By Seth Eggert, Associate Editor
Beard Motorsports plans to attempt to make the 2024 Daytona 500 field with Anthony Alfredo behind the wheel.
A staple of the open teams that have competed for a spot on the grid, Beard Motorsports made their NASCAR Cup Series debut at Daytona Int’l Speedway with Brendan Gaughan in 2017. Since then the team founded by the late Mark Beard Sr. has made ‘The Great American Race’ six times out of seven attempts.
Gaughan earned the team’s only top-10 finish in the Daytona 500 in 2020, finishing seventh. In total Beard Motorsports has one top-five and five top-10 finishes in their eight years of competition. Noah Gragson earned the organization’s only top-five in the 2022 Coke Zero Sugar 400.
As Alfredo climbs behind the wheel of the No. 62 Beard Oil Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, he’ll be the third driver in three years for the open team. He has one previous start in the Daytona 500, finishing 32nd after being swept up in ‘the big one’ in the opening laps of the 2021 race.
“The 2024 season marks our eighth year competing in the NASCAR Cup Series,” said Amie Beard, executive vice president of Beard Motorsports. “It’s surreal to even be referencing year number eight. This race team is a passion project for all of us. My dad loved the sport and it’s a passion that we now share as a family. It’s what drives this team.
“We are so excited to be back on track for 2024,” Beard added. “Our crew chief Darren Shaw and the majority our crew guys and pit crew are all back for this season. Darren has been busy getting the car ready, and preparations for the Daytona 500 are well underway.”
The 24-year-old driver has four top-10 finishes in 10 superspeedway starts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Alfredo’s best superspeedway finish, sixth, came at Talladega Superspeedway in 2020 and 2022.
“I’m so thankful for this opportunity,” said Alfredo. “Every driver that runs stock cars wants to race in the NASCAR Cup Series and the Daytona 500. I’ve been blessed to race at this level against drivers that are childhood heroes of mine. This opportunity with the Beard family is very exciting. They have always fielded great cars in these superspeedway races, so I’m thrilled to get behind the wheel of their No. 62 Chevrolet.”
In addition to the Daytona 500, Alfredo will compete in the GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway in April. The Ridgefield, CT native’s only top-10 finish in the Cup Series came in the 2021 Talladega playoff race.
“Our schedule will go beyond the Daytona 500, and we have some exciting things in the works that we look forward to sharing a little later,” explained Beard. “Overall, though, we are just looking forward to getting back to the track and doing what we do best – competing while having fun.”
While Alfredo is scheduled to drive the Beard Motorsports Chevrolet in the Daytona 500 and GEICO 500, the team plans to attempt both the Coke Zero Sugar 400 and YellaWood 500 in August and October at Daytona and Talladega respectively. Further announcements about those plans for the team will be announced at a later date.
With the No. 62 being an open, unchartered team, Alfredo will have to either qualify on time or race his way into the 500 via the Daytona Duel races if there’s over 40 entries for the race. ‘Fast Pasta’ will also be in the United Rentals 300 Xfinity Series race at Daytona for Our Motorsports, where Alfredo will compete full-time in the No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro SS.