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Noah Gragson Brings Back Clint Bowyer Era of Smiles at SHR, Claims Tony Stewart’s Mentee

Published 01/22/2024, 2:46 AM EST

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Stewart-Haas Racing recently had to bid farewell to some of their biggest names like Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer, and Aric Almirola. Harvick and Bowyer? They were the heart of the team, always serious about racing but never missing a chance to crack a joke or lighten the mood. They were the kings of pranks, weren’t they? Like that time Bowyer pulled a fast one on Harvick at the golf course. Classic! But times are changing over at Stewart-Haas Racing.

Ryan Preece and Chase Briscoe are gearing up to take the wheel and guide the newbies, Josh Berry and Noah Gragson, in the Cup series. With the new guys coming in, Chase Briscoe’s been saying that Noah Gragson is stepping up as the new fun driver in town. Looks like the team’s spirit is in good hands, maybe.

SHR is back to its former fun-filled days

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Clint Bowyer always believed in the motto, “You have to make it fun,” and that’s exactly the energy he brought to Stewart-Haas Racing, along with Kevin Harvick. Now that the team’s got some fresh faces, it’s Noah who’s filling those big, fun-loving boots.

Chase Briscoe, who’s pretty much the veteran at SHR now since he hopped into the No. 14 car in 2021, has been saying how Noah’s the new life of the party. With the 2024 Cup season on the horizon, Briscoe even said, “I keep telling people that Noah reminds me so much of Clint (Bowyer) so we’ve gone back to have a miniature version of Clint in the building again, which is like really good for our culture.” And well Josh Berry agreed. He said their social media stuff is the real deal – they’re having a blast.

Berry while chatting at a Late Model race in Georgia mentioned, “We have been spending a lot of time with each other as part of creating this new direction with Stewart Haas.” But, apparently, with the team not winning at all last season and some sponsor issues, folks are wondering if it’s time for them to really knuckle down and focus. 

Watch This Story: Noah Gragson Opens Up About The Second Opportunity Given to Him by Tony Stewart

Stewart-Haas Racing is going to have a tough time with sponsorships in 2024

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Steve Phelps really set off some fireworks last November about NASCAR having a bit of a sponsorship crisis. It’s like when a big-name driver like Kevin Harvick leaves a team, the sponsors can get cold feet. They’re stuck deciding whether to jump ship to another team or just leave the sport altogether.

And well, Stewart-Haas Racing got hit with this big time in 2023. Not winning a single race made the situation even worse. They ended up saying goodbye to eight sponsors, including heavy-hitters like Busch Light and Smithfield.

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But not everyone’s seeing doom and gloom. Despite the exit of some sponsors, SHR still has a solid lineup of 25. SunnyD’s still in the game, teaming up with Josh Berry for their ninth NASCAR season. And then there’s Harrison’s, the fashion folks, stepping up as the main sponsor for a couple of Cup races in 2024. They’ve been rooting for Berry since his Xfinity Series days.

Plus, SHR’s got a new deal with Andy’s Frozen Custard for Cole Custer in the Xfinity series. So, while some folks might be ready to call it a stormy season for Stewart-Haas Racing, it looks like their sponsorship boat is still afloat with new partners hopping on board. What do you reckon?

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Written by:

Neha Dwivedi

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Controversies, gossip, and breakneck speeds? Count me in! While F1 has its charm, NASCAR helps me relive those "Roadrash" gaming days. My favorite among the drivers has to be Tyler Reddick. The 23XI Racing pilot is not only likable but also a complete beast when he is on track, more specifically, road courses.
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Edited by:

Ariva Debnath