NASCAR: One Daytona 500 car still doesn't have a driver

Just 38 of the 39 cars confirmed on the entry list for the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season-opening Daytona 500 have confirmed drivers.
Daytona 500, NASCAR
Daytona 500, NASCAR / Jared C. Tilton/GettyImages

Kaulig Racing recently confirmed that A.J. Allmendinger is set to drive the No. 16 Chevrolet in the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season-opening Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway.

The confirmation effectively ensures that the car will be a shared entry throughout the 36-race season since Allmendinger is set to compete full-time in the Xfinity Series.

Of the other 35 chartered entries, 34 are set to be driven by full-time drivers throughout the year, and all 34 of those drivers have been announced. But no drivers have been announced for the other entry.

Daytona 500 seat still open ahead of 2024 NASCAR season

Despite their consistent struggles in the owner standings, NASCAR has allowed Rick Ware Racing to move forward with both of their charters in 2024. Former Kaulig Racing driver Justin Haley is set to drive one of their two cars (either the No. 15 Ford or the No. 51 Ford) full-time in 2024, while nothing has been announced about the other entry.

With the 36 charter cars all locked into the 200-lap race around the four-turn, 2.5-mile (4.023-kilometer) high-banked Daytona Beach, Florida oval, this means that there is still an open seat -- with a guaranteed spot in the race -- in a race that has historically been one of Rick Ware Racing's best.

There is still an outside chance that Rick Ware Racing could hire a second full-time driver, especially now that team owner Rick Ware's son Cody has been reinstated following his 2023 suspension, but they have generally run at least one shared entry each season. Ware is one of a number of candidates to drive the car in this year's Daytona 500.

The other three confirmed Daytona 500 entries are all non-chartered cars, and drivers have been confirmed for each. David Ragan is set to drive the No. 60 Ford for RFK Racing, Anthony Alfredo is set to drive the No. 62 Chevrolet for Beard Motorsports, and B.J. McLeod is set to drive the No. 78 Chevrolet for Live Fast Motorsports.

Should there end up being at least two more non-chartered cars added to the entry list, at least one of them will fail to qualify for the "Great American Race" by the time the single-car qualifying session and the Bluegreen Vacations Duels come to a close. Just 40 total cars -- and four non-chartered cars -- are able to compete in the race.

Two teams -- The Money Team Racing and Legacy Motor Club -- have been heavily linked to adding to the entry list, which would set up a situation in which somebody goes home.

Next. Way-too-early Daytona 500 odds: 2024 favorite revealed. Way-too-early Daytona 500 odds: 2024 favorite revealed. dark

Single-car qualifying is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, February 14, followed by the Bluegreen Vacations Duels on Thursday, February 15. The race itself is scheduled to take place on Sunday, February 18, with live coverage set for 2:30 p.m. ET on Fox. Begin a free trial of FuboTV and don't miss any of the action!