As promised this is the Daytona 500 post! If you have never watched racing before, the Daytona 500 is the biggest race of the year for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. It kicks off the season that lasts from February until November, and the rules for how the field is set is different from every other weekend.
This past Sunday, qualifying for the Daytona 500 was held where every car entered ran single car laps. Essentially all this qualifying session does is set the front row for the Daytona 500, and the rest of the positions are used to determine the starting orders for the two Duel races which will be held tomorrow, Thursday February 20, 2014. The number 3 car of Austin Dillon claimed the pole and the number 78 of Martin Truex Junior claimed the second place; therefore, they are the front row for the Daytona 500.
|Sand sculpture on the beach of Brad Keselowski's|
As for the Duel races that I just mentioned, they will be held tomorrow. As the name suggests there are two of them, and both are 150 mile races or 60 laps. The first race will contain all the drivers who qualified in odd numbered positions, so the pole sitter, 3rd place, 5th place, and so on will be in this race. The pole sitter will start on the pole for this race as well, and it does not matter where he finishes in the race because he will still start on the pole for the Daytona 500 on Sunday. However, for the rest of the field, the top 14 finishers will be how they start the inside lane (all odd numbered positions) for the Daytona 500. The second Duel race will run the same as the previous one with all the even numbered positions from qualifying, so 2nd place, 4th place and so on. The outside pole sitter, will remain the outside pole sitter for the Daytona 500, and again the top 14 positions will be the outside line for the 500. If you are counting that’s only 30 cars so far, so essentially the rest of these positions are filled by the qualifying times from last Sunday. Also to note the past champion’s provisional is in effect, so if one of these past champions is still left sitting outside the field, what they will do is give the most recent champion who isn’t already in the field the last spot to fill the field of 43 cars.
The two Duel races will begin at 7:00 PM on Fox Sports 1 on Thursday night. Friday night will hold the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race from Daytona is a 250 mile race and will start at 7:30 PM on Fox Sports . Saturday the NASCAR Nationwide Series will race a 300 mile race at 1:00 PM on ESPN, and finally the biggest day the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will race at 1:00 PM on Fox.
The Daytona International Speedway is a 2.5 mile long track, and the style of racing is much different than that of other tracks as well. Daytona and Talladega are restrictor plate tracks, essentially what that means is the airflow into the motor is restricted thus reducing horse power produced. In the Nationwide series and in the Truck series they still use the old restrictor plate system since they have carburated motors; however, the Sprint Cup series uses an EFI and the restrictor plate is still used, and is placed under the throttle body rather than under the carburator and the air intake into the motor will be restricted this way.
Just last year, my best friend and I made the trip from Tennessee to Daytona for the 500 and I have to say that it was one of the coolest experiences I have had. The tradition of the race is very evident. Back in the day they used to race the cars down the beaches of Daytona, and down the main highway that runs parallel with the beach, A1-A and it was neat to walk along those sands.
If y’all want more information feel free to ask questions and I will be happy to answer them. If you know anything about me, you know that I am an Engineering student and I am looking to find a job in the racing world when I graduate. It’s all I have ever wanted to do and I love to share my love of the sport with other people, so once a week I will put up a post about the upcoming weekend.
|Daytona International Speedway photo from autoweek.com|
I hope you guys will stop by and read every week!