DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The 40 drivers competing in the 2021 Daytona 500, in order of starting position:
No. 48 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports
DRIVER: Alex Bowman
BORN: April 25, 1993
HOMETOWN: Tucson, Arizona
CREW CHIEF: Greg Ives
NOTEWORTHY: On the 500 pole for the second time in the last four years. Had an engine issue in Thursday’s qualifying race but Hendrick Motorsports was hoping it can be fixed and won’t need to be replaced before Sunday.
No. 24 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports
DRIVER: William Byron
BORN: Nov. 29, 1996
HOMETOWN: Charlotte, North Carolina
CREW CHIEF: Rudy Fugle
NOTEWORTHY: Won the last regular-season Cup Series race at Daytona (in August) and earned a spot in the playoff field. Crashed in Thursday qualifying race and moved to a backup car, so he will fall to the back of the field at the start of the Daytona 500.
No. 10 Ford, Stewart-Haas Racing
DRIVER: Aric Almirola
BORN: March 14, 1984
HOMETOWN: Tampa, Florida
CREW CHIEF: Mike Bugarewicz
NOTEWORTHY: Made the playoffs three straight years since replacing Danica Patrick in the No. 10 car. Won the first qualifying race on Thursday.
No. 3 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing
DRIVER: Austin Dillon
BORN: April 27, 1990
HOMETOWN: Welcome, North Carolina
CREW CHIEF: Justin Alexander
SPONSOR: Bass Pro Shops
NOTEWORTHY: The 2018 Daytona 500 champion made the playoffs last season, but was eliminated in the second round. He won the second of two qualifying races Thursday night.
No. 20 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing
DRIVER: Christopher Bell
BORN: Dec. 16, 1994
HOMETOWN: Norman, Oklahoma
CREW CHIEF: Adam Stevens
NOTEWORTHY: Making his JGR debut after racing his rookie year for now-defunct Leavine Family Racing in 2020. Bell was developed by Toyota in the JGR system.
No. 23 Toyota, 23XI Racing
DRIVER: Bubba Wallace
BORN: Oct. 8, 1993
HOMETOWN: Mobile, Alabama
CREW CHIEF: Michael Wheeler
NOTEWORTHY: After a tumultuous final season at RPM, Wallace is making his debut for one of NASCAR’s newest teams — a high-profile ownership group that features fellow Toyota driver Denny Hamlin and basketball great Michael Jordan.
No. 6 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing
DRIVER: Ryan Newman
BORN: Dec. 8, 1977
HOMETOWN: South Bend, Indiana
CREW CHIEF: Scott Graves
SPONSOR: Kohler Generators
NOTEWORTHY: Was in a terrifying wreck on the final lap of last year’s 500 and had to be extracted from his car. Walked out of a hospital two days later, a testament to NASCAR’s safety improvements 20 years after Dale Earnhardt’s death at the track.
No. 4 Ford, Stewart-Haas Racing
DRIVER: Kevin Harvick
BORN: Dec. 8, 1975
HOMETOWN: Bakersfield, California
CREW CHIEF: Rodney Childers
SPONSOR: Busch Light #TheCrew
NOTEWORTHY: Won a series-high nine Cup races in 2020 but missed the finale because of a bad third round in the playoffs. This is his 20th Daytona 500; he was hired days after Earnhardt’s death. The 2014 series champion and perennial title contender won NASCAR’s signature event in 2010.
No. 22 Ford, Team Penske
DRIVER: Joey Logano
BORN: May 24, 1990
HOMETOWN: Middletown, Connecticut
CREW CHIEF: Paul Wolfe
SPONSOR: Shell Pennzoil
NOTEWORTHY: The 2018 series champion has become a perennial title contender since moving to Penske in 2013, finishing in the top 10 seven times in eight years. Logano won the Daytona 500 in 2015.
No. 18 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing
DRIVER: Kyle Busch
BORN: May 2, 1985
HOMETOWN: Las Vegas
CREW CHIEF: Ben Beshore
NOTEWORTHY: Just one win in 2020 for the two-time Cup champion. Winless in 15 Daytona 500 starts. Starts season with new crew chief after splitting with Adam Stevens, who led Busch to both his Cup titles.
No. 37 Chevrolet, JTG-Daugherty Racing
DRIVER: Ryan Preece
BORN: Oct. 25, 1990
HOMETOWN: Hartford, Connecticut
CREW CHIEF: Trent Owens
NOTEWORTHY: Team doesn’t have funding for a full season and no longer has a charter, so it’s unclear how many races he will attempt to qualify for.
No. 9 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports
DRIVER: Chase Elliott
BORN: Nov. 28, 1995
HOMETOWN: Dawsonville, Georgia
CREW CHIEF: Alan Gustafson
SPONSOR: NAPA Auto Parts
NOTEWORTHY: Reigning Cup Series champion and three-time defending winner of NASCAR’s most popular driver award. Son of two-time Daytona 500 champion and Hall of Fame driver Bill Elliott.
No. 5 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports
DRIVER: Kyle Larson
BORN: July 31, 1992
HOMETOWN: Elk Grove, California
CREW CHIEF: Cliff Daniels
SPONSOR: Nations Guard
NOTEWORTHY: Returning to NASCAR after being suspended for much of last season because he used a racial slur during a livestreamed iRacing event. Making his debut with Hendrick Motorsports.
No. 12 Ford, Team Penske
DRIVER: Ryan Blaney
BORN: Dec. 31, 1993
HOMETOWN: High Point, North Carolina
CREW CHIEF: Todd Gordon
SPONSOR: Menards/Blue Def/Peak
NOTEWORTHY: Runner-up in 2017 and 2020 Daytona 500s, goes for breakthrough win in seventh try. Has exactly one Cup victory each of the last four seasons.
No. 99 Chevrolet, Trackhouse Racing
DRIVER: Daniel Suarez
BORN: Jan. 7, 1992
HOMETOWN: Monterrey, Mexico
CREW CHIEF: Travis Mack
NOTEWORTHY: Driving for a new team owned by rapper Pitbull and former NASCAR driver Justin Marks. Became the first Mexican national series champion when he won the Xfinity title in 2018.
No. 7 Chevrolet, Spire Motorsports
DRIVER: Corey LaJoie
BORN: Sept. 25, 1991
HOMETOWN: Charlotte, North Carolina
CREW CHIEF: Ryan Sparks
NOTEWORTHY: Joined Spire Motorsports for 2021 season. Finished eighth in 2020 Daytona 500 for lone top-10 of the season.
No. 34 Ford, Front Row Motorsports
DRIVER: Michael McDowell
BORN: Dec. 21, 1984
HOMETOWN: Glendale, Arizona
CREW CHIEF: Drew Blickensderfer
SPONSOR: Love’s Travel Stops
NOTEWORTHY: Has five consecutive finishes of 15th or better in the 500, including career-best fifth two years ago.
No. 36 Ford, Front Row Motorsports
DRIVER: David Ragan
BORN: Dec. 24, 1985
HOMETOWN: Unadilla, Georgia
CREW CHIEF: Derrick Finley
SPONSOR: Select Blinds
NOTEWORTHY: Has scaled back to driving only select events. Finished fourth in 2020 Daytona 500. Making 15th Daytona 500 start, has two top-fives and three top-10s in the race.
No. 77 Chevrolet, Spire Sports
DRIVER: Jamie McMurray
BORN: June 3, 1976
HOMETOWN: Joplin, Missouri
CREW CHIEF: Kevin Bellicourt
NOTEWORTHY: Fox Sports analyst and 2010 Daytona 500 champion is back in “The Great American Race” after skipping it last season.
No. 1 Ford, Chip Ganassi Racing
DRIVER: Kurt Busch
BORN: Aug. 4, 1978
HOMETOWN: Las Vegas
CREW CHIEF: Matt McCall
SPONSOR: Monster Energy
NOTEWORTHY: The 2004 Cup champion has at least one victory in seven consecutive years, including the 2017 Daytona 500.
No. 47 Chevrolet, JTG-Daugherty Racing
DRIVER: Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
BORN: Oct. 2, 1987
HOMETOWN: Olive Branch, Mississippi
CREW CHIEF: Brian Pattie
SPONSOR: Kroger/NOS Energy Drink
NOTEWORTHY: Has two wins in 292 Cup starts, both at superspeedways in 2017. Is one of the more aggressive superspeedway racers in NASCAR.
No. 17 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing
DRIVER: Chris Buescher
BORN: Oct. 29, 1992
HOMETOWN: Prosper, Texas
CREW CHIEF: Luke Lambert
NOTEWORTHY: Has one win in 186 Cup starts but he’s at his best in the 500. He finished fifth in 2018 and third last year.
No. 21 Ford, Wood Brothers
DRIVER: Matt DiBenedetto
BORN: July 27, 1991
HOMETOWN: Grass Valley, California
CREW CHIEF: Greg Erwin
SPONSOR: Motorcraft/Quick Lane
NOTEWORTHY: Winless in 212 Cup starts. Finished a career-best seventh in the 2017 Daytona 500, but has been 27th, 28th and 19th since. Already knows he’s being replaced in this car at the end of the season.
No. 2 Ford, Team Penske
DRIVER: Brad Keselowski
BORN: Feb. 12, 1984
HOMETOWN: Rochester Hills, Michigan
CREW CHIEF: Jeremy Bullins
SPONSOR: Discount Tire
NOTEWORTHY: The 2012 Cup champion is winless in 11 Daytona 500 starts. He does have six victories at NASCAR superspeedways, including five at Talladega and one in the summer race at Daytona.
No. 11 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing
DRIVER: Denny Hamlin
BORN: Nov. 18, 1980
HOMETOWN: Chesterfield, Virginia
CREW CHIEF: Chris Gabehart
NOTEWORTHY: Two-time defending Daytona 500 winner is trying to become the first to win three in a row. He’s won the 500 three times. Begins first season as driver while also the team owner of 23XI Racing.
No. 19 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing
DRIVER: Martin Truex Jr.
BORN: June 29, 1980
HOMETOWN: Mayetta, New Jersey
CREW CHIEF: James Small
SPONSOR: Bass Pro Shops
NOTEWORTHY: After winning 23 races between 2016 and ’19, the 2017 Cup Series champion won just once in 2020 while getting acclimated to a new crew chief. Truex signed a contract extension with Gibbs earlier this week.
No. 41 Ford, Stewart-Haas Racing
DRIVER: Cole Custer
BORN: Jan. 23, 1998
HOMETOWN: Ladera Ranch, California
CREW CHIEF: Mike Shiplett
NOTEWORTHY: Notched a victory at Kentucky in his rookie season and locked up a playoff spot. But he finished 16th in the 16-driver postseason field.
No. 53 Ford, Rick Ware Racing
DRIVER: Joey Gase
BORN: Feb. 8, 1993
HOMETOWN: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
CREW CHIEF: Billy Plourde
SPONSOR: Page Construction
NOTEWORTHY: No top-10s in 74 career Cup starts. Finished 23rd in 2020 Daytona 500 for second-best finish of the season.
No. 8 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing
DRIVER: Tyler Reddick
BORN: Jan. 11, 1996
HOMETOWN: Corning, California
CREW CHIEF: Randall Burnett
NOTEWORTHY: Finished 19th in points in his rookie Cup season with RCR, a promising start for a two-time Xfinity Series champion (2018-19).
No. 14 Ford, Stewart-Haas Racing
DRIVER: Chase Briscoe
BORN: Dec. 15, 1994
HOMETOWN: Mitchell, Indiana
CREW CHIEF: John Klausmeier
NOTEWORTHY: Making first career Cup start in the Daytona 500. Briscoe won nine times last season in the Xfinity Series before he was promoted to drive Tony Stewart’s old car.
No. 43 Chevrolet, Richard Petty Motorsports
DRIVER: Erik Jones
BORN: May 30, 1996
HOMETOWN: Byron, Michigan
CREW CHIEF: Jerry Baxter
SPONSOR: Armor All
NOTEWORTHY: Landed a spot in the famed, Petty-blue No. 43 after recording two wins in three years at Joe Gibbs Racing. One of those victories came in the summer race at Daytona in 2018.
No. 15 Chevrolet, Rick Ware Racing
DRIVER: Derrike Cope
BORN: Nov. 3, 1958
HOMETOWN: Spanaway, Washington
CREW CHIEF: Pat Tryson
SPONSOR: Jacob Companies
NOTEWORTHY: 1990 Daytona 500 champion, the oldest driver in the field at 62. Makes his first Daytona 500 start since 2004 and 15th overall.
No. 00 Chevrolet, StarCom Racing
DRIVER: Quin Houff
BORN: Sept. 15, 1997
HOMETOWN: Weyers Cave, Virginia
CREW CHIEF: George Church
SPONSOR: Mane ’N Tale
NOTEWORTHY: Second Daytona 500. He finished 39th last year, crashing out after 89 laps.
No. 42 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing
DRIVER: Ross Chastain
BORN: Dec. 4, 1992
HOMETOWN: Alva, Florida
CREW CHIEF: Phil Surgen
NOTEWORTHY: The eighth-generation watermelon farmer begins his big break driving a full season for Chip Ganassi. He’s replacing Matt Kenseth, who replaced Kyle Larson.
No. 51 Chevrolet, Petty Ware Racing
DRIVER: Cody Ware
BORN: Nov. 7, 1995
HOMETOWN: Greensboro, North Carolina
CREW CHIEF: Michael Hillman
SPONSOR: Nurtec ODT
NOTEWORTHY: Openly discussed his struggles with depression and anxiety in hopes of helping others. Plans to run a full Cup season and possibly some IndyCar races, as well.
No. 38 Ford, Front Row Motorsports
DRIVER: Anthony Alfredo
BORN: March 31, 1999
HOMETOWN: Ridgefield, Connecticut
CREW CHIEF: Seth Barbour
SPONSOR: Speedy Cash
NOTEWORTHY: He is nicknamed “Fast Pasta.”
No. 52 Ford, Rick Ware Racing
DRIVER: Josh Bilicki
BORN: June 3, 1995
HOMETOWN: Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin
CREW CHIEF: Peter Sospenzo
SPONSOR: Wisconsin Lighting Lab
NOTEWORTHY: The Wisconsin native won the main event at the 2019 World Championship Snowmobile Derby in his home state.
No. 78 Ford, Live Fast Motorsports
DRIVER: B.J. McLeod
BORN: Nov. 17, 1983
HOMETOWN: Wauchula, Florida
CREW CHIEF: Frank Kerr
SPONSOR: NASCAR Heats
NOTEWORTHY: Owner-driver racing in his third Daytona 500. Finished 19th in 2019 and 38th last season. Partnered with former driver Matt Tifft to create the new Live Fast team.
No. 33 Ford, Team Penske
DRIVER: Austin Cindric
BORN: Sept. 2, 1998
HOMETOWN: Mooresville, North Carolina
CREW CHIEF: Miles Stanley
SPONSOR: Verizon 5G
NOTEWORTHY: Slid into the 500 when Ryan Preece passed Ty Dillon in the final few hundred yards of the first of two qualifying races. Cindric is racing a part-time schedule for Penske in 2021 before a full-time move next season.
No. 16 Chevrolet, Kaulig Racing
DRIVER: Kaz Grala
BORN: Dec. 29, 1998
CREW CHIEF: Matt Swiderski
SPONSOR: Hyper Ice
NOTEWORTHY: Finished seventh in only other Cup start in last season’s Daytona road course race when he filled-in for Austin Dillon after Dillon tested positive for COVID-19. Driving part-time schedule for Kaulig Racing, which is hoping to move fulltime to Cup next season.
More AP auto racing: https://apnews.com/apf-AutoRacing and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.