MOORESVILLE — Reigning NASCAR Xfinity Series champion Austin Cindric will attempt to qualify for the Daytona 500 with Team Penske as part of a limited 2021 Cup Series schedule before fulltime 2022 competition, the team announced Wednesday.
Cindric will drive the No. 33 Ford, a new fourth entry for the team. The rest of his 2021 Cup schedule has yet to be announced, but it already is official he will drive the No. 21 Ford for Wood Brothers Racing in 2022, replacing Matt DiBenedetto.
As a non-chartered entry, Cindric either will have to qualify his way into the Daytona 500 on time trial speed or race his way in later in the week in his duel qualifying race. The field on non-chartered drivers attempting to make this year’s 500 is deep, with Cindric joined by Kaz Grala, David Ragan, Ryan Preece, Chad Finchum, Noah Gragson, Timmy Hill, Ty Dillon and possibly others all competing for just four spots.
Allmendinger in Daytona RC race
A.J. Allmendinger will attempt to make his first Cup start since 2018 when the series remains at Daytona International Speedway for the second race of the season, this one on the road course. Kaulig Racing announced Thursday that the veteran driver will pilot its No. 16 Chevrolet there.
Allmendinger also is running a fulltime Xfinity schedule for the team this season after a pair of part-time efforts. Allmendinger’s lone Cup win came on a road course at Watkins Glen International in 2014, and four of his five NXS victories have been on road courses, including the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval with Kaulig each of the past two seasons.
Ellis gets NXS races with McLeod
Ryan Ellis will run at least four 2021 Xfinity races in B.J. McLeod Motorsports’ No. 99 entry at Darlington, Mid-Ohio, Road America and Kansas, the team announced on Wednesday.
Ellis’ most recent NXS starts were in 2019 at Iowa and Road America, both with McLeod. He also ran a pair of races with the team in 2018. He has 50 NXS starts overall, along with 24 in the Camping World Truck Series and five in Cup, where he may race part-time for Go Fas Racing in 2021.
RSS-RBR partnership continues
The partnership between RSS Racing and Reaume Brothers Racing in Xfinity will continue in 2021, with the teams’ No. 93 entry switching numbers to No. 23, the teams announced.
The teams worked together to field the No. 93 for Myatt Snider, Josh Reaume and C.J. McLaughlin over the second half of 2020. No drivers have been announced yet for the No. 23 for 2021, nor for Reaume’s two-entry truck team, though details for both are expected soon.
DGR announces driver lineup
David Gilliland Racing announced its driver lineups for the truck series and the ARCA Menards Series on Thursday, confirming the fulltime return of Tanner Gray to its No. 15 Ford truck, previously announced fulltime Hailie Deegan in its No. 1 truck, and Taylor Gray for seven races in its part-time No. 17 truck.
In the national ARCA tour, Thad Moffitt will run at least 11 races in the team’s No. 46 Ford and Taylor Gray will make a few starts in the No. 17 Ford. Taylor Gray also will drive the No. 17 fulltime in the ARCA Menards Series East, where he will have a part-time teammate in Joey Iest in the No. 54 Ford.
Benning plans full truck slate
Owner-driver Norm Benning recently told TobyChristie.com he plans to run a full truck series schedule in 2021 after attempting 20 of 23 races last season, making 17. Benning is looking for a sponsor and crew chief for his No. 6 Chevrolet.
Benning has 231 truck starts since 2002, nearly all of them for his own team.