A heat, partly cloudy day in anticipated at Daytona Seashore as followers within the stands are set to see intense racing, with slingshot passing and multicar wipeouts all at speeds in extra of 190 mph.
This is what it is advisable know earlier than this 12 months’s version of “The Nice American Race,” which begins at 2:30 p.m. ET on Fox.
The character of racing alongside the excessive banks of Daytona Worldwide Speedway, with the sector usually bunched in a pack and bump-drafting their method to the entrance, means virtually each automotive has a possibility to win the 200-lap occasion — from prestigious, title-winning groups to fledgling outfits attempting to claw their manner into the game.
And within the final two years, the winners of the Daytona 500 had been drivers who had by no means visited Victory Lane.
New names in new rides
The most important story this offseason was the departure of Kyle Busch from the Toyota workforce owned by famed NFL coach Joe Gibbs, with whom Busch gained two Cup sequence championships. Busch, whose outspoken character has polarized a lot of the fan base for years, will line up within the No. 8 Chevrolet.
Final 12 months’s entrance row does it once more
Hendrick Motorsports teammates Kyle Larson and Alex Bowman had been the quickest qualifiers in final 12 months’s version, with Larson turning the quickest lap to assert the pole.
And a brand new season brings extra of the identical — on Wednesday, it was Bowman who certified with a median lap pace of 181.686 mph, adequate for his third profession 500 pole, with Larson turning the second-best lap amongst opponents.
Nonetheless, beginning up entrance would not assure a high end, as no pole-winning driver has taken the checkered flag in first place since 2000. Larson and Bowman had been each concerned in accidents final 12 months and completed close to the again.
A chapter closes
Three years later, Earnhardt died in a last-lap crash on the 2001 Daytona 500.
As the game mourned the lack of one in all its best drivers, Earnhardt’s workforce repainted and renumbered his famed black No. 3 Chevrolet to a white No. 29 and added Kevin Harvick as their new driver, an up-and-comer in NASCAR’s decrease divisions.
Now a former Daytona 500 winner and sequence champion, Harvick will retire on the finish of 2023, leaving just one lively driver on the circuit who has raced for the reason that 2001 season — fellow former champion and 500 winner Kurt Busch, who has not competed since July after being injured in a qualifying crash at Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania.
Harvick begins thirteenth on Sunday within the No. 4 Ford, a experience co-owned by Components One workforce boss Gene Haas and Cup champion Tony Stewart. The acquainted No. 3 Chevrolet will be seen pushed by Austin Dillon, the grandson of Richard Childress — Earnhardt’s automotive proprietor.