Almirola joins JGR for part-time Xfinity program

Aric Almirola’s NASCAR program in 2024 will be a part-time schedule in the Xfinity Series for Joe Gibbs Racing.

Almirola, who left Stewart-Haas Racing after six seasons with the team, was included in an extensive Wednesday announcement for Gibbs as it laid out its four-car lineup. Almirola will split time in the No. 20 Toyota Supra with John Hunter Nemechek.

It marks a return to the organization for Almirola, who made 27 starts in the series with JGR between 2006 and ’07. Almirola was credited with a win at Milwaukee in 2007 after starting the race that Denny Hamlin finished.

The number of races Almirola will run was not announced. Nemechek will drive the car in 10 races.


Ryan Truex, William Sawalich, Joe Graf Jr., and Taylor Gray will share time in the No. 19 Toyota Supra. It will be the third season for Truex with the organization. Graf returns for a second season with the organization after making six starts last year.

Sawalich and Gray will be making their debuts in the series next year. Sawalich will run at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Martinsville Speedway, and Phoenix Raceway at the end of the year. Those races are timed for after Sawalich turns 18.

Joe Gibbs Racing will have two full-time drivers. Sheldon Creed joins the organization to drive the No. 18 Toyota Supra. Creed spent the last two seasons competing for Richard Childress Racing.

Chandler Smith will drive the No. 81 Toyota Supra. Smith makes the move from Kaulig Racing where he won one race in his rookie season.

“Over the last couple of months, we’ve been working diligently to put together our 2024 Xfinity program, which will include the addition of a fourth team,” said Steve DeSouza, EVP of Xfinity Series/Development at JGR. “Our 2024 roster has a great balance of experience, youth, wisdom and talent. We believe the veteran drivers will continually benchmark our program, complement and challenge each other, as well as assist our younger drivers to further develop their skill set.

“We are also excited about our crew chiefs and the teams they have assembled. We take a lot of pride in not only our program’s on-track success, but also in the opportunity to develop and promote our team members.”

Tyler Allen will be the crew chief of the No. 20 team for Almirola and Nemechek. He moves into the role after nine seasons in various engineering roles with the organization.

Seth Chavka will be the crew chief on the No. 19 team. He was most recently the lead race engineer for Ty Gibbs.

Creed will work with Sam McAulay. For the last eight years, McAulay was the lead race engineer in the Cup Series for Denny Hamlin’s No. 11 team.

Jeff Meendering will oversee the No. 81 team with Smith. Meendering worked with Sammy Smith, who finished sixth in the championship standings, last season.

Story originally appeared on Racer