Two drivers with experience across the international motorsports spectrum are among the drivers who have filed entries to participate in the ARCA Menards Series pre-race practice session at Daytona International Speedway.
Shane Van Gisbergen shocked the motorsports world when he won the inaugural NASCAR Sprint Cup Series street course race in Chicago last year. The improbable victory, in his series debut driving a part-time third entry for Trackhouse Racing, led the three-time Australian V8 Supercar Series champion to a full-season opportunity with Kaulig Racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
Van Gisbergen’s statistics in Australia speak for themselves. In 508 career Supercar races, he’s collected 81 checkered flags – fourth all time – and has finished in the top three 176 times. He’s also started from pole position 48 times.
Van Gisbergen will drive a Chevrolet prepared by team owner Mark Webb’s Pinnacle Racing Group in the pre-race practice and the ARCA Menards Series season-opener at Daytona. He’ll race a same-day double-header in February, competing in the ARCA race first before closing the day in the NASCAR Xfinity Series race. Crew chief Shane Huffman, who led Bret Holmes to the 2020 ARCA Menards Series championship, will oversee Van Gisbergen’s effort.
Marco Andretti is the grandson of 1967 Daytona 500 and 1969 Indianapolis 500 winner Mario Andretti, and the son of 1991 CART Indycar World Series champion Michael Andretti. The third-generation racer has made a name for himself in open wheel racing, picking up a pair of IndyCar victories driving for his father’s organization. He finished second in the 2006 Indianapolis 500, just 0.064 seconds behind winner Sam Hornish.
In recent years, Andretti has cut his open wheel racing schedule to just the Indianapolis 500 but he has branched out to other forms of racing, including stock cars. He’s participated in the Superstar Racing Experience each of the last two years, winning the championship in 2022. He’s also made one start in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in the 2022 race at the Charlotte ROVAL driving for team owner Scott Borchetta, and three starts in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series for Spire Motorsports.
Andretti will participate in the pre-race practice for the team that won the 2023 ARCA Menards Series West owner’s championship, Cook Racing Technologies, led by co-owner Steve McGowan and Bruce Cook, who also serves as crew chief.
A total of 63 drivers spread across 35 cars are currently entered for the two days of practice at Daytona International Speedway, which is set for Friday and Saturday, January 12 and 13, with Sunday, January 14 reserved in case of inclement weather.
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.