SMOOGE Racing is set to make its first start of 2024 in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Series in the season-opening event at Daytona International Speedway on Friday, January 26, but they’ll do so with a trio of NASCAR stars.
NASCAR Cup Series drivers Bubba Wallace and John Hunter Nemechek will be joined by NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series regular Corey Heim, as all three drivers make their IMSA debut in the No. 23 Mobil 1 GR Supra.
The organization’s second entry will feature GT4 champions John Geesbreght and Kevin Conway, as well as former Rolex 24 winner and IMSA GTD Endurance Champion, Corey Lewis, who will drive the No. 68 PRAX Leadership GR Supra.
“We are very excited to run two GR Supra GT4 EVOs at Daytona this year. Having Bubba, John Hunter, and Corey in the 23 car is a major honor and testament to Smooge Racing, “said Team Principal Kevin Conway. “I’m also looking forward to racing with John Geesbreght and Corey Lewis in the PRAX Leadership GR Supra. John and I have had a lot of success together and we are looking forward to building on that at Daytona.”
Wallace, 30, enters his seventh season as a full-time driver in the NASCAR Cup Series, where he currently drives the No. 23 Toyota Camry XSE for 23XI Racing — a two-car operation owned by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan.
Nemechek, 26, returns to the NASCAR Cup Series after four seasons away, as the Mooresville, North Carolina native will drive the No. 42 Toyota Camry XSE for LEGACY MOTOR CLUB.
Finally, Heim, 21, enters his second season as a full-time competitor in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series for TRICON Garage, while also competing on a part-time basis in the NASCAR Xfinity Series for Sam Hunt Racing.
The Michelin Pilot Challenge event at Daytona is no stranger to having NASCAR drivers enter or even take home the victory in the event. Last year, Harrison Burton and Zane Smith captured the victory in the season-opening event, while Ben Rhodes and Hailie Deegan finished third place overall.