FORD PERFORMANCE NASCAR: DAYTONA ROAD COURSE ADVANCE
After running on the oval last weekend, NASCAR returns to Daytona International Speedway for a tripleheader on the road course as all three top touring series are scheduled to be in action. Defending NASCAR XFINITY Series champion Austin Cindric will be looking for his second straight win to start the 2021 season while Daytona 500 champion Michael McDowell tries to go back-to-back in the NASCAR Cup Series.
This Week’s Schedule:
Friday, February 19 – NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, 7:30 p.m. (FS1)
Saturday, February 20 – NASCAR XFINITY Series, 5 p.m. (FS1)
Sunday, February 21 – NASCAR Cup Series, 3 p.m. (Fox)
THE LAST TIME…
Ford won the first two races of a NASCAR Cup Series season was in 2017 when Kurt Busch won the Daytona 500 and Brad Keselowski followed up with a victory at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Overall, Ford has won the first two races four times:
1964 – Ned Jarrett (Concord) and Fireball Roberts (Augusta)
1992 – Davey Allison (Daytona) and Bill Ellliott (Rockingham)
2009 – Matt Kenseth (Daytona and Fontana)
2017 – Kurt Busch (Daytona) and Brad Keselowski (Atlanta)
2021 – Michael McDowell (Daytona) and ?
THE ONLY TIME…
Ford won the first two races of a NASCAR XFINITY Series season came in 1995 when Chad Little won at Daytona and Rockingham. Little went on to post six victories that year, which included Loudon, Charlotte, Talladega and South Boston. He eventually finished second in the point standings behind Johnny Benson.
1995 – Chad Little (Daytona and Rockingham)
CINDRIC LOOKING TO REPEAT DAYTONA ROAD COURSE WIN
Austin Cindric capped off a stretch of five NASCAR XFINITY Series wins in six races when he won the inaugural Daytona Road Course event at Daytona International Speedway last August. Cindric passed Brandon Jones, making a bold move to the outside shortly after the final restart with five laps to go, and won going away. Cindric also won the first stage and led 21 laps as he joined Sam Ard as drivers who captured five wins in a six-race stretch.
MCDOWELL GOING FOR TWO STRAIGHT TO START 2021
Even though it took Michael McDowell 358 races before getting his first win, the Daytona 500 champion could be a contender again this weekend on the Daytona road course. McDowell, who is recognized as one of the better road racers on the circuit, finished 10th in last year’s debut Daytona event after starting 30th. That marked one of his four top-10 efforts on the season.
BLANEY MAKING 200TH CAREER CUP START
Ryan Blaney will hit a milestone this weekend as he makes his 200th career NASCAR Cup Series start. Blaney, who has four career series wins, made 88 starts during his three seasons driving with the Wood Brothers. His other 111 starts have come with Team Penske and includes a victory on the Charlotte Roval in 2018.
INAUGURAL RACE SEES BUESCHER TOP FORD
Chris Buescher led Ford in last year’s inaugural Cup race on the Daytona road course, going from seventh on the last restart with three laps remaining to finish fifth. That marked Buescher’s best effort since finishing third in the Daytona 500. Three other Ford drivers who ended up in the top 10 included Clint Bowyer (6th), Joey Logano (9th) and McDowell (10th).