Helio Castroneves Has Muscle Behind Him for the Daytona 500, Which Could Be Very Crowded in 2023


What started as somewhat of a joke combining an upstart racing series, an IndyCar great, and the Daytona 500 is turning into serious offseason business. The field showing up for NASCAR’s season-opening points race could be one of the largest in recent years, and names like Helio Castroneves and Jimmie Johnson make it feel even bigger.

Hope springs eternal at the Daytona 500

Helio Castroneves on the grid during practice for the Superstar Racing Experience event at South Boston Speedway on June 25, 2022 in South Boston, Virginia. | Jared Tilton/SRX/Getty Images

Everyone wants a piece of the Daytona 500, and the reasons are understandable. It’s the first points race of the NASCAR Cup Series season and sits in the right place on the sports calendar: The Super Bowl is over, the NCAA Tournament hasn’t started, and what’s happening in golf, the NBA, and the NHL at that time of year is inconsequential at best.