New Cup team to field Daytona 500 entry
Gaunt Brothers Racing plans to enter all four Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series restrictor-plate races this season, beginning with the Daytona 500.
D.J. Kennington will seek for the qualify for the season-opening race. The team has no charter and is not guaranteed a starting spot.
Other non-chartered teams that have announced plans to vie for a Daytona 500 starting spot are: Tommy Baldwin Racing (Elliott Sadler) and car owner Mark Beard (Brendan Gaughan). Michael Waltrip also has stated on Twitter he will compete but has not offered any other details.
Gaunt Brothers Racing is owned by Marty Gaunt, president of Triad Racing Technologies.
“With the recent unveiling of the 2018 Toyota Camry, we feel that now is the right time to return to the racetrack,” said Gaunt, whose Triad engines powered five championship-winning Toyota drivers and contributed to multiple manufacturer championships at the NASCAR national level, in a statement.
The team competed in what is now the NASCAR Pinty’s Series in 2011. Gaunt Brothers Racing is fielding a Toyota Camry in partnership with Triad client RAB Racing, which is led by Robby Benton. RAB Racing will supply cars, shop space and technical support.
“Our aspirations will be no small task, but we know what we need to do to position ourselves to make this a successful effort,’' Benton said in a statement. “We’ll transition over to the Daytona 500 after competing in the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona with our sports car program later this month.”
Kennington, who is from St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada, is a two-time NASCAR Pinty’s Series champion. He made his Cup debut last fall at Phoenix International Raceway, placing 35th.
No driver has been announced for the team at the other three restrictor-plate races this season.