Superspeedways have been a challenge for NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) driver Ray Black Jr. this season, but the Flagler Beach, Fla. local is ready to secure his first NXS Top-15 finish at this Friday’s Subway Firecracker 250 at Daytona International Speedway. The driver of the No. 07 ScubaLife.com Chevrolet Camaro previously earned his career-best NASCAR national touring series finish when he placed fifth at the 2.5-mile track during last year’s Camping World Truck Series season opener.
Black’s previous two superspeedway starts this season have not gone as he or his SS Green Light Racing team have planned, as pit penalties and car handling issues have robbed them of solid finishes. This week, they plan to secure redemption for themselves and make the most of the opportunity in front of them.
“We’ve changed a lot on the car already, as far as setup and what we will unload with at Daytona,” said Black. “We also are planning to focus on the draft more in practice and how the car handles in the pack. We lacked that at Talladega and it ended up hurting us, so we know what we need to focus on this time around. This is our last superspeedway race of the season, and we really need to capitalize on every opportunity in the race. There’s no reason why we can’t come out of this weekend with a Top-10 or Top-15 finish.”
Black knows how to get around and succeed at Daytona, as he expertly avoided a late-race pileup to finish fifth in the Camping World Truck Series race at the 2.5-mile track back in February 2015. He also found success at NASCAR’s other restrictor plate track, Talladega Superspeedway, when he finished in the Top-15 there in October 2015.
These experiences, as well as the support from his friends and family at the track, will be important to this week’s event. Black, who lives about 30 minutes north of Daytona in Flagler Beach, will have multiple family members and friends on-site Friday to cheer him on in the Subway Firecracker 250.
“It’s really nice racing in my backyard again,” Black stated. “I’ll have a lot of guests at the race which is always something I enjoy, but it also adds a little bit of pressure to the weekend. I want to run really well in front of them since they can’t always come to the races, so a great finish this weekend would mean just a little bit more to me. Obviously a win would be amazing – I can’t think of a better place to win than my home track!”
This week is also a big one off the track for Black as he will be taking lifestyle media guests on a diving excursion at the Deep Water Training Center before they get to experience race day with him at Daytona on Friday.
“I’m excited to be doing a little bit of diving this week before the race and show my guests both sides of my life,” explained Black. “This is what I grew up doing, so it will be cool to share it with people who haven’t experienced anything like diving or racing before. I’m interested to see what they think of the two.”
The Subway Firecracker 250 will take place on Friday, July 1 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Daytona International Speedway. Fans can tune in via NBCSN or MRN Radio for live race coverage.
Ray Black Jr. PR