But Which of our Unheralded Cup Interlopers will Make the Show?
Otay, so much for Ye No Fenders Blog moniker. Although this is about the only time of year I bother paying Any close Attenzione to Dem’ RASSCAR’ Taxicab Bombers. As I can hardly wait to Hear Mike Joy telling us how Thar the Gurr-Reatest’ Drivers in the World, Barf!
As what a difference a year makes, Eh? Since around this time last year, All of the Buzz was over some former Formula 1 Champion from Up North Eh! Named Jacques Villeneuve had impressively made His way into His Debutante 500 on Qualifying Speed…
Yet I have to say I’m most interested this February over whether or not Travis Pastrana could “race” His way into this year’s Daytona 500?
Tend to believe it was Fox’s New Pitlane Reporter Josh Somebody who made the comment. Noting that Travis was a “Big dude!” And He looked like He could be a tight end!
As Y’all may know, NASCAR has 36 Franchise, Err Charter Member entries for it’s series, ensuring participation in All of it’s races. Leaving just four “Slots” open on the Grid for Non Charter Teams to attempt making the race.
And with Jimmie Johnson having bought an Ownership Stake in what’s now known as Legacy Motor Club, the former Petty GMS Racing operation, albeit “The King!” Aka Richard Petty still has a partial ownership in the new entity. You’d have to say that Johnson’s, whose running a limited season schedule is pretty much a Slam Dunk, meaning there’s really only three places up for grabs at this year’s Great American race…
Pastrana is probably best known for His Amazing Motorcycle Stunt riding in the X Games, where He was the first to ever land a Double Backflip on a motorcycle! Along with being a Four-times consecutive SCCA Rally America Champion. Also racing in the World Rally Championship, (WRC) and other guises of Rally Car racing. Not to mention Stadium Trucks and Hosting His Nitro Circus TV Show.
Travis previously contested the then Nationwide Cup lite’ series circa 2012-2013, which I believe included finishing a race at Daytona International speedway going Backwards thru the grass after being collected in a late race accident! Plus making five RASSCAR Truck races, primarily at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
As Pastrana will attempt making His Daytona 500 debut driving the third 23/XI Racing No. 67 Toyota Camary, alongside it’s regular season drivers Darrell “Bubba” Wallace (#23) and Tyler Reddick. (#45)
Yet I have to say I’m most interested this February over whether or not Travis Pastrana can “race” His way into this year’s Daytona 500?
Although one third of the Non Charter “Open” Cars took themselves out with mechanical issues before Travis rolled off for Qualifying. Suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised that Pastrana “raced” His way into the Daytona 500 by setting the second quickest Qualie’ time behind Jimmie Johnson. After all, you could say that Pastrana was in the second best car…
And the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 runners seem to be the most prolific of the Non Charter members at Day-Toner’. And Arse-sumedly also have the most regular season Cup entries overall. With Johnson’s third #84 Legacy Motor Club Bowtie’ entry presumably being the strongest.
As Johnson’s Full season “Employees” (Drivers) are Eric Jones in the iconic Petty No. 43 and Noah Gragson in the No. 42.
As Gragson’s apparently just one of two Full season Rookies in the Cup Series this year. As Gragson finished Runner-up to Ty Gibbs in last year’s Xfinity series, whose the other Cup rookie, naturally driving for Joe Gibbs Racing.
Gragson also made waves last summer when colliding with Sage Karam at Road America. Triggering a 13-car Pile-up and subsequently being Fined $35,000 and Docked 30 Drivers Points!
While Kaulig Racing will field a third #13 Camaro entry for Chandler Smith. With the team’s two regular season entries being the #16 of A.J. Allmendinger, one of three ex-IndyCar Drivers in the field. Along with Justin Haley in the team’s No. 31 entry.
Can Y’all figure out who the other two former IndyCar Driver’s in this year’s Day-Toner’ 500 are?
As it sounds like Smith is being Fast-tracked for an eventual Cup future with Kaulig Racing. Since after spending time as a RASSCAR’ PickEmUp’ Trucks racer for Kyle Busch Motorsports. Smith has been tabbed to take over Allmendinger’s Cup lite (Xfinity) ride for the 2023 season. Along with attempting to make His Big Boyz’ Cup Debut at Daytona in a limited five race Cup campaign.
Not gonna say anything about His Car number, but! Being the very first Qualifier, His Chevy just simply wouldn’t keep running, as the engine just kept cutting Out! But surely Kaulig will rectify this for His Dual race…
While you’d have to think initially that Austin Hill driving the No. 62 Beard Motorsports Camaro is facing the steepest uphill battle of making the Show. Originally as one of only three single car team entries in the field.
Although ironically, this is the very same team that Gragson made His maiden Daytona 500 start for a year ago. With Gragson later giving the team it’s very first Top-5 finish in the summer’s Daytona race.
As the team has a technical alliance with Richard Childress Racing, (RCR) along with “leasing” chassis from RCR and utilizing ECR engines.
As I’ve just learned that Hill who won His maiden Xfinity race at Daytona last year ahead of A.J. Allmendinger on the race’s final lap, which was overshadowed by Myatt Snider’s vicious crash! Is a Richard Childress Racing Xfity Driver who won last year’s Xfinity Rookie Of the Year. Who also punched Snider in the face at Martinsville, following being Wrecked Out of the Xfinity Playoffs last year by Snider.
As Hill’s made one Monster Energy Cup Big Boyz’ start last year at Michigan and serves as Beard Motorsports Part-time Cup Driver.
Although He’d Hinted at it during Spring Training at the Thermal Club. Conor Daly made it official on February 7th that He would attempt qualifying for this year’s Day-toner’ 500 aboard the No. 50 the Money Team Racing’s Camaro, bBecoming the fourth single car entry.
As Daly has one NASCAR Cup start to His credit, last year’s Charlotte Roval where He finished P34.
This upstart team, that made it’s first four starts in Cup last year is owned by Boxer Floyd Mayweather, and it would be phenomenal if Daly, whose “Day Job” is chauffeuring the No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar could somehow race His way into the Daytona 500. Yet Daly’s never driven at Daytona before, and with No practice is essentially going in “Blind!”
As Daly Didn’t even attempt Qualifying. And later told veteran Reporter Jamie Little that something had happened to the car’s Oil Heater having an electrical failure. At least I think that’s what He said? Since I Didn’t have the volume Jacked Up enough to Hear over the rumble of the Ontrack racecar!
Daly probably has the biggest “Mountain” to climb to make it into the show. But I appreciate His willingness to give it a shot. And who knows? The other three “Open” Drivers, I.e.; Chandler Smith, Austin Hill and Zane Smith vying for the final two Starting spots could All be involved in what RASSCAR’ loves calling “The Big One!” During their respective Dual races…
Meanwhile, the Blue Oval, aka Ford sees just one Non Charter entry being a third Front Row Motorsports for Zane Smith. Who’ll attempt making the show in His No. 36 Ford Mustang alongside team regulars Michael McDowell in the #34 entry. With Todd Gillilan in the team’s No. 38 entry.
As Smith won the 2022 NASCAR Camping World Trucks Championship driving for Front Row Motorsports after finishing Runner-up in 2020-2021. And has also driven Part-time for Junior Motorsports in Cup lite and also raced in Robby Gordon’s Stadium Supertrucks Series.
OH yeah, in case you’re still reading? And Ah-Wonderin’ who the third former IndyCar Driver in this year’s field is? Look no further then the No. 51 Rick Ware Racing Ford Mustang with Cody Ware behind it’s wheel. As Cody joins A.J. Allmendinger and Michael McDowell for this Honour. Whilst Daly is a current IndyCar Driver…