David Ragan, Front Row Motorsports, Daytona 500, NASCAR (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Among confirmed entries for the NASCAR Cup Series season-opening Daytona 500, only one did not have a number. Now all 42 have confirmed digits.
The entry list for the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season-opening Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway is coming together piece by piece, and there is now just one week to go until the single-car qualifying session sets the front row for the race and the starting lineups for the two Bluegreen Vacations Duels qualifying races.
There are 42 cars, including the 36 chartered cars and six non-chartered cars, confirmed thus far for this year’s running of the 200-lap race at the four-turn, 2.5-mile (4.023-kilometer) high-banked Daytona Beach, Florida oval.
Following The Money Team Racing’s confirmation of Conor Daly for the No. 50 Chevrolet, each and every one of those 42 confirmed cars now has a confirmed driver.
But one of the cars that had long had a confirmed driver for the NASCAR Cup Series season opener remained without a car number.
Front Row Motorsports announced last year that they planned to field a third car for reigning Truck Series champion Zane Smith in the 65th annual running of the Great American Race.
It has now been confirmed that Smith will use the No. 36 for this entry.
The No. 36 was the number that many had anticipated Front Row Motorsports would use for Smith’s Ford. Smith drives the No. 38 Ford for the team in the Truck Series, but the No. 38 is already being used by teammate Todd Gilliland on the Cup Series side.
When Front Row Motorsports last fielded a third entry, they did so in the 2021 Daytona 500, a race they won with Michael McDowell behind the wheel of the No. 34 Ford. David Ragan drove the team’s third entry, which used the No. 36, in this race. Additionally, when the team ran three full-time entries in 2019, the No. 36 Ford was their third car.
Smith is also set to compete in select races behind the wheel of the No. 38 Ford later this year, as Gilliland will no longer compete full-time.
Because he isn’t driving a chartered car at Daytona International Speedway, however, Smith isn’t locked into the Daytona 500.
He must qualify either via his speed in the single-car qualifying session (Wednesday, February 15 at 8:15 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1) or his result in his Bluegreen Vacations Duel race (Thursday, February 16 at 7:00 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1).
Only four of the non-chartered cars will lock into the 40-car field, as the 36 chartered entries are already locked in.
The Daytona 500 is set to be broadcast live on Fox from Daytona International Speedway starting at 2:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, February 19. Begin a free trial of FuboTV and don’t miss it!