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Ragan, Alfredo lock themselves into the 2024 Daytona 500

Two of the six open entries have now guaranteed themselves a spot in the 66th running of the Daytona 500.

Anthony Alfredo was the fastest of the open entries in the No. 62 Beard Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro, lapping the 2.5-mile superspeedway in 50.098s.

“This is insane,” an elated Alfredo told Fox Sports 1. “We were just talking about every possible scenario we might find ourselves in today, tomorrow, and obviously Sunday. To make it to Sunday is such a challenge. It’s such a competitive field of open cars and drivers behind the wheel. I’m just really thankful for the Beard family for giving me this opportunity.

“We clearly have a fast Chevrolet Camaro. We beat a lot of big teams so far. There’s a lot of cars to go, but to know that we’re in and can not have to race in tomorrow, and can just remove ourselves from some of the sketchy circumstances and focus on Sunday is such an amazing feeling.”

Anthony Alfredo, Beard Motorsports, Death Wish Coffee Chevrolet Camaro

Anthony Alfredo, Beard Motorsports, Death Wish Coffee Chevrolet Camaro

Photo by: Nigel Kinrade / NKP / Motorsport Images

Veteran driver David Ragan was over a tenth off of Alfredo, but that was enough to lock the No. 60 RFK Racing Ford Mustang into the field as well. 

“It’s always big to be in the Daytona 500 and the whole week, I’ve just been trying to make sure we don’t make any mistakes,” said Ragan, who will be making his 17th start in the 500 on Sunday. “I really felt like we were going to have a shot at a top-ten or a top-12 starting spot, but it just shows all the hard work this Ford team has done.”

“[Crew chief] Derrick Finley puts a lot of effort into the race team at RFK. I’ve worked with him in the past and he’s been as nervous as a cat all afternoon and so I’m really proud for Derrick and all the RFK guys. I appreciate Brad Keselowski and Jack Roush giving me an opportunity here to try and win a Daytona 500.

The remaining two spots in the Daytona 500 field

Jimmie Johnson was the third-fastest open entry, which could become important after the Duel races. Should Alfredo or Ragan be the highest-finishing open driver in their respective Duel races, Johnson’s qualifying time will be enough to lock him in.

Duel #1 will feature Alfredo, Johnson, and J.J. Yeley. Duel #2 will feature Ragan, B.J. McLeod, and Kaz Grala.

McLeod could also fall back on his qualifying time, but only if both Alfredo and Ragan beat the other open cars in their Duel races.

For Grala and Yeley, their only option is to race their way into the big show. Unfortunately for Grala, he didn’t even get the chance to put down a lap in qualifying, limping back to pitroad after a mechanical issue emerged on his No. 36 Front Row Motorsports Ford.

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This article was originally published by a www.motorsport.com . Read the Original article here. .

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