RFK Advance | Daytona 500

Daytona 500 Event Info:
Date: Sunday, Feb. 18
Time: 2:30 p.m. ET
Series: NASCAR Cup Series (NCS)
Location: Daytona Beach, Florida
Format: 200 Laps, Stages: 65-65-70
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Channel 90)

Weekend Schedule:
Wednesday: 8:15 p.m., D500 Qualifying (FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)
Thursday: 7 p.m., Duels (FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)
Friday: 5:35 p.m. ET, Practice (FS1, MRN)
Saturday: 10:30 a.m. ET, Practice (FS1, MRN)
Saturday: 8:30 p.m. ET, Heat Races Begin (FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)
Sunday: 2:30 p.m. ET, Daytona 500 (FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Pace Laps:

  • The 2024 NASCAR season officially kicks off this week at ‘The World Center of Racing’ for the 66th running of ‘The Great American Race.’
  • RFK enters the season as arguably the most-discussed team from 2023 with the best improvement of any organization in the garage.
  • Keselowski and the No. 6 team saw the second-biggest improvement in NASCAR in terms of average finish (14.4), ranking eighth in the category in 2023.
  • The team’s qualifying effort (14.5) ranked 12th in the Cup Series, also the second-best improvement in the sport.
  • Buescher and the No. 17 team ranked second in the series in average finish (12.1) in 2023, the best improvement of any team.
  • Buescher also ranked 11th in race speed (median lap rank), jumping six spots in that category.
  • Jack Roush has 12 wins all-time at Daytona across NASCAR, including eight in the Cup Series.
  • Coverage from Daytona kicks off Wednesday night with single-car qualifying to determine the front row for the Daytona 500. The Duels Thursday night will determine the remaining starting lineup for Sunday’s 500-mile race.

6 Team Info:
Crew Chief: Matt McCall
Partner: Castrol Edge

17 Team Info:
Crew Chief: Scott Graves
Partner: Fastenal

60 Team Info:
Crew Chief: Derrick Finley
Partner: BuildSubmarines.com

RFK Historically in The Duels
Overall Wins: 3 (Matt Kenseth, 2012; Brad Keselowski, 2022; Chris Buescher, 2022)

  • Prior to 2022, Matt Kenseth had Jack Roush’s lone win in the Duels as he went on to win the 2012 Great American Race.
  • Both Buescher and Keselowski earned fourth-place finishes a season ago in the qualifying events.
  • Two years ago, RFK went into Daytona and swept both duel races as Keselowski won the opening duel race, and Buescher followed up with a win in the second qualifying race.
  • Keselowski historically has 15 starts in the Duels with the one win and six top-10s.
  • Buescher will be making his ninth start in the Duels on Thursday. He’s finished top-10 in the Duels in six-straight outings and has finished inside the top-10 in all but one Duels race that he’s been in since 2016.

Keselowski at Daytona International Speedway
Starts: 29
Wins: 1 (2016)
Top-10s: 7
Poles: —

  • Keselowski makes his 30th overall start at the 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway this weekend, and 15th start in the Daytona 500. In 14 D500 starts, Keselowski has two top-10s and a best finish of third (2014).
  • Most recently, Keselowski was caught up in a last-lap crash in the 2023 rendition of the ‘Great American Race,’ and went on to finish 22nd. Last summer, he pushed teammate Buescher to the win as RFK finished 1-2 in August.
  • Overall, Keselowski has seven top-10s at DIS, four of which were inside the top five.
  • Overall Keselowski has 11 starts inside the top-10 at Daytona with four starts in third. Last season he started 10th in the 500.
  • In Xfinity Series action, Keselowski made 15 starts at Daytona with seven top-10s and a best finish of second (twice – 2012, 2014). He also made three Truck Series starts with a seventh-place run in 2005.

Buescher at Daytona International Speedway
Starts: 16
Wins: 1 (2023)
Top-10s: 7
Poles: —

  • Buescher makes his 17th start at Daytona this weekend, and ninth in the ‘Great American Race.’
  • In 16 starts he has seven top-10s and five top fives. He won the last race at Daytona as Keselowski pushed him to the win.
  • His best Daytona 500 finish came four years ago when he finished third. Last season, Buescher ran fourth in the 500.
  • Buescher has an 18.4 average qualifying effort, and started top-10 in three-straight races from 2022-23. He started ninth in last season’s 500.
  • He also made three Xfinity Series starts at DIS with a best finish of second in the 2015 season-opening event.

Ragan at Daytona International Speedway
Starts: 30
Wins: 1 (2011)
Top-10s: 8
Poles: —

  • Ragan makes his 31st overall start at DIS, and 17th in the Daytona 500. In 30 starts overall he has one win (2011 summer race) and eight top-10s.
  • His best Daytona 500 finish came in 2020 when he ran fourth in the No. 36 car for Rick Ware Racing. Up until 2023, he competed in 16-straight Daytona 500s, including five for Jack Roush, all in the No. 6. In his last start in the 500, Ragan finished eighth in 2022.
  • Overall he’s started in the 500 in six different car numbers – the No. 6 for RFR at the time, No. 34 for Front Row, No. 23 for BK Racing, No. 38 for Front Row, No. 36 for RWR, and No. 15 for RWR.
  • Ragan also made 10 starts at Daytona in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, earning five top-10s in a span from 2007-16.

RFK Historically in the Daytona 500
Wins: 2 (Matt Kenseth, 2009 & 2012)

  • NASCAR Hall of Famer Matt Kenseth was the first to drive a Jack Roush owned Ford into victory lane for the Daytona 500, earning the victory in 2009. He led just seven laps – the final seven – after starting from the 39th position en route to his first of two Daytona 500 victories over a span of four seasons.
  • Jack Roush has won two poles in the Daytona 500, one coming from Greg Biffle in 2004 and the other in 2012 with Carl Edwards. Biffle earned the 2004 pole after a speed of 188.387 and went on to finish 12th. Edwards had a pole speed of 194.738 and finished eighth in the 2012 Daytona 500.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com


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