The third car that RFK Racing is entering on a limited basis next season in the NASCAR Cup Series is the first step towards potential expansion for the organization down the road.

“It’s definitely the goal,” co-owner Brad Keselowski said.

Introduced as #Stage60, the third car will be the No. 60 Ford Mustang and start with an entry in the Daytona 500 with NASCAR veteran David Ragan. The organization plans to run it in additional races, most likely the superspeedways and road courses.

Keselowski and RFK Racing will be methodical with their plans for the third car. Not since 2016 have there been three full-time cars in Jack Roush’s stable.

“If you back up a decade or two decades ago, you would go to Daytona and see all these new teams,” Keselowski said. “That was (before) the charter, but that was also when you could test, when you had all this practice, and the opportunity to go to a racetrack with a new team, whether it be a new driver, new owner, and get up speed was still challenging but it was conceivable. Nowadays, the ability to go to the racetrack as a new team, new driver, new entrant, and realistically have a chance to be successful is pretty much none.

“So that requires, even for an existing company like RFK, a really intentional process of how to get a team up from the ground to be successful. Again, today, you could still just start a team and show up as an unchartered car and run, but the reality of you being competitive is very, very small. So where we’re at as a company, we don’t want to grow just to grow; I’m not particularly interested in that. We want to grow to be successful, and so it takes a very measured means to do that, and I think that’s what the Stage 60 car represents for us.”

The entry will not be put together haphazardly. Keselowski was clear the third car is not an R&D car for the organization and will be a “really targeted” effort to learn with the drivers brought into the program while finding new opportunities for team partners.

“I think we’re looking at it with this fresher look of, hopefully we’ll be able to sign a few more partners for some of the road course events and the superspeedway events, which is really what we have targeted for this year,” Keselwoski said. “And if we’re able to do that, we’d like to bring some fresh faces into the sport.”

The No.60 carncame together a couple of months ago. Keselowski acknowledged that the company knew it wanted to get to a third car, but it’s not as easy as just putting one on the racetrack.

“Even if you were to go buy a charter tomorrow, and even if you were to sign the right partners tomorrow, you still would need to have people and have assets,” Keselowski said. “We realized we needed to crawl, walk, and run our way to making that a successful venture.”

Starting the venture at Daytona was also a deliberate move.

“It’s actually one of the easier races for us to run with respect to selling a partner, bringing in a good driver like David and then the success that we’ve had with our cars at those tracks,” Keselowski said. “We felt really confident that we could go there and be competitive, and yeah, we want to have a third car for the 500.

“The last few years, we’ve been in position to win the race with both of our cars, and for a number of reasons, it didn’t come together. We’d like to think that having a third car would give us some more strength to hopefully be able to bring that home. To be determined on what the result will be, but the intentions are really good and the effort is really good, and that’s what we can control.”