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NASCAR Cup: Obaika Racing withdraws from Daytona 500

CHARLOTTE, NC – JANUARY 30: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Tanner Berryhill poses for a portrait during the NASCAR Production Photo Days at Charlotte Convention Center on January 30, 2019 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Tanner Berryhill

By AMANDA VINCENT

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series 2019 Rookie-of-the-Year candidate Tanner Berryhill won’t compete in all of the Cup Series races this year, after all, as his Obaika Racing team recently announced its withdrawal from the Feb. 17 season-opening Daytona 500.

“It is no secret that this is a very small team with limited resources,” a statement from the race team read. “This is also a very new team to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. The No. 97 team has worked very hard through the winter to prepare cars and to secure funding for the 2019 season, and things did not come together as quickly as hoped or needed. The odds of making the Daytona 500 did not seem reasonable enough to stretch our resources, so the team feels that our assets can best be put towards a future race.”

After the team competed in the final three races of 2018 at Texas Motor Speedway, ISM Raceway near Phoenix and Homestead-Miami Speedway, the final two of those with Berryhill as driver, Obaika Racing announced during the offseason plans to compete full-time, with Berryhill as driver, in 2019. When the team announced a sponsorship deal with Wave Sports and unveiled its 2019 car during an event at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C., on Wednesday, the plan still was to run the complete 2019 schedule.

“Adding Wave Sports as a year-long partner was a huge boost to our program, and they will be a very important part of our future efforts,” the team’s statement read. “We continued with the Wednesday, Feb. 6, press conference at the NASCAR Hall of Fame with great optimism about our program coming together in time to make it to Daytona International Speedway. Even though that did not work out, we are still very thankful to Wave Sports for continuing their support. The team still has big plans for the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season. We will compete in as many events as possible, and we will announce our 2019 debut race as soon as possible.”

After Obaika’s announcement, Berryhill expressed his disappointment via social media.

“I’ve written about a thousand different things I’d like to share, but I just can’t seem to put something together other than I’m devastated,” Berryhill (@TannerBerryhill) tweeted Friday. “What I thought and hoped was the opportunity of a lifetime wasn’t. #Daytona500.”

The 2018 races at ISM Raceway and Homestead-Miami with Obaika Racing have been Berryhill’s only two-career Cup Series starts, to date. He posted a best finish of 31st at ISM.

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Posted by on February 10, 2019. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,Monster Energy NASCAR Cup,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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