Wednesday, May 20, 2020 | 7:30 p.m. ET
FS1, MRN, SiriusXM Channel 90
- Ryan Newman, No. 6 Oscar Mayer Ford Mustang
- Chris Buescher, No. 17 Fifth Third Ford Mustang
NASCAR Returns to Action
- Following its return to racing Sunday at Darlington Raceway, NASCAR continues its modified schedule with a second event at ‘The Lady in Black’ Wednesday night in primetime. It will mark the third of seven NASCAR national series races in an 11-day span.
- Once competition wraps at Darlington on Wednesday, the NCS will transition to Charlotte Motor Speedway for two-consecutive events, the first on May 24 with the crown jewel Coca-Cola 600. It will be followed by a shorter event on May 27.
- Four weeks of NASCAR action were completed prior to the outbreak before races at Atlanta, Homestead, Texas, Bristol, Richmond, Talladega, Dover and Martinsville were later postponed.
Sunday Recap, Wednesday Preview
- Buescher had an unlucky return to the track Sunday at Darlington after being caught up in two other cars’ incidents twice. He received heavy damage early on that set he and the No. 17 team back for the remainder, eventually crossing the line 32nd.
- The starting lineup for Wednesday’s 311.4-mile race will be determined by an invert for the top-20 cars, with cars 21-40 starting where they finished on Sunday, meaning Buescher will fire off 32nd.
- In his first race back since the Daytona 500, Newman fought his way inside the top-10 early on in Sunday’s 293-lap race at Darlington, before finishing 15th. He crossed the line ninth in stage one to earn stage points, and came back from a speeding penalty and cut tire in the closing laps to earn a top-15.
- With the top-20 invert, Newman will be sixth on the grid Wednesday night.
Roush Fenway has twice won consecutive NCS races at Darlington, including a season sweep in 1999 with former driver and current NBC commentator Jeff Burton. Roush Fenway also earned victories in consecutive seasons at the egg-shaped oval in 2005 and 2006 with Biffle.
Tale of the Tape
In 246 all-time NASCAR starts at ‘The Lady in Black,’ Jack Roush’s Fords have 20 wins, 69 top-five and 116 top-10 finishes, along with 20 poles. Over the years RFR has led 4500+ laps across the Cup, Xfinity and Truck series, with more than 85,000 miles logged at the 1.366-mile track. In NCS action alone, RFR has finished top-10 in 43 percent (69-of-160) of the races with 35 top-five results and five wins.
Kickin’ It Old School
Legendary Roush Fenway drivers Mark Martin, Jeff Burton and Greg Biffle are responsible for the five Cup wins for Jack Roush at Darlington. Martin earned Roush’s first Cup win back in 1993 after leading 178 laps. Burton swept the 1999 events as the dominant car, and Biffle earned the two most recent victories in 2005 and 2006.
It’s no secret that when Roush has dominated in the Xfinity Series at Darlington. In 79 starts, the organization has 15 wins, 33 top-five and 44 top-10s. Mark Martin is responsible for eight of the victories, second-most for him among any track, after winning five of the first seven races at the track for Roush from 1993-96. He also went on to win in 1999, and swept again in 2000. Jeff Burton got in on the fun with wins in 1997, 2001 and 2002, while Biffle earned a win in 2004. Most recently, Kenseth drove to victory lane in 2005 and 2009.
The Real Heroes Project Debuts at Darlington
NASCAR is collaborating with other professional sports properties across the country to embark on The Real Heroes Project. The goal is to motivate and inspire healthcare workers as sports only can, by turning its greatest heroes (the athletes) into their greatest fans. To that end, the name of a COVID-19 frontline worker will be displayed above the driver’s side door on each entry Wednesday night.
NASCAR allowed teams to select the names of the frontline workers to appear on their cars, and Roush Fenway elected to have Newman select two names that were influential in his recovery since the Daytona 500. Newman chose a name special to him, Fe Roster, VP & Chief Care Continuum Officer at Halifax Health. Fe played a vital role in Newman’s life in the days following his horrific, last-lap crash in the Daytona 500, where he walked out of Halifax Medical Center three days later under the care of Roster and others. Dr. Jerry Petty, a partner with NASCAR for 40+ years, also played a vital role in Newman’s recovery all the way up until clearing him for NASCAR action, and – at Newman’s request – Petty will be on the name rail of the No. 17 machine Wednesday night.
Roush Fenway Darlington Wins
1993-2 Martin Cup
1999-1 Burton Cup
1999-2 Burton Cup
2005 Biffle Cup
2006 Biffle Cup
1993-2 Martin NXS
1994-1 Martin NXS
1994-2 Martin NXS
1995-2 Martin NXS
1996-1 Martin NXS
1997-2 Burton NXS
1999-2 Martin NXS
2000-1 Martin NXS
2000-2 Martin NXS
2001-2 Burton NXS
2002-1 Burton NXS
2002-2 Burton NXS
2004-1 Biffle NXS
2005 Kenseth NXS
2009 Kenseth NXS
By the Numbers at Darlington Raceway
Race Win T5 T10 Pole Laps Led AvSt AvFn Miles
160 5 35 69 7 51132 2718 16.7 16.1 69846.3
79 15 33 44 12 10616 1856 9.9 12.9 14501.4
7 0 1 3 1 944 9 16.0 15.9 1289.50
246 20 69 116 20 62692 4583 14.5 15.1 85637.2