INDIANAPOLIS – The 2023 racing season is underway with the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship’s 24 at Daytona.
10 full-time IndyCar Series are driving in the 61-car field: Scott Dixon, Colton Herta, Helio Castroneves, Simon Pagenaud, Scott McLaughlin, Josef Newgarden, Rinus VeeKay, Devlin DeFrancesco, Romain Grosjean and Kyle Kirkwood.
Indianapolis 500 champions Castroneves and Pagenaud are the reigning overall champions.
Several IndyCar team owners have entries in the prestigious sportscar endurance race at Daytona International Speedway.
“If you were here and saw this this weekend, everything is sold out, every hospitality suite,” said Daytona 24 winning driver and team owner, Kevin Buckler. “It’s packed. Overall, it seems like motorsports has been very much on the uptick.”
Buckler has four victories and 13 podium finishes in the 24 at Daytona, so he knows a win in one of sportscars biggest races can propel a team and driver into a terrific season.
“You’ve made a statement if you’ve won this race,” said Buckler. “This is a hard race. We prepare for months. It’s like the 500 except a whole lot longer. A lot of things can go wrong, but if you win this race, you’ve showed everybody you know what you’re doing.”
Buckler, who fielded 74 entries with 215 drivers in the Daytona 24 over the years is hosting a reunion as his team, The Racers Group celebrates the 20th anniversary of its overall win in 2003.
The Racers Group is competing in the Intercontinental GT Challenge this season, which will race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in October. Buckler is looking for partners and sponsors as he builds a team to return to IMSA next year.
The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will return to IMS for the first time since 2014 for the “Battle on the Bricks” in September.
The IndyCar drivers will leave Daytona and head to California for the series’ full-field open test at The Thermal Club near Palm Springs on Thursday and Friday. It’s IndyCar’s first preseason open test since 2020 at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin.