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J.J. Yeley Lands Last-Minute Drive for NY Racing in 2024 Daytona 500

J.J. Yeley will compete in the 2024 Daytona 500, driving the No. 44 Chevrolet Camaro for John Cohen and NY Racing. Photo Credit: Jonathan McCoy, Racing America

JJ Yeley, a NASCAR Cup Series veteran of nearly two decades, has received the last-minute phone call to attempt the 2024 Daytona 500 for NY Racing, per an update to NASCAR’s Preliminary Entry List on Wednesday.

The 47-year-old racer will pilot the No. 44 100 Coconut Water Chevrolet Camaro for the organization owned by John Cohen, whose entry into the season-opener at Daytona International Speedway has been surrounded by controversy before cars have been on track.

Following the release of the preliminary entry list on Monday, several images surfaced on social media of the NY Racing hauler en route to Daytona Beach, Florida, with the name and signature of Greg Biffle prominently displayed.

It didn’t take long for those claims to fall by the wayside, though, with the 19-time NASCAR Cup Series winner posting a statement to social media shortly thereafter, in which the Vancouver, Washington-native confirmed he wouldn’t be running the season-opener, or any other race, for NY Racing at this time.

NY Racing has since covered up Biffle’s name with two pieces of black duct tape on the hauler.

The next, most logical option for NY Racing was Yeley, who has a previously assembled relationship with the organization, having run a combined seven NASCAR Cup Series events with the team in 2014 and 2018.

Should Yeley successfully make it into the 40-driver field for the Daytona 500, it will mark his seventh start in ‘The Great American Race’ and his first in nearly a decade, last taking the green flag for the 200-lap contest in 2015 with BK Racing.

Last season, while piloting the No. 15 Ford Mustang for Rick Ware Racing, Yeley showed incredible strength on superspeedways, scoring a pair of top-12 results at Talladega (Spring) and Atlanta (Summer).

In fact, with his seventh-place finish in the Quaker State 400 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Yeley earned his first top-10 finish in the NASCAR Cup Series since the 2013 Daytona 500, and his best finish at NASCAR’s top-level since 2008.

For Yeley, the task at hand becomes getting NY Racing locked into its second-ever Daytona 500, a journey that will begin Wednesday with single-vehicle qualifying To do so, the No. 44 Chevrolet must be the highest finishing open entry in its Bluegreen Vacations Duel on Thursday, or have a single-vehicle qualifying speed quick enough to be among the top-two that haven’t already locked into the event.

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