NASCAR: Daytona 500 set for two rare appearances not seen in 13 years

Two car numbers set to run the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season-opening Daytona 500 have not appeared in a Cup Series race since 2011.

David Ragan, RFK Racing, Daytona 500, NASCAR
David Ragan, RFK Racing, Daytona 500, NASCAR / Sean Gardner/GettyImages
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The 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season-opening Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway is scheduled to take place this Monday afternoon.

When green flag flies to get the 200-lap race underway at the four-turn, 2.5-mile (4.023-kilometer) high-banked Daytona Beach, Florida oval, the Cup Series is set for two rare appearances that have not been seen since 2011.

Two car numbers qualified for the 66th annual "Great American Race" have not appeared in a Cup Series race in 13 years: No. 60 and No. 71.

Two numbers set for NASCAR Cup Series return

The No. 60 RFK Racing Ford was not locked into the Daytona 500 heading into race week due to the fact that it is a non-charter car, but David Ragan was able to qualify on speed in Wednesday night's single-car qualifying session.

The number has long been associated with RFK Racing (formerly Roush Racing and Roush Fenway Racing), but it has never actually appeared in a Cup Series race.

Mike Skinner is the most recent driver of a No. 60 car in the Cup Series, having driven the No. 60 Toyota for Germain Racing at Kansas Speedway in October 2011 when he failed to qualify.

The car number has not competed in a race since Dave Blaney drove the No. 60 Chevrolet, also for Germain Racing, at Atlanta Motor Speedway in September 2011. A total of 443 races have been contested since then.

The No. 71 Chevrolet is Spire Motorsports' third car, which they added after purchasing a third charter from Live Fast Motorsports for a record-breaking total of roughly $40 million after last season. Zane Smith is set to drive that car full-time throughout the 2024 season.

Mike Bliss is the most recent driver of a No. 71 car in the Cup Series, having driven the No. 71 Ford for TRG Motorsports in the November 2011 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. A total of 432 races have been contested since then.

The number nearly made its return in the 2019 Daytona 500, but Ryan Truex failed to qualify the No. 71 Chevrolet for Tommy Baldwin Racing.

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Fox is set to provide live coverage of the 66th annual Daytona 500 from Daytona International Speedway beginning at 4:00 p.m. ET this Monday, February 19. Begin a free trial of FuboTV now and don't miss any of the action!

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