RFK Weekly Advance | Daytona 500

RFK Weekly Advance | Daytona 500

Roush Fenway Keselowski Weekly Advance | Daytona 500
RFK Racing kicks off its much-anticipated 2022 season this week at Daytona International Speedway, the site of the Daytona 500. On-track action gets underway Tuesday afternoon with practice, followed by pole qualifying Wednesday night. The Duels are set for Thursday, which will set the field for Sunday’s Great American Race. Jack Roush has two Daytona 500 wins all-time, both of which Matt Kenseth claimed (2009, 2012).

Thursday, Feb. 17 | 7 p.m. ET
FS1, MRN, SiriusXM Channel 90
• Brad Keselowski, No. 6 Kohler Generators Ford Mustang
• Chris Buescher, No. 17 Fastenal Ford Mustang

Daytona 500
Sunday, Feb. 20 | 2:30 p.m. ET
FOX, MRN, SiriusXM Channel 90
• Brad Keselowski, No. 6 Kohler Generators Ford Mustang
• Chris Buescher, No. 17 Fastenal Ford Mustang

New Name, New Team, New Season
New is the theme for RFK Racing entering the 2022 campaign as this much-anticipated season brings a whole new meaning to the word. Brad Keselowski, the 2012 Cup Series Champion, joins rare company in the sport as a part owner and driver in the team he invested in over the offseason, forming now Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing. The change obviously creates a new team name, new logo, and a fresh perspective for an organization that ranks near the top of the sport in terms of success.

Keselowski brings over veteran crew chief Matt McCall, who brought with him a large portion of his team from Chip Ganassi Racing. The new Next Gen car made its debut at the Clash, but makes its official, points race debut this week in Daytona, a long-awaited process that saw NASCAR hold more test sessions this offseason than any other in recent past.

There are some familiar names and faces amongst the organization, though, with Chris Buescher back in the saddle of the No. 17, reunited with crew chief Scott Graves, who slides over to the No. 17 team following a three-year stint on the No. 6. The duo won the 2015 Xfinity Series Championship together, and are poised for a breakthrough year with endless opportunities on the horizon.

RFK’s competition leadership structure also saw a shift over the offseason with the addition of Jeremy Thompson – Team Director – who has been alongside Keselowski through much of his career having ran Brad Keselowski Racing in the NASCAR Truck Series years ago. Matt Puccia, a former crew chief at the Cup level and on the No. 6 team most recently, shifted into an Operations Director role, primarily overseeing all efforts associated with the Next Gen car and the transition to it. Kevin Kidd, who most recently held the Competition Director role, shifts into a Technical Director position with a focus on leading all engineering efforts.

Daytona 500 Qualifying Up First on Wednesday
The most anticipated qualifying session of the season takes place Wednesday night as 42 Cup Series entries will attempt to qualify for the 500. Chris Buescher enters Wednesday with a career-best starting position of 15th in the 500 (2019). Keselowski has a career-best starting spot of seventh (2017).

This year’s pole qualifying format will feature a new twist with two rounds. The top-10 fastest cars from the opening round will advance to a second round, which will determine the two fastest qualifiers.

Jack Roush Looking for Three
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.

2012 the Year for Duel, Daytona 500 Success for Jack Roush
Matt Kenseth won Jack Roush’s lone Duel race in 2012, making a last-lap pass after starting seventh to earn a fourth-place starting spot in the Daytona 500. He went on to win the 2012 Great American Race, leading a combined 50 laps for his and Jack Roush’s second Daytona 500 victory.

Duel History
Keselowski has four top-10 Duel finishes, highlighted by a best finish of fourth in 2020. Last season he ran 11th in Duel 2. Thursday will mark his 14th start in the Duels.

Buescher will make his seventh start in the annual qualifying races where he has four-straight top-10 finishes with P10 finishes the last two seasons. Overall he has five top-10s in six Duel races.

Kenseth Claims Jack Roush’s First Daytona 500 Win in 2009
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.

By the Numbers at Daytona International Speedway
Race Win T5 T10 Pole Laps Led AvSt AvFn Miles
218 7 42 79 5 35511 842 19.5 18.0 88777
96 2 22 45 2 9805 303 14.5 16.4 24512.5
21 2 5 9 3 1751 191 14.0 15.4 4377.5
335 11 69 133 10 47067 1321 17.7 17.3 117667