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Johanna Long's return on hold

Johanna Long's plans to return to a NASCAR driver's seat in 2015 have been put on hold.

In a telephone conversation with espnW.com on Wednesday, Long said she and her Mike Affarano Racing team have decided not to race during the season-opening Speedweeks events at Daytona International Speedway this month as originally hoped.

"The car we planned to run did not have the necessary updates that are required to pass the NASCAR certification process," Long said.

She said rather than rush the updates onto the car, the decision was made to pull out of the Alert Today Florida 300, which is scheduled for Feb. 21.

Asked when the car would be ready and able to race, Long said, "It's hard to put a time frame on it. We're just trying to get as prepared as possible for when we do make our debut."

"I am disappointed, but I remain hungry as ever," added Long, 22. "And good things take time, right?"

Long was contacted by team owner Mike Affarano about running a select schedule of races in NASCAR's Camping World Truck and Xfinity series in December. They reached a deal and announced their intentions in late January.

The plan was to enter the No. 03 Chevrolet in the Xfinity event at Daytona even though no primary sponsor had been inked.

Long raced in the Nationwide Series (now the Xfinity Series) in parts of the 2012 and 2013 seasons for team owner Mary Louise Miller. In 41 starts, she had an average finish of 23.5. Her best start was eighth and came in the second race at Richmond International Raceway in 2012. Her best finish was 12th, which came at Daytona in the summer of 2012, at Kentucky Speedway later that year and at Iowa Speedway in 2013.

She has started 24 Camping World races. Her best start was at Daytona in 2011 Speedweeks, when she qualified fifth. Her best finish was 11th at Texas Motor Speedway later that year.

The native of Pensacola, Florida, sat out the 2014 season after Miller's team closed its doors the previous offseason.

Long refused to call the decision to sit out 2015 Speedweeks a setback.

"Yes, for sure I want to race at Daytona," she said, "but then I got to look at it as I'm given this opportunity to be back at the racetrack, and that's all I can ask for."