Seventy-four drivers spread across 39 cars have been entered for the upcoming Pre-race Practice for the ARCA Menards Series season opener at Daytona International Speedway.
Headlined by Australian superstar Shane Van Gisbergen, who won the NASCAR Cup Series first-ever street course race in his series debut in 2022, and Indycar star Marco Andretti, the grandson of 1967 Daytona 500 winner and 1969 Indianapolis 500 winner Mario Andretti, the entry list also includes defending race winner Greg Van Alst and a slew of drivers chasing the 2024 series championship.
Last year’s series runner-up Andres Perez returns in 2024 looking to make his first start at Daytona. Perez was just shy of his 18th birthday last season and was not permitted to start the race due to age restrictions. He’ll be joined by his Rev Racing teammate Lavar Scott, who finished fourth in his series debut at Daytona last February and has indicated he will also pursue the 2024 series championship.
Kris Wright has teamed with Venturini Motorsports for a full season run in 2024, while Christian Rose will return to AM Racing as he makes his second run at the title. Bounty Rookie Challenge contender Caleb Costner will chase after the title with his self-owned Costner-Weaver Motorsports team, and Tonawanda, New York native Andy Jankowiak has also indicated he will pursue the championship with the Kevin Lapierre and Andy Suess-owned KLAS Motorsports team.
William Sawalich and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series regular Taylor Gray will share driving duties in the Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota over the course of the weekend. Sawalich, the 2023 ARCA Menards Series East champion, will make his first laps at Daytona in the practice but like Perez last year, he will not participate in the race due to age restrictions.
Wright will be joined in the Venturini Motorsports fleet by Jake Finch, Amber Balcaen, Toni Breidinger, and Gus Dean. Balcaen finished a career-best sixth at Daytona last season, and Dean is a former winner at Talladega Superspeedway. Breidinger closed her partial 2023 season with seven top-ten finishes in her last eight starts, including four in the top five with her best a third at Kansas Speedway in September. Finch, who won the ARCA Menards Series East race at Dover Motor Speedway last April, will look to make his first career start at Daytona; his father James Finch was the winning team owner at Daytona in both 1993 and 1996 with Jeff Purvis driving.
Perennial superspeedway contender Sean Corr, who finished third last season, is also entered as is last year’s fifth-place finisher Mandy Chick, who returns with her family-owned team. NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour standout Patrick Emerling is entered as the driver of his self-owned Emerling Motorsports Ford. Emerling’s team finished 14th in last year’s race with former Daytona pole winner Natalie Decker driving. Willie Mullins, who finished second in 2018, is also entered along with Michigan’s Scott Melton, who will shake down a pair of Fords prepared by former championship-winning crew chief and car owner Bill Kimmel.
Former ARCA Menards Series East Bounty Rookie of the Year Leland Honeyman will take to the track with Youngs Motorsports, the team he will run the full NASCAR Xfinity Series season with in 2024. Carson Kvapil, a two-time CARS Tour champion, will also participate in the weekend’s activities.
Andy Hillenburg’s Fast Track High Performance Racing Team has entered five cars for the pre-race practice, which will be shared by 13 different drivers.
The 2024 ARCA Menards Series season kicks off at Daytona with practice on Thursday, February 15, General Tire Pole Qualifying on Friday, February 16, and the 61st Annual Daytona ARCA 200 set for 1:30 pm ET on Saturday, February 17. The race will be televised live on FS1 and broadcast nationwide on select affiliates of the MRN Radio Network. Live timing & scoring for all on track sessions is available at ARCARacing.com.