Helio Castroneves said during his IMSA media availability ahead of this weekend’s 61st annual Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona that the door has pretty much shut on his aspirations of running in next month’s 65th annual Daytona 500. However, he’s not saying never still.
See, the four-time Indianapolis 500 champion said that he had a deal with Don Hawk that if he could win an SRX race then Hawk would find Castroneves at Daytona 500 opportunity.
Hawk was true to his word. He was trying. The most logical fit was with the Trackhouse Project91 car. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to get that car as a viable option for Daytona. That ride won’t be in Daytona next month.
The Money Team with Floyd Mayweather looked the most promising, but Castroneves said that the opportunity will have to wait since the team doesn’t have a charter and with the 47-year-old never having raced a stock car before, let alone at Daytona, and having to race his way in, it didn’t make much sense this year to do so.
With that said, it doesn’t necessarily change the number on the entry-list since TMT wasn’t on it…yet. They were last year and word is they still may be this year too. Kaz Grala is rumored to still be in the hunt to race for them in the Daytona 500 for the second straight year.
Last week, it was unveiled that Travis Pastrana will be the third driver for the 23XI Racing camp. A day later, Chandler Smith was announced as the driver of the third Kaulig car. Neither of those teams have charters for them. Those two announcements in two days brought the car count up to 41 cars for the 40-car field for the upcoming and sold-out Daytona 500 next month.
There’s 36 guaranteed spots into the big race for the chartered teams, followed by the final four spots into the race being taken by open cars. Right now, we have a full field with 1 being bumped out.
There’s some teams still left with TMT, NY Racing Team, Team Hezeberg and MBM each showed up last Speedweeks but there’s been nothing concrete whether each will this year.
So will the Duels mean anything this year? Right now, yes.
In 2018, there were no extra cars with 40 cars showing up for 40 spots. In 2019, we had six open cars meaning two wouldn’t make it. 2020 saw seven open cars and 2021 with eight. Last year we had six again.
- Hendrick Motorsports (4) – Kyle Larson (No. 5), Chase Elliott (No. 9), William Byron (No. 24) and Alex Bowman (No. 48)
- Trackhouse Racing (2) – Ross Chastain (No. 1) and Daniel Suarez (No. 99)
- Richard Childress Racing (2) – Austin Dillon (No. 3), Kyle Busch (No. 8)
- Legacy Motor Club (2) – Noah Gragson (No. 42), Erik Jones (No. 43)
- Kaulig Racing (2) – AJ Allmendinger (No. 16), Justin Haley (No. 31)
- Spire Motorsports (2) – Corey LaJoie (No. 7), Ty Dillon (No. 77)
- JTG Daugherty Racing (1) – Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (No. 47)
- Live Fast Motorsports (1) – BJ McLeod (No. 78)
- Stewart-Haas Racing (4) – Kevin Harvick (No. 4), Aric Almirola (No. 10), Chase Briscoe (No. 14), Ryan Preece (No. 41).
- Team Penske (3) – Austin Cindric (No. 2), Ryan Blaney (No. 12), Joey Logano (No. 22).
- RFK Racing (2) – Brad Keselowksi (No. 6), Chris Buescher (No. 17)
- Rick Ware Racing (2) – 2 seats are open for 2023.
- Front Row Motorsports (2) – Michael McDowell (No. 34), Todd Gilliland (No. 38)
- Wood Brothers (1) – Harrison Burton is back in 2023.
- Joe Gibbs Racing (4) – Denny Hamlin (No. 11), Martin Truex Jr. (No. 19), Christopher Bell (No. 20), Ty Gibbs R (No. 54)
- 23XI Racing (2) – Bubba Wallace (No. 23), Tyler Reddick (No. 45)
Open Cars (5)
- Front Row Motorsports (1) – Zane Smith R (No. 36)
- Beard Motorsports (1) – Austin Hill R (No. 62)
- Legacy Motor Club (1) – Jimmie Johnson (No. 84)
- 23XI Racing (1) – Travis Pastrana (No. 67)
- Kaulig Racing (1) – Chandler Smith (No. 13)
- The Money Team (1) – No. 50 Chevrolet
- NY Racing Team (1) – No. 44 Chevrolet
- MBM Motorsports (1) – No. 66 Ford
- Team Hezeberg (1) – No. 27 Ford