Griffin provided the update during the December 12 episode of “Door, Bumper, Clear.” He confirmed that he will not be a full-time spotter in the Xfinity Series or Cup Series. Griffin also mentioned Jason Jarrett as a replacement. The veteran spent 2022 with 23XI Racing and JR Motorsports, but Tyler Reddick and Josh Berry both added new spotters for 2023.
“So my 2023 is pretty easy,” Griffin explained. “And to back it up, I told [Kaulig President] Chris Rice at Watkins Glen, I said, ‘Look, man, I’m done Xfinity racing full-time. It’s just too much. I was willing to come back and do Cup for one reason — I like Chris, I love Justin Haley.
“I didn’t know if I was going to like him, to be honest with you. Great dude. Had a lot of fun with him, hanging out with him. … When I went to Chris, I was like, ‘Man, I’ve got a couple problems. I’m not doing Bristol Dirt, I don’t want to do Chicago July 4, and the Cup races that are fly in on Friday, practice 15 minutes on Saturday, race on Sunday. I just want to come on Sunday”
Griffin Teased Some Other News During the Episode
As Griffin explained, the deal with Kaulig Racing did not work out. His priorities are with his family. He wants to see his mother on Easter instead of heading to Bristol for a dirt race. He will do so while stepping back from full-time spotting.
While Griffin won’t guide Daniel Hemric in the Xfinity Series and Haley in the Cup Series, he will still have a presence at the track. He will be on hand for some Dirty Mo Experiences, and he will also take on a part-time schedule.
Griffin clarified that he will still serve as a spotter for Kaulig Racing during some select Cup Series races. He wouldn’t provide any details other than saying that he will be at the Daytona 500.
This move makes sense considering that Kaulig Racing changed its setup for the 2023 season. The team had Haley full-time in the No. 31 and a rotating group of drivers sharing the No. 16. That will change with AJ Allmendinger moving back to the Cup Series on a full-time basis.
Running a part-time entry provides Kaulig Racing with an opportunity to give other drivers select starts in the Cup Series. Both Landon Cassill and Hemric have experience in the series, and they have continued to express interest in making Cup starts.
Haley Had a Career Season in 2023
Haley entered the 2022 season with 36 career starts — all with Spire Motorsports. He had one career win, which was the rain-shortened Coke Zero Sugar 400 in 2019, and two other top-10 finishes.
The 2022 season did not start exceptionally well for Kaulig Racing and Haley. He lost a wheel during the Daytona 500 and finished 23rd. However, he went on to post top-20 finishes in six of the first 10 events.
Haley turned heads during Throwback Weekend at Darlington Raceway. He finished third overall behind Joey Logano and Tyler Reddick, which marked his first top-five since the 2019 season.
Haley went on to secure a seventh-place finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway, a third-place finish at Texas Motor Speedway, and a fifth-place finish at the Charlotte Roval. These performances helped him set career marks across the board.