DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Barring a last-second surprise, Dave Marcis will miss his first Daytona 500 since 1978.
Marcis' 32-year string of consecutive starts probably came to an end when he finished 17th in the second qualifying race Thursday, not high enough to make the top 36 in the field.
The 58-year-old driver is no longer eligible for one of the seven provisional spots in the lineup. The only way he'll make the field would be in the unlikely event he finds an owner willing to change drivers in midstream.
"There are a lot of good sponsors here that have good cars in the race," he said. "Maybe they want a veteran in there."
Others who missed the field included the Bodine brothers, Brett and Geoffrey, the 1986 Daytona 500 champion.
But it seems there will be no more noteworthy driver missing on Sunday than Marcis, who will probably remain tied with Richard Petty for the most career starts (32) in stock-car racing's premier event.
"It's a big disappointment," Marcis said. "It's going to be tough even watching it. I don't know what I'll do. I guess I'll go home if I don't find a ride."