Frontstretchâs Dustin Albino reported Friday that MBM Motorsports are set to field the #66 Ford for Timmy Hill in what would be his first Daytona 500 to open up the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season at Daytona International Speedway in mid-February.
MBM Motorsports do not have a charter, so Hill will need to work his way into the field just to lock himself in as one of the 40 qualifiers for this 200-lap race around the four-turn, 2.5-mile (4.023-kilometer) high-banked Daytona International Speedway oval in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Hill, who has driven for MBM Motorsports on a part-time basis since about one-third of the way through the 2017 season, attempted to qualify for the 2017 Daytona 500 driving for Rick Ware Racing, but he failed to do so.
But what team owner Carl Long also discussed in addition to confirming Hill for an attempted Daytona 500 run is that he intends to field the #66 car throughout the entire 36-race 2020 season.
As of now, there are 33 confirmed full-time drivers for the 2020 season and 36 confirmed full-time cars, as there are three remaining confirmed full-time seats without drivers: one at Spire Motorsports and two at Rick Ware Racing. Of the two open seats at the three-car Rick Ware Racing team, only one has a charter. With that being said, the charter used by the #36 Front Row Motorsports team this past season is available, as Bob Jenkinsâs team will only run two cars in 2020 as opposed to three like they did last year.
In 2017, Longâs team fielded 12 entries throughout the season. In 2018, that total rose to 20 before dropping to 16 this past season.
Could they pull off a full 36-race effort this upcoming season, and without a charter, no less?
If they do, Hill would likely end up being their primary driver, having driven for the team in 30 races over the course of the last three years, more than any other driver by far. He finished in a career-high 14th place in the 2017 Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Additionally, whether or not they have a charter to compete in each round may not end up mattering, as the only race to feature more than 40 drivers on the entry list last year was the Daytona 500.
With that being said, whether or not Hill qualifies for that race could go a long way in terms of determining whether or not MBM Motorsports compete full-time in 2020.
Here is what Long had to say to that effect, according to Frontstretch.
âIf you come out of Daytona and you miss the race itâs a struggle the rest of the year. Itâs a huge financial race. If you come out of Daytona and you miss the race, itâs tough. Sometimes you have to lay off people, and it really sets the tone for what your program is going to be for the rest of the year.â
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Will the #66 car for MBM Motorsports become the 37th confirmed full-time entry for the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season? It certainly looks like that is Carl Longâs goal, even without a charter.