NASCAR: Somebody going to miss the 2024 Daytona 500?

There are 41 drivers on the entry list for the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season-opening Daytona 500, and that number is expected to grow.
Daytona 500, NASCAR
Daytona 500, NASCAR / Jared C. Tilton/GettyImages

The 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season-opening Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway is under three weeks away, and there are 41 cars that have been confirmed on the entry list.

This number had not grown in quite some time prior to the recent confirmation that two-time Daytona 500 winner Jimmie Johnson is set to drive the No. 84 Toyota for the Legacy Motor Club he co-owns. Front Row Motorsports then added the No. 36 Ford for Kaz Grala.

Though A.J. Allmendinger was recently confirmed by Kaulig Racing as the driver of the No. 16 Chevrolet, the No. 16 Chevrolet had already been on the entry list as a charter car. The only other charter car without a confirmed Daytona 500 driver is Rick Ware Racing's No. 15 Ford.

There have been three other non-chartered cars confirmed thus far: the No. 60 RFK Racing Ford for David Ragan, the No. 62 Beard Motorsports Chevrolet for Anthony Alfredo, and the No. 78 Live Fast Motorsports Chevrolet for B.J. McLeod.

Just 40 cars are able to compete in the 200-lap race around the four-turn, 2.5-mile (4.023-kilometer) high-banked Daytona Beach, Florida oval, meaning that only four non-chartered entries can qualify. Two do so based on their speed in the single-car qualifying session, and two do so based on their results in their respective Bluegreen Vacations Duels.

Will somebody miss the Daytona 500?

There are already 41 cars (five without charters) on the entry list for the 66th running of the Great American Race, meaning that somebody will miss out, and that total is expected to grow.

In the weeks leading up to the official announcement, it had been expected that Legacy Motor Club would add the No. 84 Toyota for Johnson to bring the entry list to 40 cars.

Though he had confirmed two sets of three races for his 2024 schedule and the Daytona 500 was not included in either, it was believed that more races were still going to be added to his plans for the upcoming season. The Daytona 500 was one of three races in which he competed last year before his season was cut short due to a family tragedy.

Front Row Motorsports then added a 41st for Grala, solidifying at least one DNQ for 2024, and the entry list may not be done growing.

The Money Team Racing, against long odds, managed to qualify for the Daytona 500 in both of their first two attempts in 2022 and 2023. The Floyd Mayweather Jr.-owned team are known to be aiming toward a 2024 return for their No. 50 Chevrolet, though that has not yet been confirmed.

The addition of this car would bring the non-chartered entry total to six -- and the full entry total to 42 -- and that's without factoring in the possibility of other teams adding entries, as many of them have done in the past.

Single-car qualifying for the race is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, February 14, and the Bluegreen Vacations Duels are scheduled to take place on Thursday, February 15. Because of where the entry list stands right now, at least one driver will have failed to qualify for this year's Daytona 500 once these sessions have concluded.

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Fox is set to broadcast the Daytona 500 live from Daytona International Speedway beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET. on Sunday, February 18. Start a free trial of FuboTV and don't miss it!