Beginning this season NASCAR reduced the starting field, by three, to 40 cars which created added pressure for many teams. For BK Racing, the chore of qualifying doubled.
Typically a two-car team, BK Racing added two entries just weeks before Sunday's Great American Race, the Daytona 500.
Based on NASCAR's new Charter system, BK Racing had automatically secured spots for the cars of David Ragan and Michael Waltrip, driving the Nos. 23 and 83 respectively. That forced both Matt DiBenedetto and Robert Richardson Jr. to have to earn their spots on NASCAR's premier event.
At the conclusion of the 2015 season, owner Ron Devine made a promise to his team that 2016 would start a new era for BK Racing. Fortifying that, Devine purchased cars and equipment from Michael Waltrip Racing. In addition, many key MWR team members joined the origination giving stronger resources towards Devine's promise. Subsequently, Matt DiBenedetto and Robert Richardson Jr. executed strong performances in the Can-Am Duels to lock themselves into the Daytona 500.
David Ragan - No. 23 Dr. Pepper Toyota Camry
David Ragan will make his ninth Daytona 500 appearance starting from the 29th position.
"The 500 is a long race that requires a lot of mental toughness," Ragan said. "There is not one perfect strategy to win. The driver, crew chief, and spotter all have to make decisions on the fly and hope they are right."
Robert Richardson Jr. - No. 26 Stalk It Toyota Camry
Robert Richardson Jr. is quite literally an 11th-hour deal that was put together between Richardson's sponsor Stalk It and the team. Richardson will start the Daytona 500 from the 40th position as the last car to transfer into the race.
"I'm very, very honored to be a part of BK Racing, having another opportunity to run here at the Daytona 500," he said. "I've been in it once before, but this one is very, very special to me. My wife and I welcomed our brand-new baby boy who was born in early December. Every bit of earnings we get from this race is going to go into a college fund for him."
Michael Waltrip - No. 83 Maxwell House Toyota Camry
After showing speed early in the Cam-Am Duel, Waltrip didn't have the finish he wanted, as he made an extra trip down pit road under green flag conditions, going a lap down. As a result, he finished 20th.
The two-time Daytona 500 Champion will roll off from the 36th starting position in his 29th appearance at the Great American Race.
Matt DiBenedetto - No. 93 Dustless Blasting Toyota Camry
By virtue of a strong qualifying effort, DiBenedetto was able to lock himself in based on his qualifying speed. This is DiBenedetto's maiden voyage in the Great American Race.
"Being able to race in my first Daytona 500 this weekend is going to be a heck of an honor," DiBenedetto said. "I've dreamed of it since I was five, so I'm excited."
DiBenedetto's No. 93 Dustless Blasting Toyota Camry will roll off from the 20th starting position.
While this is the first weekend of the 36-race schedule, BK Racing is poised to set a strong foundation and make good on Devine's promise.
BK Racing PR
BK Racing PR