Quality runs deep on preliminary Daytona 500 entry list
The preliminary entry list for the 63rd annual Daytona 500 was released Tuesday afternoon, and 44 drivers are listed.
In addition to the 36 charter teams, eight open teams will compete for four spots in the 40-car field. Two drivers will lock in by being the fastest of the open teams in single-car qualifying on Wednesday night. Two more drivers will earn a spot through the Duel races on Thursday.
Those without charters are Garrett Smithley (No. 13 Motorsports Business Management); Kaz Grala (No. 16 Kaulig Racing); Austin Cindric (No. 33 Team Penske); David Ragan (No. 36 Front Row Motorsports); Ryan Preece (No. 37 JTG Daugherty Racing); Noah Gragson (No. 62 Beard Motorsports); Timmy Hill (No. 66 Motorsports Business Management); Ty Dillon (No. 96 Gaunt Brothers Racing).
There are no surprises on the entry list.
Kyle Larson makes his return to NASCAR Cup Series competition in the No. 5 for Hendrick Motorsports while Chase Briscoe takes over the No. 14. Corey LaJoie begins his tenure with Spire Motorsports in the No. 7, and Christopher Bell is now in the No. 20 for Joe Gibbs Racing.
The No. 23 will debut with Darrell Wallace Jr. as Live Fast Motorsports rolls out with B.J. McLeod in the No. 78. And Daniel Suarez is ready to fire up his new ride in the No. 99.
Jamie McMurray makes his return to the Daytona 500 in the No. 77 for Spire Motorsports in conjunction with Chip Ganassi Racing.
Another notable in the field is Derrike Cope in the No. 15 for Rick Ware Racing. Cope, 62, is making his final Daytona 500 start.
Teams will get on track for the first time with practice at 12:05 p.m. Wednesday, and single-car qualifying for the Daytona 500 is 7:30 p.m. ET Wednesday.
PRELIMINARY DAYTONA 500 ENTRY LIST