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RCR Revs Up for Daytona and the Start of the 2024 NASCAR Season

NASCAR is back and we’re at Daytona International Speedway to kick off the 2024 season for both the NASCAR Cup and Xfinity Series. During the three short months of the off-season, Richard Childress Racing has been busy preparing for the 2024 season. This season is special to the RCR family because the racing organization is celebrating its 55th anniversary. RCR’s incredible motorsports history has included its share of tears and triumphs at the World Center of Racing. 

RCR has collected seven points-paying victories in NASCAR Cup Series competition at Daytona International Speedway, notably winning the Daytona 500 three times with drivers Dale Earnhardt, Kevin Harvick and, most recently, Austin Dillon. 

 Last year, RCR teammates Austin Dillon and Kyle Busch had a strong run in the Daytona 500. The outcome didn’t portray the results RCR wanted since the two teammates were in first and second with only two laps to go. It wasn’t until the overtime rules were set in place that those hopes for a checkered at the 500 would be put on hold.  In his 2023 post-race interview, Austin Dillon said, “It sucks, because you’re that close to winning a second Daytona 500 and your teammate is close to winning his first ever.” That same hunger for the checkered flag hasn’t left Dillon or teammate Busch since that race.

 “Once you’ve won it, you put the pressure on yourself because you want to do it again. You know what that experience is like. I don’t feel pressure from the outside, because I’ve already become a Daytona 500 champion. But, it’s more for me, because I enjoy this place, everything that it is, the victory lane here and what comes with it. Once you win here, it’s a game-changer. Not very often do you get to live in your dream, because everybody dreams about winning something, and dreaming about winning the Daytona 500 was one of those dreams for a long time for me. Then, you go and accomplish it, and you get to live in it. You taste it. It’s something you crave after that,” said Dillon.

 While Dillon looks for his second trip to victory lane at the prestigious superspeedway, Busch looks forward to his battle in clinching his first. Busch has every notch under his belt, except for a Daytona 500 win. 

“Obviously the Daytona 500 is the biggest race of our season, our Super Bowl, so it’s a huge deal. It’s certainly a race that’s high on my bucket list. We were leading last year at mile marker 500 but it didn’t work out. I’ve been so close to winning that race. Maybe one of these days we can check the box and bring home the Harley J. Earl trophy,” said Busch. 

In addition to the Daytona 500, RCR is vying to capture the checkered flag in the United Rentals 300 on Saturday evening. With a stout resume of impressive feats in Xfinity Series competition, a RCR Chevrolet has started the season opening event at Daytona from the pole position seven of the last nine times. Austin Hill, driver of the No. 21 Camaro, captured both pole positions at the 2.5-mile superspeedway one year ago and drove to Victory Lane the last two seasons, winning the first race of the year in both 2022 and 2023. As an organization at Daytona, RCR has led 861 laps total and finished inside the top-10 53% of the time.

 This year, RCR has a lot of love for their newest driver of the No. 2 Chevrolet, Jesse Love. Love went out with a bang in 2023 as the ARCA Menards Series Champion. This will mark Love’s first time competing in the Xfinity Series. There’s no better Xfinity Series team to back Love than RCR, especially considering the history RCR has at Daytona International Speedway in this series.  

“The Xfinity car is definitely going to be different than the ARCA car, given the package,” Love said. “The bubble is a lot smaller, you are going a little quicker, and the car is going to drive differently. But your technique is pretty much the same. Air is air in a car. I will have to change a lot of my technique from going from the ARCA car to the Xfinity car at a place like Charlotte Motor Speedway, but for plate tracks, I feel like it’s all relevant. I’ve done a lot of work to know what to do and what not to do, but nothing is really different. It’s just going to be more important to do the right things, because you won’t be able to rebound as quickly in the Xfinity Series with the field being stronger.”

While Love suits up for his first time behind the wheel of a Xfinity car, Austin Hill enters his third year of NASCAR Xfinity Series competition for RCR aiming to win his third-consecutive season opener. 

“Last year was pretty wild,” said Hill. “I didn’t know if we had won the race or if John Hunter (Nemechek) going below the yellow line was going to be deemed legal. There were a lot of emotions and it felt like an eternity waiting for NASCAR to announce the winner. I’ve been fortunate enough to win at Daytona two years in a row, which has been great, but every time you go to Daytona, you never know what will happen. You could get wrecked on lap one in a large pileup or you could do like we have the last two years with staying up front and being lucky to have it all work out at the end. I have confidence going to Daytona though. I fully expect our Bennett Transportation & Logistics Chevrolet to be fast and have a shot at sitting on the pole. If we make the right moves during the race, we should have a shot at winning a third in a row.”

Richard Childress Racing is prepared for the 2024 season and it all begins this weekend at Daytona International Speedway. Dillon, Busch, Love, and Hill have spent endless amounts of hours preparing, and it all comes down to this weekend. 

The Xfinity Series will take to the track for practice tonight at 5pm in anticipation of qualifying on Saturday, followed by the United Rentals 300 set to take place at 5pm on FS1.  Sunday’s Daytona 500 will air at 2:30 p.m. ET on FOX.