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Anthony Alfredo, David Ragan Secure Spot in 2024 Daytona 500 Via Qualifying Speed

Anthony Alfredo and David Ragan have locked a spot into the 2024 Daytona 500, as a result of posting the quickest two laps of the open entries in Wednesday's single-vehicle qualifying session. Photo Credit: Craig White, Racing America

With each of the six open entries taking time in Wednesday’s single-vehicle qualifying session, Anthony Alfredo and David Ragan have officially secured their spots in the 2024 Daytona 500.

Alfredo, piloting the No. 62 Death Wish Coffee Chevrolet Camaro, was the quickest of the sixth open entries on Wednesday, posting a time of 50.098 seconds (179.648mph) to lock himself into ‘The Great American Race’.

Beard Motorsports, the family-owned team with just a single full-time employee, will make its sixth start in the season-opener at Daytona International Speedway, after failing to make the race for Austin Hill last season.

“This is insane,” Alfredo said after locking into the Daytona 500. “We were just talking about every possible scenario we might find ourselves in today, tomorrow, and obviously Sunday. But to make it to Sunday is 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 giving me this opportunity and Death Wish Coffee coming on board.”

“We have a clearly fast Chevrolet Camaro. I mean, we have beat a lot of big teams so far,” added Alfredo. “To know that we’re in, and know we don’t have to race in tomorrow and just remove ourselves from the sketchy circumstances and focus on Sunday is just amazing, and amazing feeling.”

David Ragan, behind the wheel of the No. 60 Ford Mustang for RFK Racing, was the second-fastest of the open entries on Wednesday, posting a time of 50.200 seconds (179.283mph).

The 38-year-old driver is now guaranteed to compete in his 17th Daytona 500, and his fourth in the last five seasons. However, the NASCAR Cup Series veteran will look to improve upon his best finish of fourth in the event from 2020 on Sunday, with RFK Racing.

“It’s always big to be in the Daytona 500, and the whole week I’ve just been trying to make sure we didn’t make any mistakes,” said Ragan. “And I really felt like we were going to have a shot at a top-10 or top-12 starting spot, but just shows all of the hard work that this Ford team has done.”

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

Jimmie Johnson, an inducted member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame and a seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion, was the third-quickest of the open entries with a time of 50.323 seconds (178.845mph).

BJ McLeod, driving the No. 78 for Live Fast Motorsports, was the fourth quickest of the six open entries at 50.749 seconds (177.343mph) with JJ Yeley, behind the wheel of the No. 44 Chevrolet for NY Racing Team, in fifth at 51.261 seconds (175.572mph).

Kaz Grala, piloting a third entry for Front Row Motorsports, was unable to turn a lap in Wednesday’s single-car qualifying session, after a transmission issue didn’t allow the No. 36 Ford Mustang to shift into second gear, forcing the Boston native to pit road.

For Johnson, McLeod, Yeley, and Grala, all focus now shifts to Thursday’s Bluegreen Vacations Duels at Daytona International Speedway, where the highest-finishing of the open entries will lock in from each duel race, leaving two drivers to head home early.

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