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CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - SEPTEMBER 27: Austin Cindric, driver of the #22 MoneyLion Ford, talks with Harrison Burton, driver of the #18 DEX Imaging Toyota, during practice for the NASCAR Xfinity Series Drive for the Cure 250 presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina at Charlotte Motor Speedway on September 27, 2019 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images) | Getty Images
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - SEPTEMBER 27: Austin Cindric, driver of the #22 MoneyLion Ford, talks with Harrison Burton, driver of the #18 DEX Imaging Toyota, during practice for the NASCAR Xfinity Series Drive for the Cure 250 presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina at Charlotte Motor Speedway on September 27, 2019 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images) | Getty Images

Austin Cindric, Harrison Burton, Chase Briscoe, Hailie Deegan Teaming for Michelin Pilot Challenge Race; Cindric Also Entered in Rolex 24

A quartet of NASCAR young guns will leave their stock cars at home to compete in upcoming IMSA sports car events at Daytona International Speedway to open the 2022 season.

Austin Cindric, Harrison Burton, Chase Briscoe and Hailie Deegan – all part of the Ford Performance program in NASCAR – will pair up in two Ford Mustang GT4s for the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge season opener, the BMW M Endurance Challenge on Jan. 28. A day later, Cindric will step into the No. 15 Proton USA Mercedes-AMG GT3 and race in the new GTD PRO class at the 60th Rolex 24 At Daytona, which tips off the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship calendar.

Cindric and Burton will share the No. 41 PF Racing Mustang for the Michelin Pilot Challenge race, with Briscoe and Deegan in the No. 42 Mustang from the same stable. The goal for all four drivers is to gain valuable road course experience prior to embarking on their NASCAR seasons – the Camping World Truck Series for Deegan and the Cup Series for other three.

Cindric, the NASCAR Xfinity Series champion in 2020 who’ll be a Cup Series rookie this year with Team Penske, is no stranger to IMSA racing. The 22-year-old has been in 16 Michelin Pilot Challenge races with two wins and has six WeatherTech Championship races under his belt.

The drivers have the blessings of their teams to venture out of their regular workspace to compete at Daytona.

The foursome will get plenty of seat time at Daytona to do so. It began Friday with three days of testing for both IMSA series at the Roar Before the Rolex 24. In Friday’s second session, Cindric was seventh fastest among the 30 cars in the Grand Sport (GS) class with a lap of 1 minute, 54.027 seconds (112.394 mph), while Briscoe was 12th at 1:54.367 (112.060 mph).

It will be a reunion for Deegan and Briscoe, who shared a Mustang for the Daytona race in 2020.

 IMSA