RCR Race Preview: Daytona International Speedway

Richard Childress Racing has collected seven points-paying victories in NASCAR Cup Series competition at Daytona International Speedway and won 11 poles. RCR owns three Daytona 500 wins (Dale Earnhardt – 1998, Kevin Harvick – 2007, Austin Dillon – 2018) and four Coke Zero Sugar 400 trophies (Earnhardt – 1990, 1993, Harvick – 2010, Dillon – 2022).

Dillon returns to Daytona as the most recent winner at the legendary 2.5-mile superspeedway, after capturing the checkered flag in the 2022 regular season finale and punching his ticket into the Cup Series Playoffs.

The Welcome, N.C. based organization has racked up 15 victories in the Daytona 500 Duel qualifying races, most recently by Dillon (2021). Earnhardt reeled off a record 10-consecutive Duel victories (1990 – 1999), while Mike Skinner (2001), Robby Gordon (2003), Jeff Burton (2011) and Harvick (2013) also claimed a front row starting position for the Great American Race.

In addition to its NASCAR Cup Series success, RCR has accumulated seven wins (Dale Earnhardt, Jr. – 2002, 2010, Harvick – 2007, Clint Bowyer – 2009, Tony Stewart – 2013, Dillon – 2015, Austin Hill – 2021) in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Hill returns to the World Center of Racing as the defending race winner of the Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. 300. RCR’s Xfinity Series program earned an impressive six consecutive poles with six different drivers from 2015 – 2020.

The 2023 Lineup… With the 2023 regular season beginning in Daytona, the RCR driver lineup has a new face in the premier series. Kyle Busch joins the organization to pilot the No. 8 3CHI Chevrolet, while Dillon returns to his familiar No. 3 Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Off Road Camaro ZL1 in the NASCAR Cup Series. Both Hill and Sheldon Creed return to compete full-time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Creed will drive the No. 2 Whelen Engineering Chevrolet, while Hill will be behind the wheel of the No. 21 Bennett Transportation and Logistics Camaro SS.

Time to Duel… This Thursday evening, the Bluegreen Vacations Duels at Daytona feature two 150-mile races from which the majority of the final starting grid for the Daytona 500 will be set. Dillon and Busch will find out which Duel their Camaros will compete in after Wednesday night’s single-car pole qualifying (8:15 p.m. ET on FS1).

Catch the Action… The Bluegreen Vacations Duels at Daytona, two 60-lap qualifying races, will be televised live Thursday, February 16 beginning at 7 p.m. ET on FS1 and will be broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.

The NASCAR Xfinity Series Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner. 300 at Daytona will be televised live Saturday, February 18 beginning at 5 p.m. ET on FS1 and will be broadcast live on Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.

The 65th running of the Daytona 500 will be televised live Sunday, February 19 beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET on FOX and will be broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.

Austin Dillon and the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Off Road Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at Daytona International Speedway… With 19 previous starts in the NASCAR Cup Series at Daytona International Speedway, Austin Dillon heads to the World Center of Racing with experience on his side. So far in his career, Dillon has acquired two wins, one pole award, four top-five and nine top-10 finishes in the Cup Series at Daytona. The Welcome, North Carolina driver, who grew up attending races at Daytona International Speedway with his family, has 10 starts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series with one win, seven top-five and seven top-10 finishes. He has two starts at the track in the NASCAR Truck Series.

Defending A Win… Dillon is a former winner at Daytona International Speedway in both the NASCAR Cup Series and the NASCAR Xfinity Series. The 32-year-old most recently won the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona in August 2022 to clinch a spot in the NASCAR Playoffs and is also the 2018 DAYTONA 500 Champion. Dillon won a NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Daytona in 2015.

Former Pole Winner… Dillon earned his career-first NASCAR Cup Series pole award with a lap of 196.019 mph (45.914 seconds) in the 2014 edition of the Daytona 500. Dillon also started on the front row for the July 2015 Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona. Dillon’s starting position for this year’s Daytona 500 will be determined by his finishing position in the Bluegreen Vacations Duels on Thursday (7 p.m. ET on FS1).

About TRACKER Off Road… Dillon’s No. 3 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 prominently features TRACKER ATVs, a game-changing new line of all-terrain vehicles and side-by-sides offering breakthrough performance, service, and value in the off-road industry. TRACKER Off Road was born out of a powerhouse partnership formed between Bass Pro Shops and TRACKER founder Johnny Morris and Textron Specialized Vehicles, bringing together the undisputed world leader in boating with a global leader in innovation and technology.

About Bass Pro Shops… Bass Pro Shops is North America’s premier outdoor and conservation company. Founded in 1972 when avid young angler Johnny Morris began selling tackle out of his father’s liquor store in Springfield, Missouri, today the company provides customers with unmatched offerings spanning premier destination retail, outdoor equipment manufacturing, world-class resort destinations and more. In 2017 Bass Pro Shops acquired Cabela’s to create a “best-of-the-best” experience with superior products, dynamic locations and outstanding customer service. Bass Pro Shops also operates White River Marine Group, offering an unsurpassed collection of industry-leading boat brands, and Big Cedar Lodge, America’s Premier Wilderness Resort. Under the visionary conservation leadership of Johnny Morris, Bass Pro Shops is a national leader in protecting habitat and introducing families to the outdoors and has been named by Forbes as “one of America’s Best Employers.” Bass Pro Shops has a long relationship with NASCAR, dating back to 1998. For more information, visit http://www.basspro.com/.

Meet Dillon… Dillon is scheduled to sign autographs, along with other Daytona 500 Champions, in the UNOH Infield Fan Zone at Daytona International Speedway on Wednesday, February 15 at 5:45 p.m. ET.

On Friday, February 17, the Coca-Cola Racing driver is scheduled to make an appearance on behalf of Coca-Cola at Winn-Dixie (353 W. Granada Blvd., Ormond Beach, Florida, 32174), beginning at 11 a.m. ET.

Dillon is also scheduled to participate in a Q&A session at the Team Chevy stage in the Midway at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday, February 19 at 11 a.m. ET.

Kyle Busch and the No. 8 3CHI Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at Daytona International Speedway… Kyle Busch has one win (2008) and one pole (2013) at Daytona International Speedway and is seeking his first victory in the Daytona 500. Busch’s best finish in the Great American Race came in 2019 when he rallied from a 31st-place starting position to finish in the second position. The Las Vegas, Nev., native owns three victories in the non-points paying Bluegreen Vacations Duels (2009, 2013, and 2016).

Successful Debut with RCR… Busch enters the Daytona 500 on the heels of a solid performance in the Busch Light Clash at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Busch finished third, his second top-five in two races at the Coliseum, giving him an average finish of 2.50.

3CHI Blazed the Trail for Another Industry First… 3CHI and Richard Childress Racing created another first with their partnership for the 2022 NASCAR season, and will continue their partnership with Richard Childress Racing in 2023 with the No. 8 team and Kyle Busch. 3CHI began with roots as a CBD producer and quickly became a pioneer in science-based hemp and cannabis innovation. The company was the first to commercially develop and market Delta 8 THC, and today, 3CHI is an industry leader with unsurpassed product quality and purity as verified by top independent labs and benchmark organizations. 3CHI products are sold in a majority of the United States, and the company produces and markets a variety of gummies, tinctures, lotions, edibles and vape products. All 3CHI products meet federal requirements for full legal compliance, with a commitment to promoting responsible adult use. See 3CHI.com for more information.

Sheldon Creed and the No. 2 Whelen Engineering Chevrolet Camaro SS at Daytona International Speedway… Sheldon Creed has made three career NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at Daytona International Speedway, two of which have come behind the wheel of the No. 2 Whelen Engineering Chevrolet. Last February, Creed started from the fourth position and finished in sixth-place in the season opening event at the World Center of Racing. In addition, Creed has three NASCAR Truck Series starts (best finish of sixth) and one ARCA Menards Series event (best finish of third) under his belt at the 2.5-mile superspeedway tri-oval.

Rookie Stripe Removed… During his NASCAR Xfinity Series rookie campaign at RCR, Creed posted four top-five and 13 top-10 finishes, while leading a total of 155 laps. Creed’s highlight of the season came at Darlington Raceway in September 2022, when the No. 2 Whelen Camaro SS started in the third position, led 47 laps, and finished in second-place. Creed completed the season with back-to-back top-six results (second at Martinsville Speedway and sixth at Phoenix Raceway).

Sophomore Success… Historically throughout Creed’s professional stock car racing career, the California native has a breakout sophomore season. After his first full NASCAR Truck Series campaign in 2019 (zero wins, four top-five, 11 top-10 finishes), Creed captured five wins, nine top-five, 13 top-10 results to earn the 2020 Championship title the following season. When competing in the ARCA Menards Series in 2017, Creed posted zero wins, five top-five and eight top-10 finishes. The next season while competing full-time, the driver claimed four wins, 16 top-five and 18 top-10 results in a total of 20 races to become the 2018 Champion. If history continues to repeat itself, Creed is on the verge of a successful 2023 season.

Did You Know… Both of Creed’s championship campaigns – 2018 ARCA Menards Series and 2020 NASCAR Truck Series – came with current crew chief Jeff Stankiewicz on the pit box calling the shots.

Meet Creed… On Friday, February 17 at 3 p.m. ET, Creed will participate in a fan Q&A session at the NASCAR Experience Stage in the Midway at Daytona International Speedway.

Creed will also answer fan questions in a Q&A session at the Team Chevy stage in the Midway at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, February 18 at 2:30 p.m. ET.

About Whelen Engineering… Whelen Engineering is a family-owned company with a pioneering spirit and a passion to protect the lives of those who protect and serve others. The company mission is to provide industry-defining safety solutions around the world, while creating a community of problem-solvers who are inspired to push boundaries and continue our legacy of delivering ground-breaking innovation. As a global leader in the emergency warning industry, Whelen has been trusted to perform since 1952, when George Whelen III invented the first rotating aviation beacon. Whelen now encompasses two state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in Connecticut and New Hampshire with over 750,000 square feet of engineering and manufacturing space and the largest design staff in the industry. Every part of every Whelen product is proudly designed and manufactured in America. We embrace quality as our foundation, we celebrate innovative engineering in every product we produce.

Austin Hill and the No. 21 Bennett Transportation and Logistics Chevrolet Camaro SS at Daytona International Speedway… Austin Hill has made three career NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at Daytona International Speedway. One year ago, in his debut with Richard Childress Racing piloting the No. 21 Bennett Transportation and Logistics Chevrolet, Hill qualified in the second position, led 23 total laps, and earned his first career NASCAR Xfinity Series victory at the World Center of Racing. The Winston, Ga. native has also competed in six NASCAR Truck Series events, securing the checkered flag in his 2019 victory.

Defending Race Winner… Hill returns to Daytona International Speedway as the defending race winner of the Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. 300. In his first race with crew chief Andy Street and the RCR organization, Hill claimed the victory on a last lap pass over AJ Allmendinger.

Rookie of the Year Recap… During his first season behind the wheel of the No. 21 Chevrolet for RCR, Hill posted one pole, two wins, 11 top-five, and 21 top-10 results, in route to capturing the 2022 NASCAR Xfinity Series Rookie of the Year honor. Hill’s two victories came at Daytona International Speedway and Atlanta Motor Speedway, his Georgia home track. The 28-year-old driver led a total of 329 laps and finished sixth in the overall driver championship point standings.

Double Duty… Hill will attempt to qualify for his first Daytona 500 as he pilots the No. 62 Bennett Transportation and Logistics Chevrolet for Beard Motorsports in the NASCAR Cup Series. Hill, who has to make the prestigious race on speed, completes single-car qualifying on Wednesday evening, followed by the 150-lap qualifying Duel race under the lights on Thursday. His starting position for the Great American Race will be determined prior to Hill climbing into his full-time NASCAR Xfinity Series ride for practice on Friday.

Meet Hill… On Saturday, February 18 at 2:15 p.m. ET, Hill will participate in a fan Q&A session at the Chevy Stage in the Midway at Daytona International Speedway.

About Bennett Family of Companies… McDonough-Ga. based Bennett Family of Companies is a woman-owned, Women’s Enterprise Business Council (WBENC) certified, diversified transportation and logistics company. Through its 14 affiliated operating companies, the Bennett Family of Companies delivers integrated transportation and supply chain management solutions worldwide. Bennett has 4,625 drivers/owner-operators, over 1,000 employees and 600 agents located across the United States. For more information, visit http://www.bennettig.com.

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