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Helio Castroneves rules out 2023 Daytona 500 NASCAR bid

During a media availability ahead of the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona, Helio Castroneves confirmed that he will not attempt to run the 2023 Daytona 500.

#60 Meyer Shank Racing W/Curb-Agajanian Acura DPi: Helio Castroneves

There was much speculation surrounding the four-time Indianapolis 500 winner and his interest in running NASCAR's biggest race.

The 47-year-old Brazilian racer made a handful of starts in the Superstar Racing Experience (SRX) in 2022, a series co-founded by Tony Stewart. He was told by SRX CEO Don Hawk that if he managed to win, he would try and help him to find a ride in NASCAR's Daytona 500. 

Well, Castroneves quickly found Victory Lane, winning at Five Flags Speedway over Bubba Pollard and Ryan Newman.

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Some thought he could make an appearance in a third Trackhouse Racing car with the same Project91 program that gave former F1 World Champion Kimi Raikkonen a shot at Watkins Glen last year. However, that never grew to anything beyond a rumor.

Later rumblings placed him in contention for the No. 50 The Money Team Racing seat, which Kaz Grala drove in the 2022 Daytona 500. That too never came to fruition, and with a stacked open field for this year's race that includes seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, making the field would prove to be a difficult challenge even if he did find a ride.

On Thursday, he finally confirmed that it's not happening this year, but he remains interested.

"Unfortunately for me, lack of experience, no testing, a lot of things... I believe it will be a little bit tough for myself in such a short notice and to go to a place where you have to race yourself into it," he explained to the assembled media.

"So as of right now, yes, it's not going to happen, but we did have an opportunity. We just got to elaborate a little bit more to give me a little more experience. There are more things to come ahead of us, but as of right now I want to focus obviously on the IndyCar program, as well as this race [Rolex 24]."

Castroneves then added that he may still attend the 65th running of the Daytona 500 next month as a spectator, and did not rule out attempting it in the future.

In the more immediate future, Castroneves will be aiming for a third consecutive overall victory in the 24-hour endurance race at Daytona. His co-driver Tom Blomqvist put the No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing Acura on pole for this year's event.

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