NASCAR released the entry list for the 2012 Daytona 500 on Thursday, with 49 drivers competing for a spot in the 43-car field.
Among the names included who aren't running the full Sprint Cup schedule are Danica Patrick, who will be making her first Sprint Cup start; two-time 500 winner Michael Waltrip, driving the No. 40 Aaron's Toyota fielded by Mike Hillman; 1985 and '87 500 winner Bill Elliott in a No. 97 unsponsored Toyota for Joe Nemechek – who himself will be attempting to qualify; former series champion Terry Labonte, who will drive the No. 32 in the 500 for the second straight year for Frank Stoddard and Mike Wallace, who, along with younger brother, Kenny, will each attempt to race their way into the field.
Mike Wallace is in a car owned by Larry Gunselman, while Kenny will race for the team he runs full-time for in the Nationwide Series – RAB Racing.
With 35 spots guaranteed to the teams who finished in the top 35 in points from the year before, 14 drivers will have to either race their way into the field via one of the two qualifying races held Thursday, or be among the three fastest cars in qualifying Sunday not already guaranteed a spot in the race.
Those not ensured of a starting spot include Waltrip, Elliott, Mike and Kenny Wallace, Nemechek, Robby Gordon, defending Daytona 500 champion Trevor Bayne, Robert Richardson Jr., Tony Raines, David Stremme, Dave Blaney, J.J. Yeley and Michael McDowell.
Ten former winners of the 'Great American Race' have entered: Jamie McMurray (2010), Matt Kenseth (2009), Bayne (2011), Jeff Gordon (1997, '99, '05), Kevin Harvick (2007), Ryan Newman (2008), Waltrip (2001, '03), Jimmie Johnson (2006), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2004), and Elliot (1985, '87).
Three drivers will either be making their first Daytona 500 start or will be attempting to do so. They include Patrick, defending Nationwide Series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (who will drive the Roush Fenway Racing No. 6 Ford) and Landon Cassill.
The Daytona 500 is Feb. 26 at 1 p.m.
Here's the Daytona 500 entry list for 2012 (with car number in parentheses):
- (1) Jamie McMurray / Earnhardt Ganassi Racing
- (2) Brad Keselowski / Penske Racing
- (5) Kasey Kahne / Hendrick Motorsports
- (6) Ricky Stenhouse Jr. / Roush Fenway Racing
- (7) Robby Gordon / Robby Gordon Motorsports
- (09) Kenny Wallace / RAB Racing
- (9) Marcos Ambrose / Richard Petty Motorsports
- (10) Danica Patrick / Stewart-Haas Racing
- (11) Denny Hamlin / Joe Gibbs Racing
- (13) Casey Mears / Germain Racing
- (14) Tony Stewart / Stewart-Haas Racing
- (15) Clint Bowyer / Michael Waltrip Racing
- (16) Greg Biffle / Roush Fenway Racing
- (17) Matt Kenseth / Roush Fenway Racing
- (18) Kyle Busch / Joe Gibbs Racing
- (20) Joey Logano / Joe Gibbs Racing
- (21) Trevor Bayne / Wood Brothers Racing
- (22) AJ Allmendinger / Penske Racing
- (23) Robert Richardson Jr. / R3 Motorsports
- (24) Jeff Gordon / Hendrick Motorsports
- (26) Tony Raines / Front Row Motorsports
- (27) Paul Menard / Richard Childress Racing
- (29) Kevin Harvick / Richard Childress Racing
- (30) David Stremme / Inception Motorsports
- (31) Jeff Burton / Richard Childress Racing
- (32) Terry Labonte / FAS Lane Racing
- (33) Elliott Sadler / Richard Childress Racing
- (34) David Ragan / Front Row Motorsports
- (39) Ryan Newman / Stewart-Haas Racing
- (40) Michael Waltrip / Hillman Racing
- (42) Juan Pablo Montoya / Earnhardt Ganassi Racing
- (43) Aric Almirola / Richard Petty Motorsports
- (47) Bobby Labonte / JTG/Daugherty Racing
- (48) Jimmie Johnson / Hendrick Motorsports
- (49) JJ Yeley / Robinson-Blakeney Racing
- (51) Kurt Busch / Phoenix Racing
- (55) Mark Martin / Michael Waltrip Racing
- (56) Martin Truex Jr. / Michael Waltrip Racing
- (78) Regan Smith / Furniture Row Racing
- (83) Landon Cassill / BK Racing
- (87) Joe Nemechek / NEMCO Motorsports
- (88) Dale Earnhardt Jr. / Hendrick Motorsports
- (93) David Reutimann / BK Racing
- (97) Bill Elliott / NEMCO Motorsports
- (98) Michael McDowell / Phil Parsons Racing
- (99) Carl Edwards / Roush Fenway Racing