NASCAR & Auto Racing

ARCA entry list at Daytona boasts 74 cars and drivers

The 45th annual ARCA 200 at Daytona will get Speed Weeks off to a strong start Thursday when practice for Saturday’s race begins with 74 cars and drivers on the entry list.

That includes a large number of driver development teams along with a solid group of ARCA/REMAX Series regulars.

The entries include one car from the stable of Dale Earnhardt Jr., who was listed as owner of the No. 88 Chevrolet with rookie Landon Cassill as the driver.

It is the first time Earnhardt has participated in ARCA as a car owner.

Also entered was Chip Ganassi Racing’s Dario Franchitti, the former open-wheel star who will run for 2008 rookie of the year honors in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup series. The Scotsman finished 17th at Talladega last October in his only previous ARCA start.

NASCAR’s Roush Fenway Racing has entered rookie Ricky Stenhouse Jr., while Bill Davis Racing has filed an entry for rookie Mike Annett. Annett gave Toyota its first ARCA win last fall at Talladega.

Also from the driver development ranks are entries for Rusty Wallace, Inc. rookie Chase Austin and Cunningham Motorsports/Dodge Motorsports rookies Tayler Malsam, Nur Ali and Ray Mooi.

Among the veterans entered at Daytona was defending and nine-time series champion Frank Kimmel, moving to his own team and switching from Ford to Dodge. Kimmel’s former ride, the Larry Clement-owned No. 46 Ford, will be driven by Matt Carter, son of longtime NASCAR team owner Travis Carter.