DAYTONA BEACH, FLA. – Tommy Joe Martins’ self-proclaimed hare-brained idea of Alpha Prime Racing is now a two-car team with each of its entries locked into the NASCAR Xfinity Series season opener at Daytona.
Martins and co-owner Caesar Bacarella qualified the No. 44 and No. 45 Chevrolets 22nd and 32nd, respectively for Saturday’s 120-lap Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner 300 at Daytona.
For Martins, it is his 4th NXS Daytona start. It’ll be the 9th NXS Daytona start for Bacarella, whose love for speedway racing was a contributing factor in making Alpha Prime Racing happen.
“He’s so committed to Speedway racing. This is what he loves, absolutely loves this type of racing,” Martins said. “I mean, I feel like he bought into this team and we did all of this just so he could go run Daytona. I mean, this is a big deal. We’ve gone through a lot.”
Alpha Prime Racing will be a two-car operation at Daytona – and this season – but there was interest from Josh Bilicki to field a third car for the race.
“He’s got a sponsor that he really wanted to run at Daytona,” Martins stated, “and we just were really committed to just be a two-car team; we didn’t want to expand and bring another car so he’s running Daytona right now with Mario Gosselin who we have a lot of respect for, obviously, so glad they could work that out.”
Bilicki qualified 31st for the NXS opener at Daytona. He will drive for Alpha Prime Racing in four of the six NXS road course races, beginning at Circuit of the Americas in March.
The Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series opener goes green at Daytona International Speedway around 5:30 p.m. ET (TV: FS1; Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).