As a part of his third confirmation of three races for the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season, seven-time Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson announced that he plans to compete in the season-opening Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway next month.
The Legacy Motor Club co-owner and two-time Daytona 500 winner is set to pilot the No. 84 Toyota for his team at the four-turn, 2.5-mile (4.023-kilometer) high-banked Daytona Beach, Florida oval, though because the No. 84 Toyota is not a chartered entry, it is not locked into the race.
There are now four non-chartered cars on the entry list for the season opener, bringing the entry total to 40. The field size for the 200-lap race is capped at 40, meaning that any further confirmations would ensure that somebody won't get into the race.
Four drivers at risk in Daytona 500 qualifying?
The other three non-chartered entries are the No. 60 RFK Racing Ford, the No. 62 Beard Motorsports Chevrolet, and the No. 78 Live Fast Motorsports Chevrolet, which are set to be driven by David Ragan, Anthony Alfredo, and B.J. McLeod, respectively.
It is widely believed that at least one more non-chartered entry will be added. The Money Team Racing have publicized their interest in returning to the "Great American Race" for a third straight year after defying the odds and qualifying for the race in both 2022 and 2023.
Not much is known about any other possible entries, but you can never rule out a two-car team from adding a third car for this race, much like Legacy Motor Club and RFK Racing have done. Kaulig Racing, Front Row Motorsports, Richard Childress Racing, and 23XI Racing come to mind as possibilities; they have all done so in the past.
The fastest two non-chartered entries lock in via the single-car qualifying session, and the highest finishing non-chartered entries in the two Bluegreen Vacations Duel races do the same. Should somebody effectively lock in twice, the next fastest non-chartered entry from the single-car session takes the open spot.
Of course, if no more cars are added, then Johnson, Ragan, Alfredo, and McLeod have nothing to worry about. But if even one more car is added, they all have something to worry about.
Single-car qualifying is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, February 14, followed by the Bluegreen Vacations Duels on Thursday, February 15. The 66th annual Daytona 500 is scheduled to take place on Sunday, February 18. Fox is set to provide live coverage beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET. Begin a free trial of FuboTV and don't miss it!