NASCAR officially begins the 2024 season at Daytona International Speedway where all three national series and the ARCA Menards Series will compete. The weekend culminates with the 66th Daytona 500 on Sunday, where the new Toyota Camry XSE pace car will lead the field to green.
NASCAR National Series – NCS | NXS| NCTS
Hamlin looking to rise historic ranks … Denny Hamlin is one of the most successful drivers in Daytona 500 history with three victories (2016, 2019 and 2020). Should he claim his fourth Great American Race win on Sunday, he would tie the late Cale Yarborough for second all-time in Daytona 500 wins. The 43-year-old is bringing momentum with him to Daytona after claiming victory in the Clash at the Coliseum two weeks ago.
Seven-time champ makes Toyota debut … The long-awaited debut of Jimmie Johnson in a Toyota Camry XSE takes place this week at Daytona International Speedway. Should the seven-time champion qualify for Sunday’s Daytona 500, he’ll be going for his third win to follow his 2006 and 2013 victories.
Toyota superspeedway aces seek Daytona 500 lure … Along with Hamlin, Toyota has an assortment of drivers who thrive at superspeedway races, such as Bubba Wallace of 23XI Racing and Erik Jones of LEGACY MOTOR CLUB. Wallace has two second place finishes at the Great American Race and captured his first Cup victory at Talladega in 2021. Jones won his first Cup race at Daytona in 2018 and claimed victory in the Clash in 2020 there as well. Both look to add a Daytona 500 victory to their superspeedway resume this weekend.
Nemechek returns to Cup Series … After three seasons of Truck Series and Xfinity Series racing, John Hunter Nemechek returns to the NASCAR Cup Series, with Toyota and debuting with LEGACY MOTOR CLUB. The 26-year-old will make his second start in the Great American Race on Sunday, looking to build off an 11th place finish in his lone start in 2020.
Creed debuts in a Toyota GR Supra … Entering his third full-time season in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Sheldon Creed will now pilot a Toyota GR Supra for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR). The 26-year-old is coming off a second-place finish at Daytona last summer, looking to finish one step higher and claim his first career Xfinity Series victory.
JGR brings firepower to Daytona … Along with Creed, JGR has a star-studded lineup for Saturday’s Xfinity Series race with Chandler Smith, Ryan Truex and Nemechek in its stable. Each have a top ten finish at Daytona and look to bring home JGR and Toyota’s fourth Xfinity Series win at the World Center of Racing, and the first since Matt Kenseth in 2013.
Karam returns to Toyota and Sam Hunt Racing … Sage Karam returns to Team Toyota and Sam Hunt Racing for Saturday’s Xfinity Series race after claiming a career-best fourth place finish in his lone start with the team last year at Road America. This will be Karam’s second Xfinity Series start at Daytona, where he finished fifth in the fall race in 2022.
Heim has sights set on Truck Series title in 2024 … After a regular season championship and Championship 4 appearance last season, Corey Heim and TRICON Garage are looking for the ultimate prize in 2024. The new season begins at a track where Heim captured an eighth-place finish last season. A win this weekend would be Heim’s sixth in his Truck Series career and second on a superspeedway (Atlanta 2022).
Breidinger doing double duty at Daytona … Along with her full-time duties in the ARCA Menards Series, Toni Breidinger will run the No. 1 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro in Friday’s Truck Series opener for TRICON Garage. This will be the 24-year-old’s fourth career Truck Series start, after making history last year as the highest finishing female in her debut (15th at Kansas). Breidinger is also making her fourth start at Daytona in ARCA, where her best finish is ninth in 2022.
NASCAR Regional Series – ARCA
Toyota’s full-time drivers seeking first ARCA win … Running full-time in the ARCA Menards Series with Team Toyota in 2024, Breidinger, Kris Wright, and Amber Balcaen will each be seeking their first career victories. Wright will make his ARCA debut on the famed 2.5-mile oval, where Breidinger and Balcaen each have finished in the top 10 previously.
Venturini aims for six of the last seven at Daytona … Venturini Motorsports has been the standard in the ARCA Menards Series at Daytona International Speedway, claiming five of the last six victories. Their most recent triumph was with Heim going back-to-back in 2021 and 2022. They have five optimal chances to capture that victory with Breidinger, Wright, Balcaen, Gus Dean and Jake Finch.
Toyota Racing PR
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