Villeneuve aims to take No. 27 to Daytona

Villeneuve aims to take No. 27 to Daytona
By: René Fagnan
Feb 8, 2016, 5:53 PM

Following confirmation that Jacques Villeneuve will race in this year’s NASCAR XFINITY series, the French-Canadian has told he will be entered in a #27 Ford at Daytona this month.

Jacques Villeneuve
Gilles Villeneuve in his usual style
Jacques Villeneuve, Venturi Formula E Team
Jacques Villeneuve, Stanton Barrett, Jamie McMurray and Dario Franchitti crash
Jacques Villeneuve
Jacques Villeneuve, Dodge

Although he reiterated that his deal with Wingnut Racing is part-time, Villeneuve said: “We intend to race at Daytona. I admit it will be difficult.

“We are now trying to find a good crew chief; one I worked with previously. The problem is they’re all working for very good teams now and it will be difficult to attract one of them!"

He explained: “It’s a brand new team. I don’t know much about it, unfortunately. It’s totally new, so there’s very little information I can give.

“We started talking in December when I was still racing in Formula E. I quickly realized I couldn’t do TV, Formula E and NASCAR. It would have been too much.

“Since TV is a priority for me, I decided to leave Formula E and accept the NASCAR offer. I think it’s worth taking the risk. My intention has always been to return to NASCAR."

The No. 27 is seen as symbolic, as that's the number which Jacques' iconic father Gilles Villeneuve made famous in Formula 1, 1981-’82. 

Villeneuve raced a No. 27 Bill Davis Racing Toyota at Daytona in 2008, but was punted into the wall during one of the Duels and failed to make the 500. He also raced this entry at Talladega (where he finished 21st) and Phoenix.

Villeneuve went on: “I admit things will be a bit hectic at first. We are putting everything together. But the team has some sponsors and the organization looks serious.

“I had to make the jump. I just hope it’s a serious project. But you know in racing, anything can happen. 

“I will not do the entire season. Like I said, TV is my priority. But this is a golden opportunity to make a return in NASCAR and contest a few races. If it works out, great, if not, I’ll have no regrets.”

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About this article

Event Daytona
Location Daytona International Speedway
Drivers Jacques Villeneuve
Author René Fagnan
Article type Interview