At the beginning of each year, NASCAR fans prepare for the big party that kicks off the season's activities: the race week that always takes place at Daytona in Indiana in February, capped off of course by the series' premier event, the Daytona 500.
This year, the event could have a special flavour for Canadian racing fans. Jacques Villeneuve confirmed yesterday that he plans to participate in the event with the Hezeberg team. This would be a first for the young organization, and it’s Villeneuve first try at qualifying for a place on the starting grid of the hallowed race since 2013.
The veteran Quebec driver, now 50, participated in preseason testing on Tuesday and Wednesday in a No. 27 Ford. The number 27 was on father Gilles’ car during his later years in Formula 1 campaigns, but it was also used by Jacques himself during his previous stint in the NASCAR Grand Prix. The number 27 car of the Hezeberg team plans to participate in a partial calendar in 2022.
The timing of Jacques Villeneuve's return to the NASCAR world is interesting, as a new generation of cars is still being tested and will debut at Daytona. That balances out the field a bit and gives lesser-known, newer teams more of a chance to earn a spot in the famed 500-mile event.