The Daytona 500 Entry List Expands With a New Driver

Conor Daly

Getty Conor Daly (left) will attempt to qualify for the Daytona 500.

The Daytona 500 entry list has expanded once again as TMT Racing returns with a new driver. Conor Daly will attempt to qualify for the season-opening NASCAR Cup Series race.

TMT Racing announced the news on February 7. The Floyd Mayweather-owned team confirmed that it will return for the Crown Jewel event, this time with the NTT IndyCar Series driver behind the wheel instead of Kaz Grala. BitNile will continue to support Daly’s racing career while serving as the primary partner.

“To have a chance to try and qualify for the #Daytona500 is an incredible opportunity!” Daly tweeted after TMT Racing announced the news. “A monumental challenge against some great drivers and teams with no practice but we will give it our best shot!”

Daly Faces a Stacked Lineup of Cup Series Competitors

Conor Daly

GettyConor Daly races at the Charlotte Roval.

Qualifying for the Daytona 500 will be a significant challenge for Daly. He only has one NASCAR Cup Series start on his resume, which took place when he joined TMT Racing at the Charlotte Roval in 2022. He will also face off with a stacked field of drivers in open entries as he makes his superspeedway debut.

The current list features 42 entries, 36 of which have charters. Only 40 can make the show, so two will go home early after qualifying and the Bluegreen Vacations Duels.

Daly will drive for TMT Racing while Jimmie Johnson will make his return to the Cup Series for Legacy Motor Club. Meanwhile, Chandler Smith will drive for Kaulig Racing while reigning Craftsman Truck Series champion Zane Smith will drive for Front Row Motorsports.

The final two entries feature a rising driver and a motorsports icon as they both attempt to secure spots in the Great American Race. Travis Pastrana will suit up for 23XI Racing while Austin Hill will join Beard Motorsports.

TMT Racing Qualified for the Daytona 500 in 2022

TMT Racing

GettyKaz Grala’s crew makes a pit stop during the Daytona 500.

The 2022 season marked the first time that TMT Racing competed in the Cup Series. The team made its debut with Grala as the driver, and it attempted to qualify for the Daytona 500.

The Massachusetts native was able to achieve this goal for the young team. He took one of the final two spots after passing JJ Yeley in the first Bluegreen Vacations Duel. Greg Biffle then took the second for NY Racing Team after passing Timmy Hill.

The 2022 iteration of Speedweeks marked the second time that Grala was able to race his way into the Crown Jewel event. He also did so in 2021 while driving for Kaulig Racing. Grala beat out Noah Gragson in a Beard Motorsports entry and Garrett Smithely in an MBM Motorsports entry.

A crash in 2021 relegated Grala to a 28th-place finish. A lost wheel played a role in his finishing 26th during the 2022 Daytona 500. Now, Daly will take over the TMT Racing entry while trying to secure his spot in the Crown Jewel event. If he can achieve this goal, he will then attempt complete every lap of the Daytona 500 while turning in a strong performance.

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