The Christmas and New Year breaks are now over. After seeing a flurry of racing announcements between mid November and up until the close of the year, the racing world went a bit quiet between the holiday weekends. That’s a good thing. But, now that it’s officially 2021, lets look back on what has transpired for entry lists for the two big motor racing events this month.
There’s plenty of NASCAR and INDYCAR star power in both the Chili Bowl as well as the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona. Both events take place later this month.
Here’s who’s racing where so far.
Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals
Right now, almost 300 Midgets are on the prestigious entry list with several of them having INDYCAR or NASCAR ties.
The lone INDYCAR representative right now is Santino Ferrucci. Last year, he, Conor Daly and James Davison went south for the indoor Midget event and had a lot of fun. So much so, Ferrucci will be back it seems.
While it’s not been formally announced yet, Ferrucci is on the entry list for the No. 10 Dave Mac Motorsports entry.
We also have 13 NASCAR drivers already entered with the headliner being Chase Elliott. This will be Elliott’s first Chili Bowl appearance as he’s already been racing on some dirt tracks in a midget down south to prepare for this event. He will drive the No. 9E Paul May – DIAEDGE Racing entry.
Joining him as NASCAR representatives are the usual suspects too. Kyle Larson is back to defend his crown in the No. 01 entry. Larson, tore up the dirt tracks across the US this past summer and has made nine A-Main appearances. He was second in 2019 and won last year.
Christopher Bell is back in the No. 84X Midget. Bell, has seven A-Main starts including three wins (2017, 2018, 2019) and a runner-up last year. Five of his seven A-Main appearances have seen him finish in the top three.
Newly signed SHR Cup driver Chase Briscoe is back in the No. 5 entry. He’s made on A-Main in 2017 and finished 22nd.
CMR will have Ryan Newman and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
JJ Yeley and Justin Allgaier are back too. So is former Truck Series driver Rico Abreu. He’s made the A-Main eight times including two wins (2015, 2016) and was fifth last year. Former Cup Series driver Kasey Kahne is back too in the No. 57W car. He has seven A-Mains to his credit but none since 2016. His best finish is sixth in 2002.
Also, you have Cody Ware (No. 17D) and Brett Moffitt (No. 45M) joining Elliott in making their Chili Bowl debuts as well.
For a full entry list, click here
There were 359 entries last year, so as you can tell, there’s still room for plenty more. 375 Midgets showed up for the 24 spots in 2017. That’s a year after the smallest amount over the last five years of 349 coming to Tulsa in 2016.
We saw 357 cars show up in 2018 and 362 more in 2019.
Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona
The defending NASCAR Cup Series champion will make his Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona debut. The defending NTT IndyCar Series champion in Scott Dixon will doing the same. The annual endurance race almost always has it’s fair share of an all-star cast, but this year’s field is as good as ever.
We have some NASCAR ties but even more from the Indy Car side. Four of the top nine in the final points standings from 2020, including two of the top three drivers will be a part of the field. 13 drivers who made at least one start in Indy Car last year will be represented in Daytona across all the classes this year.
Who are they and who do they join?
Well so far, you have plenty of INDYCAR and NASCAR ties.
Elliott enters his first 24 hour race as a part of Action Express’ No. 31 Cadillac in the DPi category. He will be teamed with Mike Conway, Pipo Derani and Felipe Nasr. Elliott, is a road racing ace. His first career Cup win came at Watkins Glen. He’s won the last two races there. He’s also won the last two races on the Charlotte ROVAL as well as the Cup race on the Daytona road course last August.
Jimmie Johnson will also race for Action Express in the No. 48 Cadillac. He’s teaming with Simon Pagenaud, Kamui Kobayashi and Mike Rockenfeller.
AJ Allmendinger will race for Meyer Shank Racing’s No. 60 Acura with Juan Pablo Montoya, Dane Cameron and Olivier Pia.
You’ll also have Sebastien Bourdais (No. 5 JDC Mustang Sampling Cadillac) as well as Helio Castroneves and Alexander Rossi in the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura too.
Kevin Magnussen, Renger van der Zande and Scott Dixon are confirmed for the Ganassi entry. Marcus Ericsson is to be the expected fourth driver to round out the lineup.
DragonSpeed and Rinus VeeKay/Ben Hanley/DevlinDeFrancesco will highlight the LMP2 class with NASCAR’s Cody Ware and Austin Dillon joining in a RWR Eurasia entry.
For LMP3 you’ll have Oliver Askew and now Spencer Pigot with Riley Motorsport.
In GTLM you have Rahal/Letterman/Lanigan Racing with a two car BMW outfit competing for a Rolex there.
Then Vasser Sullivan Racing has two cars in GTD. Jack Hawksworth and Aaron Telitz will be in at least one of them. Zach Veach, Robert Megennis and Townsend Bell will be in the other.
Scuderia Corsa in that category will feature both Ryan Briscoe and Ed Jones in a Ferrari. Colton Herta will drive a BMW for Turner Motorsport.
NTE Sport Audi will have JR Hildebrand.
There’s likely more announcements to come soon on this front.