While the field size for the 2020 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona has shrunk to just 38 entries, there are still some big NASCAR and former NASCAR names that will be taking stints behind the wheel in Saturday/Sunday’s twice around the clock event.
As far as drivers who have an active presence in NASCAR, Kyle Busch and AJ Allmendinger are the two names in the field.
Both drivers will be in the GTD class.
Allmendinger’s team, which is driving a No. 63 Acura NSX GT3 for Heinricher Racing with Meyer Shank, will roll from third in class and 23rd overall. Allmendinger’s teammates are Trent Hindman, Alvaro Parente and Misha Goikhberg.
Allmendinger, a winner in the NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series, won the Rolex 24 back in 2012.
Busch, the 2019 NASCAR Cup Series champion, is driving a No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3 for AIM Vasser Sullivan in his first-ever attempt at the Rolex 24.
Unfortunately, the car blew an engine just before qualifying so Busch’s team will be credited with starting 16th in class and 36th overall in the 38-car field.
However, Busch is paired with Jack Hawksworth — who showcased his incredible talents in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Mid-Ohio last season. Hawksworth started second that day and led five laps before ultimately settling for a 15th-place finish.
Joining Busch and Hawksworth in the No. 14 will be Parker Chase and Michael De Quesada.
As far as former NASCAR names go, none are bigger than Juan Pablo Montoya.
In addition to winning twice at the NASCAR Cup Series level, Montoya is a two-time Indianapolis 500 winner that also scored seven wins in Formula 1. Montoya was also part of the championship-winning Weathertech SportsCar team in 2019.
Montoya will run a No. 6 Acura DPi for Team Penske and his team will roll from the grid in second position overall.
Joining Montoya in the No. 6 car will be Simon Pagenaud and Dane Cameron.
Colin Braun, who won in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series at Michigan back in 2009 and competed in the NGROTS and NASCAR Xfinity Series from 2007 to 2011, will compete in the LMP2 class.
As far as SportsCar racing goes, Braun is a well-established driver.
He won the Rolex 24 at Daytona back in 2014, and he has 10 victories and two championships in the Weathertech SportsCar Championship.
Braun will drive the No. 81 ORECA LMP2 07 from DragonSpeed USA.
Braun’s team will roll from the grid second in class and ninth overall. Joining Braun will be Henrik Hedman, Harrison Newey and Ben Hanley.
Andy Lally, who was the NASCAR Cup Series rookie of the year in 2011, is possibly the most decorated road racer in the entire field of this year’s race.
Lally has won the Rolex 24 at Daytona five times and he has amassed an incredible 34 victories in big-league Sports Car racing.
Experience should play key for Lally and his team as they will start from the next-to-last spot in the field (37th). They will battle in the GTD class in the No. 44 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 for GRT Magnus.
Joining Lally will be Marco Mapelli, Spencer Pumpelly and John Potter.
And then there is Katherine Legge, who contested four NASCAR Xfinity Series races for JD Motorsports back in 2018.
Legge has four wins in the Weathertech SportsCar Championship Series and finished runner-up in the championship standings back in 2018, however she has never tasted victory in the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
For the second-consecutive year at Daytona, Legge will compete on an all-female driving team. Her team will compete in the GTD class and will run the No. 19 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 for GEAR Racing.
They will start 34th overall and 14th in class.
Joining Legge on the team will be Christina Nielsen, Tati Calderon and Rahel Frey.
The Rolex 24 at Daytona will start at 1:30 PM ET. Coverage will start on NBC.
On the pole for Saturday’s Rolex 24 at Daytona will be the Mazda DPi Team Joest.
Toby is the Founder, Editor and go-to man for TobyChristie.com. He is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, Toby is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award winning writer, and has followed NASCAR as a fan since 1993.