By David Morgan, Associate Editor
The list of drivers and teams with their sights set on making it into the field for the 62nd running of the Daytona 500 continues to grow. On Friday, two more drivers announced their intentions to compete in the Great American Race.
First came the announcement from David Ragan, who retired from full-time racing in the NASCAR Cup Series last year. The 34-year old native of Unadilla, Georgia will pilot the No. 36 Ford Mustang in the Great American Race, with sponsorship from Select Blinds and Speedy Cash.
While the car will be fielded by Rick Ware Racing, it will be built and prepared by Front Row Motorsports, according to NBC Sports. In addition, Ragan will have a guaranteed entry into the race by using the RWR charter.
Ragan’s two Cup Series wins came on superspeedways, with victories at Daytona and Talladega in 2011 and 2013.
Also announcing Daytona 500 plans on Friday was Kaulig Racing, which will be trying to make its first start in the Cup Series, fielding a No. 16 Chevrolet driven by Justin Haley and sponsored by the Fraternal Order of Eagles.
”I am super excited to attempt not only our first NASCAR Cup Series race, but our first Daytona 500!” exclaimed team owner, Matt Kaulig. “To be competing at the World Center of Racing on the main stage is incredible, especially for our team that began just four years ago. I have all the confidence in the world that Justin Haley will make everyone at Kaulig Racing proud and truly let everyone know that Kaulig Racing is here to compete.”
Haley is no stranger to Victory Lane at Daytona after scoring the win in last summer’s rain-shortened Coke Zero Sugar 400 while driving for Spire Motorsports. The win was the first for Haley in the Cup Series, coming the same weekend he finished runner-up for Kaulig Racing in the Xfinity Series at Daytona.
“I am eager to try and qualify for the Daytona 500,” said Haley. “It is an honor for me to compete for a starting spot in Kaulig Racing’s first NASCAR Cup Series race. The F.O.E. has been with me since 2016. The Eagles were on my car when I won in July at Daytona, so it’s a great fit for them to be back on my car as we try to lock ourselves into the Daytona 500.”