At least one car will not make it into the field for this year’s NASCAR Cup Series season-opening Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway.
The NASCAR Cup Series has managed to avoid the first Daytona 500 without at least 40 cars, despite an offseason full of speculation that the field may not reach the 40-car cap for the 2022 season opener. This race is set to mark the official debut of the Gen 7 car.
The 36 chartered entries are locked into the field, meaning that there are four open spots for which the non-chartered entries will battle in the single-car qualifying session and then in the Bluegreen Vacations Duels.
The five non-chartered entries include two MBM Motorsports entries, the # 55 Ford (JJ Yeley) and the # 66 Ford (Timmy Hill), as well as the # 27 Team Hezeberg powered by Reaume Brothers Racing Ford (Jacques Villeneuve), the # 50 The Money Team Racing Chevrolet (Kaz Grala) and the # 62 Beard Motorsports Chevrolet (Noah Gragson).
It is also expected that NY Racing Team will confirm their # 44 Chevrolet for Greg Biffle in the coming days.
They have not competed in a Cup Series race since 2018, and they have not competed in a Daytona 500 since 2015. Biffle has not competed in either since 2016.
Last year, there were eight non-chartered entries battling for the final four spots. Interestingly, only three of these eight entries have returned for 2022, and all three were among the four that failed to qualify for the race last year.
Both MBM Motorsports entries missed out, as did the Beard Motorsports entry. The only two changes to any of these three entries are that Yeley, not Garrett Smithley, is set to be behind the wheel of the second MBM Motorsports Ford this year, and that car is the # 55 Ford, not the # 13 Ford.
Fortunately for them, this year, at least one of them is guaranteed to be in the race – and at least two if the NY Racing Team car does not end up being confirmed.
So who will end up on the outside looking in after the Bluegreen Vacations Duels, which are set to be broadcast live on Fox Sports 1 from Daytona International Speedway on Thursday, February 17 beginning at 7:00 pm ET? The Daytona 500 is set to be broadcast live on Fox on Sunday, February 20 beginning at 2:30 pm ET. If you have not yet started your free trial of FuboTVnow would be a great time to do so!