Drivers competing in the 2017 Daytona 500
The 40 drivers competing in the 2017 Daytona 500, in order of starting position:
No. 24 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports
DRIVER: Chase Elliott
BORN: Nov. 28, 1995
HOMETOWN: Dawsonville, Georgia
CREW CHIEF: Alan Gustafson
SPONSOR: NAPA Auto Parts
NOTEWORTHY: Son of Hall of Famer Bill Elliott starts from pole for second straight year. Wrecked 19 laps into last year’s race and finished 37th.
No. 88 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports
DRIVER: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
BORN: Oct. 10, 1974
HOMETOWN: Kannapolis, North Carolina
CREW CHIEF: Greg Ives
NOTEWORTHY: Two-time Daytona 500 winner (2004, 2014) returns after missing second half of last season with fifth documented concussion. Has been story of Speedweeks, most recently by saying he would consider retiring if he won a championship in 2017.
No. 1 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing
DRIVER: Jamie McMurray
BORN: June 3, 1976
HOMETOWN: Joplin, Missouri
CREW CHIEF: Matt McCall
NOTEWORTHY: Won 2010 Daytona 500, same year he also won Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis. Has just one victory in 221 races since that season.
No. 11 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing
DRIVER: Denny Hamlin
BORN: Nov. 18, 1980
HOMETOWN: Chesterfield, Virginia
CREW CHIEF: Mike Wheeler
SPONSOR: FedEx Express
NOTEWORTHY: Defending race winner looking to become fourth driver to win back-to-back Daytona 500s. No one has accomplished feat since Sterling Marlin in 1994 and 1995.
No. 4 Ford, Stewart-Haas Racing
DRIVER: Kevin Harvick
BORN: Dec. 8, 1975
HOMETOWN: Bakersfield, California
CREW CHIEF: Rodney Childers
SPONSOR: Jimmy John’s
NOTEWORTHY: Won 2007 Daytona 500 with Richard Childress Racing. Entering fourth year with Stewart-Haas Racing, where he has 12 victories. Driving a Ford for first time in NASCAR career.
No. 14 Ford, Stewart-Haas Racing
DRIVER: Clint Bowyer
BORN: May 30, 1979
HOMETOWN: Emporia, Kansas
CREW CHIEF: Mike Bugarewicz
SPONSOR: Mobil 1
NOTEWORTHY: After miserable 2016 season driving for HScott Motorsports, making debut at Stewart-Haas Racing in No. 14 previously driven by three-time NASCAR champion Tony Stewart. Winless in 13 Daytona 500 starts.
No. 2 Ford, Team Penske
DRIVER: Brad Keselowski
BORN: Feb. 12, 1984
HOMETOWN: Rochester Hills, Michigan
CREW CHIEF: Paul Wolfe
SPONSOR: Miller Lite
NOTEWORTHY: 2012 series champion still looking for first Daytona 500 victory. Keselowski and Team Penske teammate Joey Logano won three of four restrictor-plate races in 2016.
No. 41 Ford, Stewart-Haas Racing
DRIVER: Kurt Busch
BORN: Aug. 4, 1978
HOMETOWN: Las Vegas
CREW CHIEF: Tony Gibson
SPONSOR: Haas Automation/Monster Energy
NOTEWORTHY: 2004 series champion has longest Daytona 500 drought in field, 0-for-15 streak that started in 2001. Missed 2015 race because of suspension. Got married in offseason.
No. 20 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing
DRIVER: Matt Kenseth
BORN: March 10, 1972
HOMETOWN: Cambridge, Wisconsin
CREW CHIEF: Jason Ratcliff
NOTEWORTHY: Two-time Daytona winner (2009, 2012) is oldest full-time driver in Cup series. Entering final year of contract.
No. 3 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing
DRIVER: Austin Dillon
BORN: April 27, 1990
HOMETOWN: Welcome, North Carolina
CREW CHIEF: Slugger Labbe
NOTEWORTHY: Winless in 121 Cup races, but managed to advance to second round of NASCAR’s playoffs in 2016 thanks partly to career-best 13 top-10 finishes.
No. 6 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing
DRIVER: Trevor Bayne
BORN: Feb. 19, 1991
HOMETOWN: Knoxville, Tennessee
CREW CHIEF: Matt Puccia
NOTEWORTHY: One of 10 former Daytona 500 winners in field. Won 2011 race in first career start in ”The Great American Race.”
No. 10 Ford, Stewart-Haas Racing
DRIVER: Danica Patrick
BORN: March 25, 1982
HOMETOWN: Roscoe, Illinois
CREW CHIEF: Billy Scott
SPONSOR: Aspen Dental
NOTEWORTHY: Winless in 154 Cup races and now has sponsorship problems after Nature’s Bakery pulled out after one season. Regardless, the 34-year-old driver has developed one of strongest personal brands in auto racing.
No. 43 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports
DRIVER: Aric Almirola
BORN: March 14, 1984
HOMETOWN: Tampa, Florida
CREW CHIEF: Trent Owens
SPONSOR: Smithfield Foods
NOTEWORTHY: One victory in 215 career Cup starts, and it came in July race at Daytona in 2014.
No. 31 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing
DRIVER: Ryan Newman
BORN: Dec. 8, 1977
HOMETOWN: South Bend, Indiana
CREW CHIEF: Luke Lambert
NOTEWORTHY: 2008 Daytona 500 winner is winless in last 124 Cup starts. Entering first year of multiyear contract extension with RCR.
No. 22 Ford, Team Penske
DRIVER: Joey Logano
BORN: May 24, 1990
HOMETOWN: Middletown, Connecticut
CREW CHIEF: Todd Gordon
SPONSOR: Shell Pennzoil
NOTEWORTHY: Finished second in points last year. The 2015 Daytona 500 winner signed a contract extension with Penske that runs through ”2022 and beyond.” The deal also includes Pennzoil as primary sponsor.
No. 42 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing
DRIVER: Kyle Larson
BORN: July 31, 1992
HOMETOWN: Elk Grove, California
CREW CHIEF: Chad Johnston
NOTEWORTHY: Coming off breakthrough season in which he won first Cup series race, had 10 top-five finishes and made playoffs.
No. 72 Ford, TriStar Motorsports
DRIVER: Cole Whitt
BORN: June 22, 1991
HOMETOWN: Alpine, California
CREW CHIEF: Frank Kerr
SPONSOR: Florida Lottery
NOTEWORTHY: Has full-time, chartered ride. Played major role in determining Xfinity Series championship at Homestead three months ago when he botched late restart that propelled Daniel Suarez to title.
No. 13 Chevrolet, Germain Racing
DRIVER: Ty Dillon
BORN: Feb. 27, 1992
HOMETOWN: Lewisville, North Carolina
CREW CHIEF: Robert Barker
NOTEWORTHY: Youngest Dillon brother replacing Casey Mears in No. 13. Grandson of team owner Richard Childress. Married to former Charlotte Hornets cheerleader Haley Carey.
No. 19 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing
DRIVER: Daniel Suarez
BORN: Jan. 7, 1992
HOMETOWN: Monterrey, Mexico
CREW CHIEF: Dave Rogers
NOTEWORTHY: One of two non-American drivers in field. Won Xfinity Series title in 2016, becoming NASCAR’s first foreign champion. Replacing retired Carl Edwards in No. 19.
No. 38 Ford, Front Row Motorsports
DRIVER: David Ragan
BORN: Dec. 24, 1985
HOMETOWN: Unadilla, Georgia
CREW CHIEF: Derrick Finley
SPONSOR: Camping World
NOTEWORTHY: Has two victories in 362 Cup starts. Both wins came at superspeedways, winning at Talladega in 2013 and at Daytona in July 2011.
No. 18 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing
DRIVER: Kyle Busch
BORN: May 2, 1985
HOMETOWN: Las Vegas
CREW CHIEF: Adam Stevens
NOTEWORTHY: 2015 series champion has yet to win Daytona 500, a streak that stands at 11. Finished third in points last year, behind champion Jimmie Johnson and Joey Logano.
No. 95 Ford, Leavine Family Racing
DRIVER: Michael McDowell
BORN: Dec. 21, 1984
HOMETOWN: Glendale, Arizona
CREW CHIEF: Todd Parrott
SPONSOR: K-Love Radio
NOTEWORTHY: Winless in 213 Cup starts. Finished 15th and 10th in two races at Daytona last year.
No. 17 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing
DRIVER: Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
BORN: Oct. 2, 1987
HOMETOWN: Olive Branch, Mississippi
CREW CHIEF: Brian Pattie
NOTEWORTHY: Winless in 148 Cup starts. Dating fellow driver Danica Patrick.
No. 48 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports
DRIVER: Jimmie Johnson
BORN: Sept. 17, 1975
HOMETOWN: El Cajon, California
CREW CHIEF: Chad Knaus
NOTEWORTHY: Seven-time and defending NASCAR champion. An eighth title would push him past Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty for most ever, leaving him alone as NASCAR’s greatest.
No. 32 Ford, Go FAS Racing
DRIVER: Matt DiBenedetto
BORN: July 27, 1991
HOMETOWN: Grass Valley, California
CREW CHIEF: Gene Nead
SPONSOR: EJ Wade Construction
NOTEWORTY: Entering third full season in NASCAR’s elite series. Has one top-10 finish (sixth at Bristol in 2016).
No. 5 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports
DRIVER: Kasey Kahne
BORN: April 10, 1980
HOMETOWN: Enumclaw, Washington
CREW CHIEF: Keith Rodden
SPONSOR: Farmers Insurance
NOTEWORTHY: Has 83-race winless streak. Winless in 26 starts at Daytona International Speedway, including 0 for 13 in 500. Has three top-10 finishes in 500, but only one (ninth in 2015) since 2008.
No. 34 Ford, Front Row Motorsports
DRIVER: Landon Cassill
BORN: July, 9, 1989
HOMETOWN: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
CREW CHIEF: Donnie Wingo
NOTEWORTHY: Winless in 223 Cup starts. Making fifth Daytona 500 start, with best finish of 12th in 2014.
No. 96 Toyota, Gaunt Brothers Racing
DRIVER: D.J. Kennington
BORN: July 15, 1977
HOMETOWN: St. Thomas, Ontario
CREW CHIEF: Keith Hinkein
NOTEWORTHY: Making second Cup start. Finished 35th at Phoenix last year. Raced way into 500, becoming first Canadian to make race since Trevor Boys in 1988. Boys finished 19th.
No. 23 Toyota, BK Racing
DRIVER: Joey Gase
BORN: Feb. 8, 1993
HOMETOWN: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
CREW CHIEF: Patrick Donahue
SPONSOR: Best Home Furnishings
NOTEWORTHY: Making 14th career Cup start, all in last four years. Best finish was 32nd at Phoenix in 2016. Entering first full season, in chartered ride.
No. 15 Toyota, Premium Motorsports
DRIVER: Michael Waltrip
BORN: April 30, 1963
HOMETOWN: Owensboro, Kentucky
CREW CHIEF: Mark Hillman
NOTEWORTHY: Two-time Daytona 500 winner (2001, 2003) makes 30th and final NASCAR start of 33-year career. Wanted to say goodbye at Daytona, which has provided him triumph and tragedy.
No. 83 Toyota, BK Racing
DRIVER: Corey LaJoie
BORN: Sept. 25, 1991
HOMETOWN: Concord, North Carolina
CREW CHIEF: Doug Richert
SPONSOR: Dusless Blasting
NOTEWORTHY: Making third Cup start, first since 2014. Landed ride after seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson lobbied on his behalf. Son of Randy LaJoie, a two-time champion in NASCAR’s second-tier series.
No. 33 Chevrolet, Circle Sport/TMG
DRIVER: Jeffrey Earnhardt
BORN: June 22, 1989
HOMETOWN: Mooresville, North Carolina
CREW CHIEF: Pat Tryson
SPONSOR: Little Joes Autos/Curtis Key Plumbing
NOTEWORTY: Grandson of late NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt and nephew of Dale Earnhardt Jr. Started 22 races in 2016, with best finish of 26th at Charlotte in October.
No. 27 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing
DRIVER: Paul Menard
BORN: Aug. 21, 1980
HOMETOWN: Eau Claire, Wisconsin
CREW CHIEF: Matt Borland
NOTEWORTHY: One win in 363 Cups starts. Winless since taking checkered flag in 2011 Brickyard 400, a streak that’s reached 196 races.
No. 77 Toyota, Furniture Row Racing
DRIVER: Erik Jones
BORN: May 30, 1996
HOMETOWN: Byron, Michigan
CREW CHIEF: Chris Gayle
SPONSOR: 5-hour Energy Extra Strength
NOTEWORTHY: Youngest driver in field. Contended for Xfinity Series title last year for Joe Gibbs Racing and currently on loan to Furniture Row, which is fielding two cars for first time.
No. 78 Toyota, Furniture Row Racing
DRIVER: Martin Truex Jr.
BORN: June 29, 1980
HOMETOWN: Mayetta, New Jersey
CREW CHIEF: Cole Pearn
SPONSOR: Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats
NOTEWORTHY: Lost photo finish with Denny Hamlin in 2016 Daytona 500 – closest finish in race history – and bad luck has carried over to Speedweeks. Car had to be tweaked to get through tech and then failed inspection after qualifying race.
No. 21 Ford, Wood Brothers Racing
DRIVER: Ryan Blaney
BORN: Dec. 31, 1993
HOMETOWN: High Point, North Carolina
CREW CHIEF: Jeremy Bullins
SPONSOR: Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center
NOTEWORTHY: Had to switch to backup car because of damage in qualifying race. Along with Erik Jones, flew with United States Air Force Thunderbirds early in week. Blaney admittedly vomited afterward.
No. 37 Chevrolet, JTG Daughtery Racing
DRIVER: Chris Buescher
BORN: Oct. 29, 1992
HOMETOWN: Prosper, Texas
CREW CHIEF: Trent Owens
NOTEWORTHY: Entering second full-time season. Won rain-shortened race at Pocono Raceway in August, a victory that landed him spot in playoffs.
No. 47 Chevrolet, JTG Daugherty Racing
DRIVER: AJ Allmendinger
BORN: Dec. 16, 1981
HOMETOWN: Los Gatos, California
CREW CHIEF: Randall Burnett
SPONSOR: Kroger Click List
NOTEWORTHY: Making 300th career Cup start. Has one victory, at Watkins Glen road course in 2014.
No. 7 Chevrolet, Tommy Baldwin Racing
DRIVER: Elliott Sadler
BORN: April 30, 1975
HOMETOWN: Emporia, Virginia
CREW CHIEF: Ken Davis
SPONSOR: Golden Corral
NOTEWORTHY: Making what’s expected to be lone Cup start of season. Former Cup regular and sentimental favorite remains without a championship at any NASCAR national level in a career spanning more than two decades.
No. 75 Chevrolet, Beard Motorsports
DRIVER: Brendan Gaughan
BORN: July 10, 1975
HOMETOWN: Las Vegas
CREW CHIEF: Darren Shaw
SPONSOR: Beard Oil Distributing
NOTEWORTHY: Winless in 50 Cup starts. Played college football and basketball at Georgetown, guarding Allen Iverson on the practice court and becoming an all-Big East kicker on the gridiron.
More AP auto racing: www.racing.ap.org