ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — Daytona International Speedway is the center of NASCAR racing this week. All three national series races will compete there, not on the main track but on the road course, and there will be a couple local connections.
Josh Bilicki of Richfield, Wisconsin will drive in the Xfinity race in a car sponsored by Rockford based Insurance King. The car will have a unique checkered flag design. Rockford native Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick is also partnering with Bilicki and Insurance King. Nielsen is well known for sporting black-and-white checkers on pretty much everything he wears. He even has a black-and-white checkered tooth. Nielsen says he’s a fan of the car design.
“I love it! It’s like something I’ve done for a long time, and it’s like they’re willing to make fools of themselves like I do.” “I love Josh. He’s a great driver and a great graphic artist too.”
Bilicki first connected with Insurance King a little over a year ago. He and Insurance King have formed a tight bond.
“It really started with a Facebook message,” said Bilicki. “I was looking for a sponsor for last year’s race in Chicagoland. I saw their ads on Facebook. I put together a quick rendering. This car in the background actually I designed that to look like their Chevy Tahoe. It’s really cool to see what one entire year has built.”
Another local business Rock’N Vodka is also partnering with Bilicki for the Daytona race.
Bilicki also races on the NASCAR Cup Series from time-to-time. He is at his best racing on road courses. His home course is Road America. That’s why he’s high on his chances of a strong showing at Daytona.
“I think it’s going to benefit me because most of the drivers have never been to the road course. Everybody has been to Daytona, but not many people have been on the road course. I’ve actually been on the road course there in a Trans Am which is very similar to the NASCAR Xfinity Series cars. We have no practice or qualifying so we go right to the race. So I think guys like myself who have been there are going to have a big advantage.”
The Xfinity race at Daytona will start at 2 p.m. Central Time Saturday.