Kaulig Racing has announced an attempt at its first NASCAR Cup Series race with the season-opening Daytona 500 on February 16.
Justin Haley, one of the team’s Xfinity Series contenders, will drive the No. 16 Chevrolet. Fraternal Order of Eagles (F.O.E.), which has been a long-time supporter of Haley’s racing career, will sponsor the car. Without the benefit of a charter, Haley and Kaulig will be one of the teams looking to make the race either through their qualifying speed or one of the Duel races.
“I am super excited to attempt not only our first NASCAR Cup Series race, but our first Daytona 500!” said team owner Matt Kaulig. “To be competing at the ‘World Center of Racing’ on the main stage is incredible, especially for our team that began just four years ago. I have all the confidence in the world that Justin Haley will make everyone at Kaulig Racing proud and truly let everyone know that Kaulig Racing is here to compete.”
Kaulig entered NASCAR as a sponsor (LeafFilter) of Blake Koch. In 2016, Kaulig started his own Xfinity Series team with Koch as the driver and has expanded his operation to fielding two full-time teams this year with Haley and Ross Chastain. A third car will be run in select races.
Kaulig Racing has two Xfinity Series wins in 150 starts. Chastain won the first race for Kaulig in last summer’s Daytona race while AJ Allmendinger captured the checkered flag at the Charlotte Roval.
“Kaulig Racing has made continuous strides to be competitive in the Xfinity Series in the past few years,” said team president Chris Rice. “In 2018, we fielded two cars at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Then in 2019, we not only fielded two cars for multiple races, but we added a third entry at Daytona in July and got our first win with Ross Chastain. “As we continue to grow, I feel it is time to go to Daytona and compete in the Cup Series.”
In addition to running for Rookie of the Year honors in the Xfinity Series last year (pictured), Haley also made three Cup Series starts. He is the most recent winner at Daytona as he and Spire Motorsports were out front in the rain-shortened race in July.
“I am eager to try and qualify for the Daytona 500,” said Haley. “It is an honor for me to compete for a starting spot in Kaulig Racing’s first NASCAR Cup Series race. The F.O.E. has been with me since 3016. The Eagles were on my car when I won in July at Daytona, so it’s a great fit for them to be back on my car as we try to lock ourselves into the Daytona 500.”