Driving the Mission: NASCAR's RFK Racing Helps Bring Skilled Trades Careers to the Forefront

More than 20 stock cars drive up a track during a NASCAR race. In the lead is a car with on it.

BlueForge Alliance (BFA) and Roush Fenway Keselowski (RFK) Racing set out to highlight thousands of career opportunities and a critical national mission starting with the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season. Presenting to the sport’s nearly 100 million fans proved extremely beneficial and laid the groundwork for seasons to come.

May’s race weekend in Charlotte brought the announcement of the BFA-RFK Racing multi-year engagement, hailed by RFK Co-Owner and Driver Brad Keselowski as a chance “to inspire the workforce of the next generation across the country.” For 2023, would be emblazoned across an RFK Ford Mustang at 10 races beginning with the July event in Loudon, New Hampshire.

The team would surge up the standings as the season continued. Strong performances by RFK Racing drivers and pit crews offered ample opportunities for race fans in attendance and following broadcasts to focus on the #CarWithAMission, driven seven times by Keselowski and three times by Chris Buescher. Millions of dollars’ worth of visibility for careers with suppliers in the U.S. Navy’s Submarine Industrial Base (SIB) was a key result.

More takeaways from the 2023 season included:

  • The car had seven top-10 finishes. Four of those were in the top 5.
  • In eight of the 10 races, the car finished better than its starting position.
  • Keselowski’s 102 laps led and the top spot in stage two at Richmond was a standout performance. He also earned a stage two win at Kansas. Buescher drove to a third-place finish in Darlington, where coverage of a fiery incident on pit road (no one was injured) helped lead to millions of social media impressions and video views.
  • Both Buescher and Keselowski made the 2023 NASCAR Playoffs, with each advancing out of the Round of 16 and Buescher getting to the Round of 8. The #CarWithAMission was raced five times while its drivers were in contention for the championship, with top-10 finishes in four races and top-5s in two.
  • RFK Mustangs with on them averaged about 23 minutes of television time in the 10 races, about the equivalent of a half-hour TV program without commercials. Driver performance and in-car cameras were leading contributors to the site getting exposure.
  • On social media, posts on RFK’s accounts featuring the #CarWithAMission brought an average of 1.6 million impressions with each race.

A Wide Audience

With NBCUniversal having the broadcast rights for the second half of the NASCAR season, all 10 races featuring the car aired on NBC, USA Network, Peacock and/or NBC Sports Digital. For 2023, viewership was up across those platforms compared to 2022. NBC Sports Press Box reports a Total Audience Delivery of 2.47 million viewers on average across its 20 races.

July’s races in New Hampshire and Richmond, both of which featured Keselowski driving the #CarWithAMission, were the most watched sports programs on all of television those days, according to NBC Sports. Keselowski finished fifth and sixth in those races. The Watkins Glen (Keselowski) and Darlington (Buescher) races showcased the car in the most-watched cable sports programs of those days. Keselowski earned coverage for his successful pursuit of playoff qualification at Watkins Glen. As mentioned, Buescher finished third in Darlington.

A stock car with on it is fueled and has its tires changed by a group of people during a NASCAR race. Grandstands behind the car are filled with people.
NASCAR driver Brad Keselowski stands next to his stock car. His attire, including a hat, has on it. Other people are walking around the track area.
NASCAR driver Chris Buescher stands in front of a black backdrop with a NASCAR 75th Anniversary logo on it. He's wearing apparel.

At the races in Kansas City, Fort Worth and Talladega, BFA set up in the NASCAR Fan Zone and engaged with attendees. Thousands of fans gained insight into skilled trades careers in their areas and the Navy’s mission, with hundreds signing up to continue receiving information.

Shipbuilders General Dynamics Electric Boat and HII Newport News Shipbuilding also showed off their work and various simulations at the New Hampshire and Richmond races, respectively. This coincided with the companies joining on Keselowski’s cars for those events. Another leading SIB supplier, Austal USA, was on Buescher’s car for Talladega.

Whether at the track or taking in a broadcast, NASCAR fans flocked to during the 10 race weekends. There were more than 290,000 sessions on the site from qualifying days through the day after each race.

Off the track, Keselowski’s top-tier status in both NASCAR and manufacturing helped accentuate the mission of BFA and the SIB. In October, the owner of Keselowski Advanced Manufacturing was a speaker at the annual summit put on by the Accelerated Training in Defense Manufacturing (ATDM) program and the Navy Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence (AM COE) in Danville, Virginia. The #CarWithAMission was also on hand, with attendees like Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro getting the chance to snap pictures with it.

The car also joined BFA and SIB representatives in Chicago for four days in September as part of FABTECH, North America’s largest metal forming, fabricating, welding, and finishing event.

Racing Into 2024

2024 will mark the first full NASCAR season for the car. It will run in 19 races in 14 states beginning with February 18’s Daytona 500 and the return of RFK Racing’s No. 60 car to be driven in “The Great American Race” by David Ragan. Keselowski and Buescher will drive the #CarWithAMission in the other 18 races stretching across each of the season’s ten months and concluding with the championship race.

  • Feb. 18: Daytona, FL (Ragan) (Airing on FOX)
  • Feb. 25: Atlanta, GA (Buescher) (FOX)
  • Mar. 10: Phoenix, AZ (Buescher) (FOX)
  • Mar. 17: Bristol, TN (Buescher) (FOX)
  • Mar. 31: Richmond, VA (Keselowski) (FOX)
  • Apr. 7: Martinsville, VA (Buescher) (FS1)
  • Apr. 14: Fort Worth, TX (Keselowski) (FS1)
  • Apr. 28: Dover, DE (Keselowski) (FS1)
  • May 26: Charlotte, NC (Keselowski) (FOX)
  • June 9: Sonoma, CA (Buescher) (FOX)
  • June 23: Loudon, NH (Keselowski) (USA)
  • June 30: Nashville, TN (Buescher) (NBC)
  • July 14: Pocono, PA (Buescher) (USA)
  • Aug. 11: Richmond, VA (Keselowski) (USA)
  • Sept. 1: Darlington, SC (Buescher) (USA)
  • Sept. 15: Watkins Glen, NY (Buescher) (USA)
  • Oct. 6: Talladega, AL (Keselowski) (NBC)
  • Nov. 3: Martinsville, VA (Buescher) (NBC)
  • Nov. 10: Phoenix, AZ (Keselowski) (NBC)

Within 200-mile radii of each of these 19 competitions are 49 percent of SIB suppliers, each with stable, sustaining, purpose-driven career opportunities contributing to the next generation of Navy submarines.

Visit for more on the team and its drivers. You can also get #CarWithAMission merchandise through


Written by:
Steve Fullhart, BlueForge Alliance

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