“Get used to having to qualify for a big race, I’m used to it by now.”

For the first time in four years, John Cohen’s ‘NY Racing’ returns to the NASCAR Cup Series – this time with an updated vehicle.

“They really loved what we were doing with the Grambling State University on the car, ” says Cohen. “And, for me more or less, I wanted to give back to my HBCU.”

The GSU football alum, who even played when Eddie Robinson recorded his 400th victory, is bringing the ‘Gram Fam’ to the Daytona 500. His car, designed by artist, Brenden Drapo, includes the university’s logo displayed proudly.

“[Brenden] was really particular about the Grambling tiger stripes on the car and he just feels like it’s a winning car, and I agree with him.”

NY Racing has existed since 2009, competing in 24 races. Sunday’s return to the Daytona 500 is the first time since the Coca Cola 600 in 2018, they’ll race. They’ve enlisted the help of NASCAR veteran Greg Biffle.

“We were talking for a year and a half now, ” says Cohen. “I told [Greg], when I manufactured a Chevy, Chevy stepped on board for me for our team to be competitive, once that came into play, Greg said, “Hey, let’s do it.”

You can credit NY Racing’s journey to Cohen’s time under ‘Coach Rob’

“He was so detailed with how he wanted his players to grow up as men, ” says Cohen. “Coach, was just a person who really cared about his players, and really cared about making men out of them.”