Race car honoring Grambling State University revs up for the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series
Grambling State alumnus John Cohen brings love for his alma mater to Daytona qualifier with semi-retired driver Greg Biffle taking the wheel
Grambling State University supporters are revved up at the recent announcement that NY Racing owner John Cohen, a GSU alum, will have a car and driver return to the NASCAR Cup Series this week.
On this Saturday, Feb. 19, when semi-retired driver Greg Biffle enters the track to qualify for the Daytona 500, he will be driving the No. 44 Grambling State University and HBCU League Pass Plus Chevrolet Camero owned by Cohen.
Cohen played linebacker at Grambling State from 1993-97 and has also owned trucking and mortgage companies.
“I wanted to get into something I had a passion for,” said Cohen, who started NY Racing in 2009 and is also marketing partner of Urban Edge Network, Inc. “I’m passionate about HBCUs and Grambling State University. And racing is something I’m passionate about. If it has a motor and goes fast, I’m passionate about it. It all started with motorcycles and I just kind of worked my way up. I’ve always liked and followed racing,” he said.
NY Racing does not have a guaranteed spot in the 2022 Daytona 500 on February 20 (2:30 p.m. ET, FOX). Biffle will have to first qualify while driving the No. 44 built by Richard Childress Racing and featuring a Hendrick Motorsports engine. Veteran crew chief Jay Guy will call the shots atop the pit box for Biffle. Guy has been a crew chief for more than 300 Cup Series races and earned a win with David Ragan in 2013 at Talladega Superspeedway. Qualifying for the Daytona 500 is different than any other race on the circuit. It includes the traditional single car qualifying laps to set the front row. Then, NASCAR runs two dual races to set the rest of the field based on the race results. If Biffle and the Grambling race car aren’t fast enough on qualifying laps, Biffle will have the opportunity to race into qualifying.
“I’m really excited to have the opportunity to drive the Next Gen car and help NY Racing make its entry into the 2022 season,” Biffle stated in a team release. “I’ve always said since the day I stepped away from full-time competition that I would return under the right circumstances.”
For Cohen, “It’s all about representing HBCUs and especially Grambling along with a sport I love. I’ve been trying to bring racing to a wider audience since 2009. I hope that having the car look like it does with all the Grambling branding on it will help make that happen.”
Biffle competed in the NASCAR Cup Series full-time from 2003-2016, collecting all of his 19 victories for team owner Jack Roush. At 52, he is the oldest Daytona 500 entrant.