The 64th running of the Daytona 500, “The Great American Race,” will kick off later today (February 20th) at Daytona Int’l Speedway.
On the pole position by virtue of time is the defending champion in the NASCAR Cup Series, Kyle Larson. Alongside will be his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Alex Bowman, the only two positions set by Wednesday’s qualifying session.
In the Bluegreen Vacations Duel races, RFK Racing stole the night by sweeping the twin 150’s. In the first Duel, Brad Keselowski took his shiny new RFK Racing No. 6 to the front of the field with four laps to go against three other Ford Performance members, that being two of his former Team Penske teammates Ryan Blaney and Austin Cindric and Stewart-Haas Racing’s Chase Briscoe.
The second 150-miler went to RFK’s Chris Buescher in a last lap fracas with Penske’s Logano. Coming off of Turn 2, Logano cut low in an attempt to block a run by Buescher. The No. 17 was there and the result was a wrecked No. 22. Last year’s Daytona 500 winner, Michael McDowell, nearly took the Duel win but the field was frozen at the time of incident, giving the victory to Buescher.
Speaking of last year’s 500, McDowell will start sixth in his attempt to defend the Harley J Earl trophy. The Front Row Motorsports driver has shown a lot of pace so far in this new NEXT Gen car. The car will also be a talking point today, as the seventh generation of NASCAR stock cars takes to the track, the first new car since 2013 when NASCAR moved from the Car Of Tomorrow to the Generation 6.
Other previous Daytona 500 winners alongside McDowell in the field include Austin Dillon, Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano and Kurt Busch. Many drivers will be looking for their first, including championship winning drivers such as Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott.
This race will be 200 laps with stage breaks at laps 65 and 130. The race will be live on FOX and the green flag will fly just after 3:00 p.m. ET.
Columnist / Reporter / Photographer / Webmaster for TheRacingExperts.com