It is hard to believe that the Daytona 500 is only two months away.
However, with teams and drivers well into the midst of setting their plans for the 2024 season, it is a tell-tale sign of how close we truly are coming up on the season.
With deals between drivers and teams coming together, it begins to beg the question as to which teams will be taking part as non-chartered entries in the Daytona 500 come February.
For many tandems, this may be the only race that they compete in given the stature and prestige of winning the Daytona 500, while other crews will get some more track time over the course of the season with the addition of The Great American Race.
Nevertheless, it makes people wonder who would be bringing their Next Gen car come February to try and win the Harley J. Earl Trophy. And with some teams who have given this event a one-off shot over the years, the speculation of who could come can be exponential.
So far, it seems that two teams are practically confirmed, with the new #60 entry by RFK Racing confirming their mark with David Ragan behind the wheel and Live Fast Motorsports, who have plans to run a part-time schedule in 2024 with BJ McLeod, but here are three teams that could be a potential running in next year’s big race.
- Front Row Motorsports
The first two teams may be more plausible given their extensive involvement in NASCAR. But, Front Row Motorsports has an edge given the manufacturer involved.
While it may be harder this season for Front Row to field a third car given Zane Smith no longer being part of the program, Front Row fielding a third car still has some mustard to it.
Front Row Motorsports has had success on superspeedway, let alone Ford, winning the 2021 and 2022 Daytona 500s.
Having another Ford on the grid would be no surprise given the past successes the Blue Oval has had at one of NASCAR’s storied tracks and with a chance to add another trophy to the case, having Front Row field three cars next year would be mouthwatering for the manufacturer.
Going back in regards to who could drive the entry, there are options there, with potential for a Xfinity or Truck driver to jump behind the wheel, but, one driver that could be the most plausible is Brett Moffitt, racing in a one-off for the last season in the Truck series for Front Row.
No matter what, Front Row has potential to see an extra car on the grid to battle for the team’s second 500, especially given how dominant the Fords have been.
- Kaulig Racing
The second team that really should come as no surprise is Kaulig Racing.
While their two-car tandem is up in the air due to AJ Almendinger jumping back to the Xfinity Series, the chance for the team to run three cars is still on the table.
Depending on the team’s plans for the #16, it could shift the idea of fielding three cars, but ideally, having The Dinger in the #16 and potentially one of the team’s other drivers in the system such as Josh Williams could be a possibility.
Again, given the team’s driver situation, it seems having three cars for Kaulig Racing for the 500 is likely, but this is a team that enjoys the opportunity in racing and, with a chance at winning a major crown, Kaulig may do anything to get to that illustrious win.
Honorable Mention: The Money Team Racing
The Money Team is one of the biggest wild card teams in this entire equation.
The team, owned in some capacity by world champion boxer, Floyd Mayweather, has competed in the past two Daytona 500s, in boxing terms going 2-0 in regards to qualifying for the Great American Race.
Mayweather’s NASCAR team had major struggles last season with their entry featuring former IndyCar regular Conor Daly and with the team not really being heard from since their last race at COTA, there is uncertainty of what the future holds for this group.
One thing is for certain, this team will have to be much better than what they had last season if they want to qualify for the big dance if you will but The Money Team Racing could come from out of the shadows and look to keep Floyd undefeated in qualifying for the Daytona 500…
- Beard Motorsports
Beard Motorsports is the final team that realistically could be seeing themselves in the Daytona 500 next season.
While this may also be a predictable choice, Beard Motorsports has at least proven to be a regular in a part-time role, fielding a car in six races last season.
For Beard Motorsports, there are options in regards to drivers who could be behind the wheel of the #62 Chevrolet Camaro, getting the pick of the liter from Chevy’s Xfinity and Truck Series options, with drivers such as Ty Dillon, Justin Allgier, Brandon Jones or even Austin Hill as potential suitors.
Given their choice if the team makes the trip to Daytona, Beard Motorsports has a chance to be solid in regards to the lead up to the Daytona 500 during qualifying and even the Duels, with a chance to lock themselves in on Qualify Day.