What’s Happening?

RFK Racing heads into 2024 off the back of a surprising and impressive 2023 season. Overall growth and rebound after a disappointing 2022 season to start Brad Keselowski’s tenure have led to a lot of hype and excitement around this Ford team for 2024.

  • Keselowski’s third season at RFK at an ownership level comes with a new Ford body, but just the same expectations, if not higher. Will he and Jack Roush continue their good partnership to drive the team forward?
  • Chris Buescher had a career year in the No. 17, breaking out for three wins and a deep playoff run. Was it lightning in a bottle for him, or will he continue to develop into a new budding star in the Cup Series?
  • RFK as a whole has increased its presence on the track and off the track, with their technical alliance with Rick Ware Racing. Will RFK’s success also be Rick Ware’s, and vice versa?

Keselowski and No. 6 expectations

Brad K’s best season with RFK was his last one, avoiding any such sophomore slump with his new team. He ended with seven top-fives and 16 top-10s, leading to an eighth-place points finish. He had only three DNFs all year long, averaging a 14th-place finish. He will be looking for even more in 2024.

Three things to look for this season

Perhaps the biggest question for Brad K in his time with RFK is, can he finally find his way back to victory lane? He’s been oh-so-close, particularly last season at Atlanta in the Spring finishing just behind Joey Logano on the final lap. His best chances have some on superspeedways, along with some flatter ovals and short tracks. Will he finally pull through to end his winless streak?

When looking back at his results from last season, Keselowski struggled in the first half of the year before turning up the heat in the second half of the season. Part of it came with the resurgence of Buescher as well, as both would usually be right next to each other when the checkered flag fell. Hence, can Brad K string together consistent finishes on different tracks to keep him further up the standings throughout the season?

Finally, Keselowski has sold all of his sponsors for the entire season, something which is hard to come by in this modern day in NASCAR. RFK has been revealing all sorts of paint schemes for these companies, putting cash into the race team. Will the cash influx going to RFK lead to good results on the track and plenty of TV time for said companies?

Buescher and No. 17 expectations

Buescher’s career year was stellar, making him the de-facto leader at RFK with his three wins. He got a ton of support from his teammate and got a good handle on the Next-Gen car. One of the bigger questions surrounding him just like all Ford teams is how they will handle the new Mustang body. Only time will tell on how he and RFK handle the new car.

Three things to look for this season

It may be a surprise to some, but Buescher has been the force behind RFK’s resurgence into the present day. His three wins last season coming back-to-back at Richmond and Michigan, along with a win at Daytona in the regular season finale, helped show what he and the team can do at all sorts of tracks. But, will Buescher back it up with another multi-win season in hopes of competing for a championship this season?

Buescher also kept his tail clean all season long, only recording one DNF and finishing outside of the top 30 twice all season – both coming early in the year. It led to a career-best 12th-place average finish with nine top-fives and 17 top-10s. His success also came on Saturdays with qualifying as well, where he started on average in 14th place and finished seventh in the standings. Can he repeat similar success with good consistency throughout the race weekends?

Lastly, if there is any sort of flaw to point out on Buescher, it is his number of laps led. None of his three wins were outright dominant, and he only led 255 laps in 2023. He lagged behind the stars who were up front for the majority of the season and managed to eke out wins along the way. While consistent, he wasn’t consistently leading laps and contending for wins every week. Can he find a way to be dominant this season by leading more laps and competing for wins every week?