The 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season is rapidly approaching, with the 65th annual Daytona 500 set to open the season on February 19th at Daytona International Speedway. The Daytona 500 is the biggest event of the season, and every team wants to have a chance to compete in this prestigious race. However, with only 40 cars allowed to start the race, there is always the possibility that one or more teams will miss the cutoff and be forced to sit on the sidelines. In this article, we will take a closer look at which teams could miss the 2023 Daytona 500 and why.
The NASCAR Cup Series Field Limit
The NASCAR Cup Series field is limited to 40 cars for each race, including the Daytona 500. This limit is put in place to ensure that the track and pit road are not overcrowded and to prevent safety hazards for the drivers and teams. This means that every Cup Series race will have to leave a few teams out, and the Daytona 500 is no exception.
The Chartered and Non-Chartered Entries
There are two types of entries in the NASCAR Cup Series: chartered entries and non-chartered entries. The chartered entries are guaranteed a starting spot in each race, while the non-chartered entries must qualify for the race through either their speeds in a single-car qualifying session or their results in the Bluegreen Vacations Duels.
The 36 chartered entries are all locked into the Daytona 500, but the six non-chartered entries are all competing for the remaining four spots. This is where we could see one or more teams miss the race.
One-Car Teams Could Miss the Race
One of the biggest factors that could impact which teams miss the 2023 Daytona 500 is the number of cars that each team has entered in the race. Teams that already have two chartered entries in the race will likely have a better chance of making the race with their third entry, but teams with only one entry are at a significant disadvantage.
For example, The Money Team Racing is set to field the No. 50 Chevrolet for Conor Daly, and Beard Motorsports is set to field the No. 62 Chevrolet for Austin Hill. Neither of these teams has a chartered entry, and they will have to qualify for the race through either their speeds in the single-car qualifying session or their results in the Bluegreen Vacations Duels. If all four full-time two-car teams successfully make it in with their third entries, both of these teams could miss the race altogether.
Multiple Teams Could Miss the Race
With six non-chartered entries competing for only four spots in the 2023 Daytona 500, it is possible that multiple teams could miss the race. While some of these teams have a better chance of making it based on their drivers and their track record, there is always a chance that one or more of them could fall short and be left on the sidelines.
It is always difficult for teams to miss the Daytona 500, but it is a reality that they must face each year. With the field limit in place, it is possible that more than one team could miss the race this year, and we will have to wait and see who will be left out when the dust settles.
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The 2023 Daytona 500 is shaping up to be one of the most competitive races in recent years, with a number of top teams and drivers battling for the win. However, with only 40 spots available in the starting grid, it is possible that one or more teams could miss the race.
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