillon | No. 3 – Richard Childress Racing

Austin Dillon, with a 20th total speed ranking over the last three years combined, falls into the D-Tier. It was a rough 2023 season for Dillon, as he earned just seven T10s and led just 19 laps. He was only a real threat to win at Birstol Dirt, which isn’t on the schedule anymore. While Dillon is always a threat to win the Daytona 500 to begin the season, he finished 33rd or worse at the traditional superspeedways last year (Daytona and Talladega both twice). Until further notice, he’s a fade.

27. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. | 47 – JTG Daugherty Racing 

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. had an impressive 2024 season, finishing with nine T10s after showcasing early-season consistency. However, he experienced a performance decline towards the year’s end. Known for his success on superspeedways, particularly winning last year’s Daytona 500, Stenhouse Jr. and JTG Daugherty always have a ton of upside. However, the team’s potential for improvement might hinge on additional investment as uncertainties about the organization’s future still linger.

28. Jimmy Johnson | No. 84 – Legacy Motorsports  (Part-Time)

Jimmy Johnson, a NASCAR legend and now team owner and part-time driver, rounds out the D-tier. Despite his illustrious career, Johnson faces challenges in sporadic Cup appearances. While he may contribute valuable insights and experience to his drivers, expectations for consistent top-tier performances for seven-time himself are tempered.

29. Noah Gragson | No. 10 – Stewart-Haas Racing

Noah Gragson’s performance in the No. 42 car last season was less than stellar, prompting a move to SHR. While the shift may offer a fresh start, concerns persist about Gragson’s ability to secure significant success at the Cup level. The Las Vegas native has just one T5 in 39 Cup Series starts and had an average finish of 28.2 across his 21 races with Legacy Motorsports last season. This ultimately lands him at the beginning of the F-Tier in our NASCAR power rankings.

30. Austin Cindric | No. 2 – Team Penske

Austin Cindric, driver of the No. 2 car, faced a challenging season last year, ranking 27th in the total speed rankings. Concerns arise as he severely regressed after a standout rookie season. Despite being in top-tier equipment and having personal ties to Team Penske, Cindric needs to demonstrate better results to justify his position. The expectations are high, considering the team’s caliber and the need for notable performances from Cindric.

31. Corey Lajoie | No. 7 – Spire Motorsports

Corey LaJoie, steering the No. 7 car, finds himself firmly in the F-Tier. However, there’s optimism about Spire Motorsports’s continued upswing, especially with LaJoie being a threat at specific tracks, notably those running the superspeedway package like Atlanta. Despite the positive outlook for Spire’s efforts and investments, there’s skepticism about LaJoie’s ability to consistently perform at a higher level after maxing out at three T10s a year ago.

32. Todd Gilliland | No. 38 – Front Row Motorsports

Todd Gilliland, driver of the No. 38 car, has uncertain potential after a 2023 season saw him set a career-high with four T10s. Staying with Front Row Motorsports for another year might play a positive role. Still, Gilliland failed to lead a single lap, start better than ninth or finish higher than eighth last season. Outside of a superspeedway race, the 23-year-old has virtually no chance to win or punch a postseason ticket.

33. Zane Smith | No. 71 – Spire Motorsports

Zane Smith, behind the wheel of the No. 71 car, falls in the F-Tier for his first full-time Cup Series season. He has just nine career Cup Series starts but did squeeze out a P13 in the Daytona 500 and T10 at Charlotte last year. However, this is the new third Spire car, which limits his overall upside both for betting and fantasy purposes this season.

34. Carson Hocevar | No. 77 – Spire Motorsports

Carson Hocevar, now driving the No. 77 car, showcased promise as a DFS option in late 2023, mainly filling in for Gragason in the No. 42 car. Although once considered a nice addition to fantasy leagues, there are reservations about maintaining consistency throughout his rookie campaign. Hocevar’s performance will be closely watched, as he’s known for competitive driving and dirty moves. That won’t work at the Cup level, likely leaving Hocevar for a rough rookie season.

35. Justin Haley | No. 51 – Rick Ware Racing

More often than not, Justin Haley was a sneaky DFS play who wouldn’t burn you in the No. 31 car . He now makes the move to Rick Ware Racing (RWR), an organization that has produced just eight T10s in their eight years of Cup racing. Still, Haley is talented, finishing with six T10s a year ago and nearly winning the Chicago Street Race. He could get the most out of this No. 51 car, but that upside is likely capped lower than in recent years with Kaulig.

36. Daniel Hemric | No. 31 – Kaulig Racing

Daniel Hemric, in the No. 31 car, raises questions about Kaulig Racing’s decision-making. There’s a lack of confidence in Hemric’s ability to make a significant impact in the Cup Series. Hemric scored just two T10s when he ran full-time in the series for RCR in the No. 8 car in 2019. He also has just one win across NASCAR’s top three series, Phoenix 2021, when he won the Xfinity Series championship.

37. Harrison Burton | No. 21 – Woods Brothers Racing

Harrison Burton, steering the No. 21 car, has faced two years of growing pains, and his upside is considered limited. With the potential cap at three or four T10s, Burton is not expected to be a threat to win in the Cup Series. The season will likely determine Burton’s future at the top level.

38. Kaz Grala | No. 15 – Rick Ware Racing (Part-Time)

Kaz Grala, set to pilot the No. 15 car for a majority of races, faces a challenging season ahead. The skepticism arises from the perception that the No. 15 car might struggle to perform with the rest of the pack. Grala’s past achievements, including a memorable 2017 Truck Series win, are acknowledged. Still, doubts linger about his ability to secure success in the Cup Series after he couldn’t even reach the playoffs last year in Xfinity.

Thanks for reading our 2024 NASCAR power rankings and tiers. Check out more of our racing content and other written work here at In-Between Media, or head over to our YouTube channel to get your fix via video.

*Photo Credit: Eric Canha – USA TODAY Sports*

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