Kyle Larson, Hendrick Motorsports, Daytona 500, NASCAR (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
There are 41 cars confirmed on the Daytona 500 entry list to open up the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season, but more could still be added.
Kaulig Racing’s confirmation of a third entry for the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season-opening Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway ensures that there will be more than four non-chartered entries — and thus more than 40 cars — on the entry list.
With the field for the 200-lap race around the four-turn, 2.5-mile (4.023-kilometer) high-banked Daytona Beach, Florida oval capped at 40 cars, this means that somebody will fail to qualify.
The 36 chartered entries are all locked in, so the single-car qualifying session on Wednesday, February 15 and the Bluegreen Vacations Duels on Thursday, February 16 are set to determine which non-chartered entries will get in and which won’t.
In addition to Kaulig Racing’s No. 13 Chevrolet for Chandler Smith, there are four confirmed non-chartered entries for the 65th annual running of the Great American Race.
Those entries are the No. 62 Beard Motorsports Chevrolet for Austin Hill, the No. 67 23XI Racing Toyota for Travis Pastrana, the No. 84 Legacy Motor Club Chevrolet for Jimmie Johnson, and a Front Row Motorsports Ford for Zane Smith.
But more could still be added, which will make it tougher for all non-chartered NASCAR Cup Series entries to get into the Daytona 500.
Here’s a list of seven potential additions to the entry list for this year’s season opener.
No. 26 Team Hezeberg Toyota
No. 27 Team Hezeberg Ford
No. 30 3F Racing Chevrolet
No. 44 NY Racing Team Chevrolet
No. 50 The Money Team Racing Chevrolet
No. 55 MBM Motorsports Ford
No. 66 MBM Motorsports Ford
Of these seven entries, the No. 50 Chevrolet is probably most likely to be added. The Money Team Racing made their Cup Series debut in last year’s Daytona 500 and returned for three more races, and their goal this year is to run six.
Two others stand out as good possibilities, with those being the No. 27 Ford and the No. 44 Chevrolet. Team Hezeberg also made their Cup Series debut in last year’s Daytona 500 with 1997 Formula 1 world champion Jacques Villeneuve as their driver, and NY Racing Team returned to the race last year for the first time since 2015 with Greg Biffle, who himself hadn’t competed in the Cup Series since 2016, as theirs.
The other four aren’t all that likely. Team Hezeberg could technically field two cars, but the only three times they did that during the 2022 season were for road course races. In fact, the Daytona 500 was their only oval race last year.
3F Racing planned to make their Cup Series debut in 2022 but didn’t end up doing so. While their new plan is reportedly to do so in 2023, it probably won’t happen in the Daytona 500.
As for MBM Motorsports, they have failed to qualify for the race in each of the last two years — and with two entries each year. In fact, just one of their last seven attempts to qualify for the race (over the last four years) has been successful. Unfortunately, given the depth of this year’s entry list, the same would probably be true if they tried again in 2023.
Fox is set to broadcast the Daytona 500 live from Daytona International Speedway on Sunday, February 19, beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET. Single-car qualifying is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, February 15, followed by the Bluegreen Vacations Duels on Thursday, February 16.