Why did Tony Stewart’s SHR sign Noah Gragson for 2024 despite controversies?

Noah Gragson has been linked to SHR since Aric Almirola’s retirement.

Why did Tony Stewart’s SHR sign Noah Gragson for 2024 despite controversies?

Noah Gragson and Tony Stewart (Via IMAGO)

Stewart Hass Racing has announced the signing of Noah Gragson as the driver for the No:10 Ford Mustang for the 2024 season. The seat was vacant after veteran Aric Almirola announced his retirement to pursue a part-time career in the second division. 2024 will mark the year of a potential redemption for Gragson.


Noah Gragson came into the 2023 season as a promising rookie alongside Ty Gibbs of JGR, driving for Jimmie Johnson’s Legacy MC. He had an underwhelming season before losing his seat for liking a racist social media post on Instagram. He was indefinitely suspended by NASCAR and the team. Later he parted ways with the team to take a break and complete his sensitivity training.

He was recently re-instated by the sanctioning body. Tony Stewart, the co-owner of SHR, while talking about the signing of Gragson pointed out that the youngster deserves a Cup ride and he is happy to have him there. He went on to say that Gragson has proved himself by being competitive in all places he competed and that’s what SHR wanted.

Noah deserves to be in the NASCAR Cup Series and we’re very happy to have him as the driver of our No. 10 Ford Mustang. Noah has performed at every level where he’s competed and has regularly been in championship contention. That’s the kind of driver we need at Stewart-Haas and that’s why Noah is a part of our team.
Stewart said, as reported by Motorsports.com.

Noah Gragson has huge expectations for 2024

The ex-Junior Motorsports driver eagerly waiting for an opportunity to once again prove himself at the top level. He seeks a chance to start winning races yet again and coming back to the sport with a team with such pedigree as SHR demands of him. Gragson believes it is possible to win races with such a motivated team.  

Noah Gragson
Noah Gragson (Via IMAGO)
I’m grateful for this opportunity with Stewart-Haas Racing and while most people in the industry are happy that the offseason is here, I want to get started on 2024 and go racing as soon as I can...There are high expectations here and a strong desire to compete and win races. I have high expectations for myself, and I want to deliver for Tony and Gene and everyone at Stewart-Haas.

Achieving the race win goal is a big task for SHR considering the disappointing season they had this year. Other than Kevin Harvick, no driver showed signs of consistency and had a solid shot at winning races. They have a lot to fix in terms of having competitive cars next season and they have a ton of work to do to land some good sponsors.