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Leaked image suggests Johnny Sauter making 2021 Daytona 500 attempt with NY Racing

J.J. Yeley at Charlotte in May in the #7 Steakhouse Elite Chevy for NY Racing. (PC : Ed Matthews)

An image that is making the rounds on NASCAR social media is causing quite a stir that could give some insight into one team’s plans for the 2021 Daytona 500.

The leaked image appeared on various social media platforms including Discord and Twitter late Monday night, which shows 2016 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Johnny Sauter listed as the driver for the revived Cup Series team.

The leaked image shows Johnny Sauter listed as the No. 44 NY Racing Mustang for the 2021 Daytona 500 (PC: Unknown) cannot verify the validity of the image, however, our request for comment from NY Racing has gone unanswered as of this publishing.

Following the image, Catchfence’s Chris Knight tweeted on Tuesday that NY Racing owner John Cohen plans to attempt the 2021 Daytona 500 but the team is not ready to make any announcements regarding those plans.

NY Racing’s website has also been updated to feature a countdown to the 2021 Daytona 500 with the countdown clock being sponsored by No Label Watches. To those fans who pay close attention, No Label Watches sponsored Xxxtreme Motorsport, which was owned by Cohen over half a decade ago with the No. 44 Chevrolet.

As for Sauter, his website also features a countdown clock for the 2021 Daytona 500. However, the clock is incorrect as the Daytona 500 will run on Sunday, February 14th and not the previous day. Furthermore, the Truck Series’ season opener is on Friday, February 12th.

Sauter’s website also features a countdown of the Daytona 500 for 2021 (PC: Johnny Sauter Enterprises)

As for the image itself, the 2-D render looks similar to the style in the popular PC game NASCAR Racing Season 2003 (or NR2003 as known by the gaming community). Though the validity of the image remains questionable, it draws a striking similarity to when Jimmie Johnson’s white “rAlly” scheme was leaked onto social media platforms back in August.

The source of both images remains unclear, though it could be from an official internal document of sorts from NASCAR.  The Sauter image is appearing a whole month before the Daytona 500 and the Johnson image showed up on the internet on August 12th, two weeks before its scheduled debut. Fans typically see paint scheme reveals from the teams or sponsors themselves, but never in this style of the document.

The 2021 Daytona 500 will take place on Sunday, February 14th with coverage starting at 2:30 PM EST on FOX.

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