By Christian Koelle, Staff Writer
Josh Bilicki had made 60 previous starts in the NASCAR Cup Series before Saturday’s Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona. In those 60 previous starts, Bilicki had never once earned a top-10 finish but Saturday’s chaos and a little bit of luck helped end that streak.
Bilicki, who crossed the finish line in 11th, was awarded a 10th place finish. Add, it’s his first top-10 of his NASCAR career since making his debut in the Xfinity Series in 2014.
Pumped about our top 10 finish last night at @DAYTONA! Wouldn’t have been possible without a great effort by my entire @rickwareracing team. We had a great strategy which allowed us to stay on the lead lap and capitalize at the end. Thank you to all of our partners! pic.twitter.com/8sihbvfgqi
— Josh Bilicki (@joshbilicki) August 29, 2021
“Going into this race, I knew it was going to be pretty crazy,” said Bilicki. “Our goal the entire night was to stay on the lead lap and be there at the end. Thanks to awesome work by my crew chief (Jason Houghtaling), pit crew, and spotter (Reed Sorenson), we were able to stay on the lead lap and capitalize at the end of the race. A top-10 for our little organization is a huge victory for us.”
Bilicki has a combined 141 starts in NASCAR’s top-three series and before Saturday, had just earned his previous best finish at Indianapolis where the team finished 18th. As a team, Rick Ware Racing has only finished within the top-10 in the NASCAR Cup Series three times, including Saturday. The top-10 finish Saturday marks back-to-back seasons with a 10th or better result as Brennan Poole finished ninth at Talladega in 2020. David Ragan finished fourth in the RWR/FRM combination car in the 2020 Daytona 500.
— Rick Ware Racing (@RickWareRacing) August 29, 2021
In two of the last three races, Bilicki has finished inside the top-20. At 27-points, Saturday’s race marked the most points earned by Bilicki in 2021. Bilicki earned 18-points at Indianapolis and in the last three races, a total of 52-points has been earned by the 52.
Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography