Despite months of documented interest on his part, four-time Indianapolis 500 champion Helio Castroneves ruled out attempting to qualify for the 2023 Daytona 500 during a media availability ahead of this weekend's Rolex 24 at Daytona.
According to NBC Sports, Castroneves had been negotiating with The Money Team Racing concerning a potential bid to qualify for his NASCAR debut. A potential Daytona 500 bid for Castroneves was sparked in last year's SRX season opener at Five Flags Speedway, which came after the 47-year-old Brazilian had made a bet with SRX CEO Don Hawk that he'd have to find him a ride in the Daytona 500 if he won an SRX race.
Castroneves cited a lack of experience racing stock cars and a lack of testing as to why he choosing not to run in the race.
"I believe it would be a little bit tough throwing myself in such a short notice, and to go in a place that you've got to race yourself into it. So as of right now, yes, it's not going to happen,' Castroneves said. "But we did have an opportunity. We just got to elaborate a little bit more to give me a little more experience on that. So there is more things to come ahead of us, but as of right now, I want to focus on the IndyCar program as well and (the Rolex 24)."
Castroneves said we'll be at the Daytona 500 as a spectator, and did not rule out at potentially attempting to make The Great American Race down the road.
With Castroneves now out of the picture, The Money Team Racing -- co-owned by boxing legend Floyd Mayweather -- continues to seek a driver to attempt the Daytona 500. According to Sports Business Journal, the team is now looking at potentially hiring IndyCar driver Conor Daly, who made his Cup Series debut aboard their No. 50 Chevrolet last year at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval.
The Money Team Racing would be entering the Daytona 500 as one of the "Open" teams, meaning that they would have to attempt to qualify for one of the four available spots in the field for non-chartered cars. The team successfully qualified last year with Kaz Grala as their driver.