Several INDYCAR drivers already named for Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona seats

INDIANAPOLIS — The offseason may be in full swing but it’s not slowed down the racing news for opportunities outside of the NTT INDYCAR Series. With the annual Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona taking place next month, rides are starting to be solidified among the prestigious race.

Just in recent weeks, 3 of the top 4 of the finishing order in this past year’s final standings have all landed rides in the endurance race on the high banks of the Daytona International Speedway.

Scott Dixon is back with Cadillac in the new GTP class. On Monday, it was unveiled that the Team Penske duo of Josef Newgarden and his teammate Scott McLaughlin will race for Tower Motorsports in LMP2. On Tuesday, it was announced that Romain Grosjean will make his Daytona debut with Iron Lynx in a new Lamborghini in GTD Pro.

On Wednesday, it was unveiled that Rinus VeeKay will return to Daytona and race with TDS Racing.

This bumps the count up to 8 full-time NTT INDYCAR Series drivers racing at Daytona at the end of January. We already knew that Colton Herta would be with BMW M Team RLL in GTP while the MSR Acura will feature both Simon Pagenaud and Helio Castroneves.

The thing is, I’m expecting more to join them.

Last year, nearly half of the full-time field (12 of 25) raced. While I don’t see a clear path for Jimmie Johnson to try it again, nor Alexander Rossi, I even wonder on Alex Palou. However, what about defending Indianapolis 500 champion Marcus Ericsson? I have heard Devlin DeFrancesco and Kyle Kirkwood could be back meaning all four Andretti Autosport drivers will race.

Pato O’Ward also raced last year. Can he find a seat?

The full-time drivers who didn’t race in this event last year were Dalton Kellett, Grosjean, Felix Rosenqvist, David Malukas, Takuma Sato, Conor Daly, Callum Ilott, Graham Rahal, Christian Lundgaard, Jack Havey and the entire Team Penske trio of Will Power, Newgarden and McLaughlin.

Now you add Newgarden, McLaughlin and Grosjean into the mix as confirmations. Which is why I can see a path to getting to almost half of the field again racing in Daytona next month.

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