NASCAR team clears up confusion over Daytona 500 entry

J.J. Yeley, Finish Line Motorsports Marketing, Daytona 500, NASCAR (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
J.J. Yeley, Finish Line Motorsports Marketing, Daytona 500, NASCAR (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images) /

An unexpected late addition to the Daytona 500 entry list won’t actually be attempting to qualify for the NASCAR Cup Series season opener after all.

On Saturday, it appeared as though a 43rd car was confirmed on the entry list for the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season-opening Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway when it was reported that Finish Line Motorsports Marketing would be fielding the No. 80 car for J.J. Yeley with Josh Reaume as a crew chief.

This car would be the seventh non-chartered car on the entry list for the 200-lap race around the four-turn, 2.5-mile (4.023-kilometer) high-banked Daytona Beach, Florida oval, and only four qualify for the race.

Two do so in the single-car qualifying session (Wednesday, February 15 at 8:15 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1) and two do so in the Bluegreen Vacations Duels (Thursday, February 16 at 7:00 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1).

However, it appears as though there will only be 42 cars, including six non-chartered NASCAR Cup Series entries, on the Daytona 500 entry list after all.

Reaume Brothers Racing later clarified this report. They claimed they are, in fact, working on a deal to run a non-chartered entry in select events on the 2023 Cup Series schedule, but they noted that the decision was made to delay their debut. They expect to make a formal announcement this coming Monday.

So with the 36 chartered entries all locked in, it appears as though the battle for the final four spots will come down to Kaulig Racing’s Chandler Smith, Front Row Motorsports’ Zane Smith, The Money Team Racing’s Conor Daly, Beard Motorsports’ Austin Hill, 23XI Racing’s Travis Pastrana, and Legacy Motor Club’s for Jimmie Johnson.

Two of them will ultimately fail to qualify, while the other four are set to take part in the 65th annual Great American Race, which is set to be broadcast live on Fox beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, February 19.

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