Most of the pieces are in place for the field for this year’s Daytona 500. An unofficial list of those confirmed to compete in the race are below, with a handful of other notes to follow. We’ll break it down by manufacturer:
- Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates: 1-Jamie McMurray, 42-Kyle Larson (R)
- Richard Childress Racing: 3-Austin Dillon (R), 27-Paul Menard, 31-Ryan Newman, 33-Brian Scott
- Stewart-Haas Racing: 4-Kevin Harvick, 10-Danica Patrick, 14-Tony Stewart, 41-Kurt Busch
- Hendrick Motorsports: 5-Kasey Kahne, 24-Jeff Gordon, 48-Jimmie Johnson, 88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.
- Tommy Baldwin Racing: 7-Michael Annett (R), 36-Reed Sorenson
- Germain Racing: 13-Casey Mears
- JTG Daugherty Racing: 47-AJ Allmendinger
- HScott Motorsports: 51-Justin Allgaier (R), 52-Bobby Labonte
- Furniture Row Racing: 78-Martin Truex Jr.
- Phil Parsons Racing: 98-Josh Wise
- Team Penske: 2-Brad Keselowski, 22-Joey Logano
- Richard Petty Motorsports: 9-Marcos Ambrose, 43-Aric Almirola
- Roush Fenway Racing: 16-Greg Biffle, 17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 99-Carl Edwards
- Wood Brothers: 21-Trevor Bayne
- Go Fas Racing: 32-Terry Labonte
- Front Row Motorsports: 34-David Ragan, 35-Eric McClure, 38-David Gilliland
- Randy Humphrey Racing: 77-Dave Blaney
- Brian Keselowski Motorsports: 92-Brian Keselowski
- Leavine Family Racing: 95-Michael McDowell
- Joe Gibbs Racing: 11-Denny Hamlin, 18-Kyle Busch, 20-Matt Kenseth
- Michael Waltrip Racing: 15-Clint Bowyer, 55-Brian Vickers, 66-Michael Waltrip*, 87-Joe Nemechek*
- BK Racing: 23-Alex Bowman (R), 83-Ryan Truex (R), 93-Morgan Shepherd**
- Swan Racing: 26-Cole Whitt (R), 30-Parker Kligerman (R)
*Denotes that Waltrip and Nemechek will be sharing No. 66 in MWR/Jay Robinson Racing partnership for the remainder of the season. Nemechek is expected to qualify for the Daytona 500 in his own No. 87 Toyota.
**Shepherd’s No. 93 is from BK Racing, but not run by the team.
There are at least two other cars that could be added to the above entries. Landon Cassill, who has been reported to return with Circle Sport Racing, would have to qualify in the team’s No. 40 Chevrolet with Brian Scott of RCR using No. 33 for the 500. Meanwhlile J.J. Yeley wrote on his Facebook page he has a confirmed Cup ride, but said details would need to wait.
We’re looking at roughly between 48 to 51 cars attempting to qualify for the 43 spots in this year’s Daytona 500. The official entry list should be out late next week, as Daytona Speedweeks begins.
Notes from the last week or so in the busy, wild world of sports car racing:
- Flying Lizard Motorsports benefitted from late-race issues that hit the Ryno Racing Team, where the right rear stub axle broke on its Ginetta G57 LMP3. The Lizard’s No. 45 Audi R8 LMS of Darren Law, Johannes van Overbeek, Mike Hedlund and Dion von Moltke delivered a flawless drive en route to the win, the car’s second straight. More here from Sportscar365.
- Rebellion Racing confirmed a Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup entry. Nick Heidfeld, Neel Jani and Sebastien Buemi will be an all-star lineup in the team’s Oreca 07 at the 51st running of the 24 Hours of Daytona, January 26-29, and at the Roar, January 6-9.
- Grasser Racing Team will run a two-car Lamborghini Huracán GT3 effort at the Rolex 24 at Daytona. Rolf Ineichen (Switzerland), Christian Engelhart (Germany), Mirko Bortolotti (Italy) and Ezequil Companc (Argentina) will be in one car, with Ineichen and Engelhart the first two drivers listed for the second car.
- Former Fall-Line Motorsports team manager Michael Harvey has been named Director of Race Operations for VISIT FLORIDA Racing, which is a great get for the Troy Flis-owned team. Renger van der Zande and Marc Goossens are the team’s full-season drivers for the No. 90 Riley-Gibson car.
- IMSA has confirmed a couple things on the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge – which is linked here.
- Mercedes-AMG will build a GT4. More here from Sportscar365.
- Two Porsche announcements in PWC. Patrick Long will be back with Wright Motorsports in its No. 58 Porsche 911 GT3 R, while Jon Fogarty will be back in a Porsche, following a surprise switch by the GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing from McLaren this year.
In this video produced by the Road Racing Drivers Club SAFEisFAST initiative, we take a look behind the scenes at the Verizon IndyCar Series’ unsung heroes: the Holmatro Safety Team.
You’ve heard about their heroic efforts over the years, particularly with saving James Hinchcliffe’s life last year in Indianapolis.
But how do they do what they do? This video explains it.
The partnership between Red Bull Racing and Aston Martin will continue into 2017, Red Bull confirmed on Tuesday.
Branding on the Red Bull Formula 1 chassis will continue, while bigger news has come in terms of the AM-RB 001 hypercar.
Red Bull and Aston Martin announced that all 150 road-going cars of the 175 cars built (the other 25 are track-only specials) have been sold and customer deliveries will begin in early 2019.
An AM-RB 001 prototype is expected to run for the first time by the end of this season.
“We first conceived our Innovation Partnership with Aston Martin in the realization that it could be truly pioneering,” said Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing team principal.
“In blending our distinct but unique skills under a shared creative vision, we have already seen tangible development to both of our brands and businesses. The extraordinary success of the AM RB-001 is testament to the expert and collaborative spirit in which it was forged, and extending our relationship with Aston Martin through 2017 was a simple and pleasing decision.”
Aston Martin President and CEO Andy Palmer added, “By bringing together the talents of Red Bull Racing and Aston Martin, AM-RB 001 is destined to become the defining hypercar of this decade and a hugely desirable investment for collectors and enthusiasts.
“Our relationship with Red Bull Racing has done for Aston Martin exactly what we expected it to do,” he continued. “It is helping us to continue to build our brand across the globe. Partnerships like this are good for business both in terms of technical innovation and brand awareness, so we are pleased to continue into 2017.”
The FIA World Endurance Championship Prologue has shifted dates, moving from its originally scheduled March 24-25 date to April 1-2 still at Autodromo di Nazionale, Monza.
The reasoning is that His Holiness Pope Francis will be making an official visit to Monza on those dates. Naturally, organizational, security and logistical preferences will follow for that.
The European Le Mans Series continues as planned on March 28 and 29 with its preseason test.
For fans of clashes, two more have been created on account of this date shift. The FIA Formula E Championship race at Mexico and Blancpain GT Series season opener at Misano fall on the same weekend as the Prologue.
The full revised calendar (for the moment, and for the last time, we hope) is below.