The British driver has announced that he wants to return to racing in the NASCAR series, with a plan for a debut this season. The 48-year old is looking at starting out in the Daytona 500 and will be piloting his own car.

The “nascar 500” is a famous race that takes place every year in Daytona, Florida. This year’s race will be the first time since 2003 that the Nascar Cup Series has not been won by a driver from either Hendrick Motorsports or Joe Gibbs Racing.

Former F1 Champion Aims for Daytona 500 Start

Jacques Villeneuve

Getty Jacques Villeneuve has confirmed that he will compete in the Daytona 500.

One of the most successful competitors is ready to embark on a new endeavor. On February 20, 2022, Jacques Villeneuve, the 1997 Formula One champion, declared his desire to compete in the Daytona 500.

During the second of two days of Next Gen testing at Daytona International Speedway, the Quebec native made the news. On January 12, he spoke with the media and revealed that he intends to participate in the NASCAR Cup Series for the first time since the Sonoma race in 2013. This chance will be provided by Outfit Hezeberg, a first-year team that also includes NASCAR Whelen Euro Series winner Loris Hezemans.

“It would be incredible,” Villeneuve stated, according to a NASCAR Media quote transcript. “It’s been a long time since I raced in NASCAR in North America; I believe it was in Sonoma the last time, so it’s been a long time.” It will be particularly memorable since it is also a unique race. It’s a unique race to compete in, and getting into the show is difficult when you have to qualify on time or in duels. As a result, it’s a little more hectic, and putting on the concert would be spectacular enough.”

Toine Hezemans, a former sports car racer, has teamed up with Dutch industrialist Ernst Berg and Reaume Brothers Racing to establish Team Hezeberg. During the part-time season, Hezemans will be the principal driver of the No. 27 Ford Mustang, focusing on road courses. His application to race in the Cup Series has yet to be approved by NASCAR.

Villeneuve had a number of National Series starts.

Jacques Villeneuve

GettyJacques Villeneuve has competed in the national three series on multiple occasions.

Villeneuve has raced in various NASCAR Cup Series, Xfinity Series, Truck Series, and Euro races over his racing career, including the 1995 Indy 500. Talladega Superspeedway and Phoenix Raceway in 2007, Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2010, and Sonoma Raceway in 2013 are his four Cup Series starts. Villeneuve again tried to qualify for the 2008 Daytona 500 with Bill Davis Racing, but he was not accepted.

Villeneuve has also raced in the Xfinity Series, making nine appearances at Road America, Watkins Glen, and Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, which is named after his late father. Villeneuve finished in the top five at Watkins Glen once and in the top three at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve three times, including a third-place result for Team Penske in 2012 in which he led 43 laps.

During the 2007 season, the 50-year-old driver also competed in the Truck Series for Bill Davis Racing, making seven appearances. During his one year in the Truck Series, he had four top-25 results, including a season-best 14th at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Villeneuve has continued to test his abilities in stock car racing despite not competing in a national series event since 2013. Along with Hezemans, he has competed in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series for the previous two seasons. Back-to-back victories in the NASCAR GP Italy to close off the 2021 season are on his resume.

Team Hezeberg has joined the ranks of other open teams vying for a spot on the grid.

Villeneuve will not be the only unchartered driver attempting to qualify for the Daytona 500. He will compete against a number of other drivers for a position on the starting grid.

Beard Motorsports, which has four Daytona 500 appearances under its belt, confirmed on November 16 that the No. 62 Chevrolet Camaro, driven by Xfinity Series driver Noah Gragson, would return for the season-opening event. With Gragson at the wheel, the team came close to qualifying for the 2020 Daytona 500, but an accident in the Duels destroyed his chances.

Timmy Hill will race the No. 66 in the Daytona 500 for MBM Motorsports, with as his principal sponsor, MBM Motorsports announced on January 11th. The Maryland native was at Daytona International Speedway for the two-day Next Gen testing session when he received the news.

Because the Daytona 500 is the most important race on the calendar, numerous unchartered teams are expected to attempt to qualify for the Crown Jewel race. Only Beard Motorsports, Team Hezeberg, and MBM Motorsports have publicly stated their plan to participate, but more are expected to join them in the following weeks.

READ ON: Rick Ware Racing Announces First Daytona 500 Driver

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