The team issued a statement Friday afternoon about the decision, citing “a variety of circumstances,” including limited resources and funding.
“It is no secret that this is a very small team with limited resources,” the team said. “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.”
Obaika’s news means 42 cars will try to make the 40-car field in the Daytona 500.
The team’s announcement on Wednesday, held at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, was also used to reveal a partnership with Wave Sports.
“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 statement continued. “We continued with the Wednesday, Feb. 6th, 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.”
Owned by Victor Obaika, the team made its Cup debut last year and competed in three races, with Berryhill driving in the last two races of the season.
The team has 78 Xfinity Series starts since 2015.