Drivers to watch in NASCAR Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway Trackhouse Racing signs Daniel Suarez to contract extension Hendrick Motorsports signs Alex Bowman, Ally to contract extensions Wednesday NASCAR schedule at Daytona Daytona 500 offers a variety of storylines

NASCAR, celebrating its 75th anniversary season, kicks off the regular season with the Cup Series Daytona 500, the biggest stock car racing event on Sunday.

In recent seasons, the Great American Race has turned into a big American wreck, especially in the last few miles, as drivers race to add their names to one of motor racing’s most respected winning rosters. Since the 2017 Daytona 500, at least 24 cars have been involved in at least one crash in the race. In 2019, 36 people were involved in accidents.

MORE: Kevin Harvick serves as a mentor to young drivers

Sunday’s race will mark a new driver-ownership partnership for the entire season for several teams. Kyle Bush makes his points racing debut for Richard Childress Racing, while Tyler Reddick moves to 23XI Racing. Ryan Price was promoted to the Stewart-Haas Racing Cup, and AJ Allmendinger will race full-time in the Kaulig Racing Cup. Ty Gibbs (Joe Gibbs Racing) and Noah Gragson (Legacy Motor Club) start their first seasons in the Cup.

Here are the riders to look out for in Dayton:


Danny Hamlin

  • Points position – 5th place in 2022
  • Last three races – 9th in Clash, 8th in Phoenix, 5th in Martinsville.
  • Past in Daytona – three wins in the 500th; the only repeat winner in the last 13 years

Hamlin’s recent record in the 500m is exemplary. He won in 2016, ’19 and ’20, finishing second in 2014, third in 2018, fourth in 2015 and fifth in 2021.

Martin Truex Jr.

  • Points position – 17th in 2022
  • Last three races – Won Clash, 15th in Phoenix, 20th in Martinsville.
  • Past in Daytona – No wins in 18 Daytona 500 starts, lost by inches in 2016.

Last year, Truex lost, but on February 5 in Los Angeles, they took the Clash to a spectacular win. It was close to 500 but didn’t make it.

Kyle Bush

  • Points position – 13th in 2022
  • Last three races – 3rd in Clash, 7th in Phoenix, 29th in Martinsville.
  • Past in Dayton – Busch won 60 Cup races but 0 out of 17 in 500

Busch will make his 18th start in the 500, a race in which he led for 324 laps but did not enter Victory Lane. Could a new ride with Richard Childress Racing open that door?

MORE: Dr. Diandra: Identifying the Top 10 Daytona Drivers


Jimmie Johnson

  • Points position – did not participate
  • Last three races – (2020) 5th in Phoenix, 30th in Martinsville, 36th in Texas.
  • Past in Daytona – 500 wins in 2006 and 2013.

The seven-time champion is back. Running a part-time schedule for the Legacy Motor Club, he will attempt to qualify for the 500 and could be a contender.

Bubba Wallace

  • Points position – 19th in 2022
  • Last three races – 22nd in Clash, 22nd in Phoenix, 8th in Martinsville.
  • Past in Dayton – second place in two of the last three races in Dayton.

Wallace lost the 500 by 0.036 seconds in overtime in 2022. He also finished second in 2018.

Ryan Blaney

  • Points position – 8th in 2022
  • Last three races – 17th in Clash, 2nd in Phoenix, 3rd in Martinsville.
  • The Dayton Past is one of only five active riders to finish second in a 500 race without a win.

Blaney has finished sixth or better in four of the last six races at Daytona but failed to complete the draft for a 500-point win.

DAYTONA BEACH, FL – Trackhouse Racing signs contract Daniel Suarez a multi-year contract extension, the team announced on Wednesday.

The 31-year-old is starting his third season with Trackhouse Racing. His contract was supposed to expire after this season. Last season, Suarez won his first Cup victory and made it to the playoffs for the first time.

MORE: Hendrick Motorsports signs new deal with Alex Bowman

“Obviously everyone at Trackhouse Racing is happy with Daniel’s performance and professionalism both on and off the track,” said the team owner. Justin Marks in the team statement. “Culture was paramount as the Trackhouse idea only existed on a whiteboard in the office. Daniel has exceeded all expectations and we look forward to the future. The best is yet to come.”

In a team statement, Suarez said: “Trackhouse is my home and I am very happy with this announcement,” said Suarez, who is starting his third season at Trackhouse and seventh in the Cup Series. “We are creating something special for the #99 team and for Trackhouse Racing. We can’t wait for the season to start on Sunday.”

DAYTONA BEACH, Florida – Hendrick Motorsports signed Alex Bowman on a new three-year contract and sponsor Ally Financial on a five-year contract extension, the team announced Wednesday.

Bowman’s contract expired at the end of this season. His new contract will extend his 2026 season.

The 29-year-old Bowman has seven Career Cup victories. He has made the playoffs in every one of his last five seasons.

Ellie’s contract also expired at the end of the season. Its extension allows the company to remain the main sponsor of the No. 48 car for the entire season into the 2028 season.

“When Ellie makes a commitment, they all inRick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports, said in a team statement. “It was extremely rewarding to see their passion for the #48 team and the unique ways they use sponsorship to interact with our fans.

“These initiatives not only have a positive impact on Ally’s business, but also have a lasting impact on the communities in which we race. This special partnership is just beginning.

“We are very excited to partner with Alex, who is one of the brightest young stars in NASCAR. In addition to being extremely talented, he has an incredible passion and dedication that sets him apart from others. He is an established winner and I don’t know anyone who has worked harder to reach that level.”

Bowman said in a team statement: “It’s hard to put into words what this opportunity means to me. The support of a sponsor like Ellie, a car owner like Mr. Hendrick and a team like Hendrick Motorsports is all you need as a race car driver. I’m excited about what’s in store for Ally 48 this season and I love the direction we’re heading in. We have a lot of work to do and it all starts this week in Dayton.”

With the signing of Bowman, Hendrik locked out all four of his Cup drivers until at least 2025.

William Byroncontract until 2025.

Kyle Larson and Bowman are under contract until 2026.

Chase ElliottThe contract with the club runs until the 2027 season.

Alex Bowman looking to earn his record-breaking sixth consecutive front-row start at the Daytona 500 in qualifying…


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