Pole Qualifying | Duel | Daytona 500
No. 62 Death Wish Coffee Chevrolet Camaro
Wednesday, Feb. 14: Daytona 500 qualifying (single-lap qualifying to determine pole for the Daytona 500)
● Time/TV/Radio: 8 p.m. ET on FS1/MRN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Thursday, Feb. 15: Bluegreen Vacations Duel (twin 150-mile qualifying races that set the field for the Daytona 500)
● Time/TV/Radio: 7 p.m. ET on FS1/MRN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Sunday, Feb. 18: 65th annual Daytona 500 (first of 36 points-paying NASCAR Cup Series races in 2023)
● Time/TV/Radio: 2:30 p.m. ET on FOX/MRN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Notes of Interest
● Beard Motorsports will take to the track this week at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway in the hopes of making the starting field for the 66th running of the Daytona 500. When the No. 62 Chevrolet Camaro takes to the 2.5-mile superspeedway oval for qualifying Wednesday night, it will kick off the team’s eighth year of competing in select events that make up the NASCAR Cup Series schedule, dating back to its inaugural season in 2017.
● A new face will sit behind the wheel of the No. 62 Beard-family owned Chevrolet in driver Anthony Alfredo. A native of Ridgefield, Connecticut, Alfredo brings a fresh perspective to competing – something that has served him well in his young career. A NASCAR Next alumnus, Alfredo has experienced a meteoric rise through the NASCAR ranks that launched in 2019, when he made his first start in the Craftsman Truck Series. His performance in limited Truck Series action that season earned him a partial Xfinity Series schedule in 2020, followed by a full season of Cup Series racing in 2021.
● A buzz surrounds the No. 62 Beard Motorsports team at Daytona – a caffeinated one to be exact – as Death Wish Coffee partners with Alfredo and company as they attempt to compete in the season-opening Daytona 500. Founded in 2012 in Saratoga Springs, New York, Death Wish Coffee is made up of caffeinated creatives, challengers, brewers and doers. Born in a basement with the dream of delivering stronger and bolder coffee to its customers, a little more than a decade later, its products are now in more than 24,000 stores nationwide.
● While Alfredo is still in the dawn of his racing career, he enters Speedweek at Daytona with practical experience behind the wheel of a NASCAR Cup Series car. Racing with the moniker of “Fast Pasta,” Alfredo competed as a series regular in 2021 with the No. 38 entry. During the 2021 edition of the Daytona 500, Alfredo was caught up in a multicar accident on lap 14 and unable to finish the race. He competed in the subsequent superspeedway races at Daytona and Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway later that season, scoring a 10th-place finish during the fall race at Talladega for his first career top-10 result in the series.
● Redemption fuels Beard Motorsports as it prepares for the 2024 Daytona 500. The No. 62 Beard entry was poised to advance to the starting field for the 2023 Daytona 500 when it was caught up in a multicar accident during the closing laps of its Duel qualifying race.
● The Feb. 18th Daytona 500 is the first of four events at which Beard Motorsports is scheduled to appear in 2024. Plans are for the No. 62 Chevrolet to compete in subsequent races at Daytona on Aug. 24, along with the April 21 and Oct. 6 races at Talladega.
● As they have since the very beginning, ECR Engines will power the No. 62 Deathwish Coffee in its endeavors this season. The partnership with ECR has served the Beard-owned Chevrolet Camaros well through the years and has played an integral role in the No. 62 Chevrolet being a staple at the superspeedway races. Beard Motorsports is accustomed to racing at the front, proven by its recent performances that include a top-five finish in the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona in August 2022 with former driver Noah Gragson. Prior to 2022, Beard boasted a pair of top-10 finishes during the 2020 season at the hands of former driver Brendan Gaughan. With Gaughan behind the wheel, the Beard team finished seventh in the Daytona 500 that February and eighth in the Coke Zero Sugar 400 in August.
● Founded by the late Mark Beard Sr., Beard Motorsports is owned and operated by his wife Linda Beard with significant support from daughter Amie and son Mark Jr., as well as crew chief Darren Shaw. The Beard women are integral to the Beard brand in both racing and business. The family owned company, Beard Oil Distributing, is a certified, woman-owned entity, placing it and Beard Motorsports in rarified company.
Anthony Alfredo, Driver of the No. 62 Death Wish Coffee Chevrolet Camaro
You are heading back to Daytona to start the NASCAR season with the Daytona 500, and this year you are getting a second chance at The Great American Race. What has it been like getting ready for this week?
“Talk about a gift. Any opportunity to race in the NASCAR Cup Series – especially the biggest race of the year – is an incredible blessing. To have the chance to go race in the Daytona 500 is huge. It’s one I have always wanted another shot at since 2021, when we got caught up in that early big one. To do this with Beard Motorsports is really cool. I’m so thrilled about this opportunity and very thankful to the Beard family. I have always watched them at all of the superspeedway races and have respected what they do. They bring really competitive cars to the track. To know that I not only have a shot to go race in the Daytona 500, but to actually have a chance to run up front and compete for the win, is something that I’m really pumped about. I want to go down there and be competitive and I know I can do that with them. Their crew chief, Darren Shaw, has assembled a really good group of people. I don’t take this chance for granted and can’t wait to get to work.”
You were part of the starting field for the 2021 Daytona 500. How has that prepared you for the upcoming week?
“Every race in 2021 was just kind of out of the ordinary because of the COVID restrictions – especially the Daytona 500. It’s the biggest race of the year but fan attendance was limited. Some of the media opportunities and typical race-day events and activities were out of the norm. So I didn’t get that true Daytona 500 experience, if that makes sense. This year, I am excited to experience all of it – the camaraderie, drivers meetings, being able to do things with our partners, team activities – it’s just going to be different.”
What are the nerves like, knowing you will have to either qualify on time on Wednesday night or race your way in during the Duals on Thursday night?
“It will definitely be a little more intense this time around for me. I was fortunate enough to go to Daytona in 2021 in a charter car. There will be cars going home this year – there are 40 starting positions and 36 of those are for chartered cars. I believe there are six cars trying to make the race as an open entry, so only four will make the show. You don’t want to be one of the few loading up early. We are trying to stay until Sunday. I feel like we have a great chance of qualifying on time on Wednesday night with an ECR engine under the hood of our Camaro, and obviously for the Duels. Even if we find ourselves in the position of having to race in on Thursday night, I am confident we can do so. From there, it will be about making it to the checkered flag on Sunday.”
You have been competing in events making up the schedules of NASCAR’s top three touring series since 2020. So you are still somewhat new to this, and some people may not know the pretty interesting path you took to reach this level.
“I actually took a fairly non-traditional route into racing. I was a fan first and started competing in go-karts when I was younger – racing at one of those indoor tracks where you are just paying a fee to drive one of their karts. Then I didn’t race for a lot of years because I did the stick and ball sports. The desire to race was there and, in 2014, I decided to give it a go again, started racing Legends cars, raced some Late Model, and really got my big break in 2017 when I was picked to race for Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s team in the Late Model division of the CARS Tour, racing with guys like Josh Berry. Things just kept rolling because I got the chance to run some Truck Series races in 2019, and then made the jump to the Xfinity Series for some races in 2020. Things just kind of rolled because I was driving in the NASCAR Truck Series in 2019, then in the Xfinity Series in 2020, and then had the chance to run the full Cup Series season in 2021.”
What was it like making that jump to the NASCAR Cup Series in 2021 after making, basically, a handful of starts between the Truck Series and Xfinity Series?
“It was an opportunity that really just presented itself and was just too good to pass up, and was what was best for me and my sponsors. All of 2021 was really strange to be a rookie racing in the NASCAR Cup Series with no practice and no qualifying because of the COVID-19 restrictions. It definitely seemed like trial by fire at the time because it was such a huge step but, honestly, it made me so much better. Being one of 36 drivers in the world that raced fulltime at that level was an amazing opportunity and made me a much better racecar driver.”
Will you talk a little bit about this partnership with Beard Motorsports and the opportunity to race with them at Daytona, and even later in the season at Talladega?
“To be able to work with Beard Motorsports is really exciting to me because they have been a part of NASCAR for many years, now, and a lot of people pull from them at the superspeedway races. The Beard family does this as a way of carrying on Mark Beard Sr.’s legacy, and to be a part of that is very special to me because he was the one that really loved racing and they do it to honor him. Getting to know Amie and Linda Beard during these last couple of months has been really cool. They have great Chevrolet Camaros, and to be able to climb behind the wheel of one is an honor for me because they have worked with some talented drivers and provided them the chance to showcase that talent at the Cup level. To be able to do that in the Daytona 500 – our biggest race of the year – is huge. The Beards are very clear on their goals – we are going down to Daytona to have fun, but we have a job to do. We want to qualify into the Daytona 500 and race for the win. I’m very thankful for their family, our partners, and Beard Oil, their family business.”
No. 62 Beard Motorsports Team Roster
Primary Team Members
Driver: Anthony Alfredo
Hometown: Ridgefield, Connecticut
Crew Chief: Darren Shaw
Hometown: Mooresville, North Carolina
Car Chief: Travis Owens
Spotter: Ron Lewis
Hometown: Cleveland, Texas
President: Linda Beard
Hometown: Mt. Pleasant, Michigan
VP of Racing Ops: Brendan Gaughan
Hometown: Las Vegas
Front Tire Changer: Tim Sheets
Hometown: Carmel, Indiana
Rear Tire Changer: David Mayo
Hometown: Mooresville, North Carolina
Tire Carrier: Damien Wermes
Hometown: Huntersville, North Carolina
Jack Man: DeAndre Smith
Hometown: Mooresville, North Carolina
Fuel Man: Bobby Grant
Hometown: Jacksonville, Florida
Road Crew Members
Mechanic: Jack Gagnon
Hometown: Quebec, Canada
Mechanic: Mark Sanders
Hometown: Springfield, Ohio
Interior Specialist: Nic Hill
Hometown: Fort Myers, Florida
Tire Technician: Mike Harrold
Hometown: Mooresville, North Carolina
Engine Tuner: Jason Watkins
Hometown: Ridgeway, Virginia
Transporter Driver: Roger Lankford
Hometown: Mills Creek, North Carolina