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Five Drivers to Watch at the United Rentals 300

John Hunter Nemechek, driver of the #20 Mobil 1 Toyota, Justin Allgaier, driver of the #7 BRANDT Chevrolet, Riley Herbst, driver of the #98 Monster Energy Ford, and Brandon Jones, driver of the #9 Menards/Swiffer Chevrolet, race during the NASCAR Xfinity Series Beef. It's What's For Dinner. 300 at Daytona International Speedway on February 18, 2023 in Daytona Beach, Florida.

The United Rentals 300 kicks off the 2024 NASCAR Xfinity Series season from Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, February 17th.

This will be the 43rd February Daytona race since the Series began in 1982. Practice begins on Friday at 4:35pm ET (1:35pm PT) with qualifying on Saturday at 11:30am ET (8:30am PT). Cars will take to the track for the green flag at 5:00pm ET (2:00pm PT) with all action available to watch on Fox Sports 1.

See our five NASCAR Xfinity Series drivers to watch at Saturday’s United Rentals 300.

5. Daniel Dye

Daniel Dye is set to make his Kaulig Racing debut as the driver of their No. 10 Chevrolet. The start will come as his third in the Xfinity Series and the first at a superspeedway. His drive will come with the help of teammate veterans A.J. Allmendinger, Shane van Gisbergen, and Josh Williams. Additionally, Dye will have the help of NASCAR Cup Series driver Daniel Suarez, who will be racing in a Kaulig-prepped car through SS Green Light Racing.

Dye competed for Ben Kennedy Racing and GMS Racing in his 2021 ARCA Menards Series East tenure, finishing the year second in points. In a part-time ARCA Menards Series schedule that year, he earned a dominant win at Berlin Speedway. His relationship with GMS Racing continued through a 2022 ARCA Menards Series and 2023 Craftsman Truck Series schedule, finishing 2nd and 18th in points, respectively.

4. Jesse Love

At the United Rentals 300, 19-year-old Jesse Love will kick off his first full-time Xfinity Series season. From 2020 to 2023, he competed in ARCA securing two West Championships and winning last year’s primary ARCA Title. The latter came in a one-sided fashion, taking the checkered flag in ten of the 20 events included. Dye’s win in the penultimate race at Salem Speedway saw the prospect lead all 200 laps, lapping all but two competitors.

Love made three starts in last season’s Craftsman Truck Series for Tricon Garage. His debut saw a 9th place result at Gateway Motorsports Park with a best finish of 4th in the Phoenix finale. In October of last year, Love was announced as Richard Childress Racing’s newest driver in the No. 2 Chevrolet. His efforts will come alongside Austin Hill, who enters his third year of Xfinity Series competition.

3. Hailie Deegan

A fresh start is hopefully the ticket for Hailie Deegan. Three years in the Craftsman Truck Series saw only five Top 10s with no Top 10s and the second-most DNFs at 14. Her relationship will continue with Ford, signing with AM Racing’s No. 15 Xfinity program. Deegan made her Series debut in 2022 with the aforementioned SS Green Light Racing, driving to a lead lap finish in 13th.

In 2018, Deegan became the first female victor in the formerly-titled K&N Pro West Series. Driving for Bill McAnally, she would add to her win total with two more checkered flags in 2019. Deegan signed on to Ford’s development group in 2020 and competed for DGR-Crosley in the ARCA Menards Series. Despite no wins, Deegan finished 3rd in points. Her influence and popularity have been of great importance for motorsports.

2. Shane van Gisbergen

New Zealand’s Shane van Gisbergen has a home in the United States. In December, Kaulig Racing announced they had signed the Kiwi to a full-time NASCAR Xfinity Series schedule in 2024. He will pilot the No. 97 and will make his debut in the United Rentals 300 at Daytona International Speedway. Van Gisbergen will also race hours beforehand in the Daytona ARCA 200 for Pinnacle Racing Group.

Last year, van Gisbergen made his Cup Series debut racing for Trackhouse Racing at the inaugural Chicago Street Course circuit. He would shock the motorsports world by winning the event, becoming the first Series driver to come first in their debut since 1963. Van Gisbergen has won three Supercars Championships, three Bathurst 1000s, and numerous events in sports cars around the world. A full-time opportunity in Cup will likely be in his future.

1. Frankie Muniz

Five years ago, the thought of Frankie Muniz racing in one of NASCAR’s premier Series never crossed anyone’s mind. Saturday afternoon, the actor-turned-driver will get his chance. In his first-ever Xfinity Series start, Muniz will race the No. 35 Ford for Joey Gase Motorsports. Although the remainder of his 2024 plans are unknown, a strong performance may be enough to warrant a long-term ride.

Throughout the years, Muniz was a face of many televisions in America including his breakout role on Malcolm in the Middle. He partook in many shows and movies before ultimately pursuing a motorsports career in the mid-2000s. Muniz raced in the Champ Car Atlantic Series from 2007 to 2009 and in various motorsport events. Injuries and health issues, however, marred his progression resulting in a hiatus behind the wheel. Muniz started racing stock cars in 2021 and went on to compete for Rette Jones Racing last season in the ARCA Menards Series.

Be sure to catch the 2024 United Rentals 300 on Saturday, February 17th. Stay tuned here at LWOS Motorsports for NASCAR news, results, updates, and more.

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