Full lineup for Can-Am Duels at Daytona
BUY TICKETS: See the Daytona 500 live! Sunday's Coors Light Pole qualifying set the front row for the Daytona 500 -- Chase Elliott is on the pole, and Dale Earnhardt Jr . will start second when the green flag drops Feb. 26 (2 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). The qualifying speeds also set the lineups for Thursday's Can-Am Duels at Daytona (7 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), the twin 60-lap races that determine both the field and the full lineup for the "Great American Race." As a reminder, 36 Charter teams are locked into the Daytona 500 , leaving four available spots to be filled by six Open, or non-Charter teams. Duel 1 is typically comprised from the odd-numbered drivers on the Daytona 500 qualifying speed chart -- first, third, fifth, etc. Duel 2 is then the even-finishing drivers. The duel lineups could be minimally altered from that formula, though, to ensure an even number of Open teams in each duel race (three apiece). Below is the official lineup for each race:
Get ready for the Daytona 500 with driver interviews
BUY TICKETS: See the Daytona 500 live! " Speedweeks schedule Drivers take center stage starting at 8:30 a.m. ET Wednesday for the Media Day live stream presented by NAPA as excitement builds toward Sunday's Daytona 500 . Don't miss any of the stories, banter and laughs as NASCAR.com live streams the event til 3:30 p.m. ET. Watch here . Hosts Jonathan Merryman and Kim Coon will talk with drivers about the Daytona 500 and the 2017 season. Here's the event lineup (all times Eastern): 8:30 a.m.: Aric Almirola 8:40 a.m.: Austin Dillon , Matt DiBenedetto 8:45 a.m.: Chris Buescher 8:50 a.m.: Joey Gase BREAK (35 min) 9:35 a.m.: Michael McDowell , AJ Allmendinger 9:40 a.m.: David Gilliland 9:45 a.m.: Joey Logano BREAK (25 min) 10:20 a.m.: Chip Wile 10:30 a.m.: Brendan Gaughan , Darrell Wallace Jr . 10:35 a.m.: Cole Custer 10:40 a.m.: Blake Koch 10:50 a.m.: Brennan Poole 11:05 a.m.: Dale Earnhardt Jr . 11:10 a.m.: Daniel Hemric , Brandon Jones 11:20 a.m.: Spencer Gallagher , Ben Kennedy BREAK (1 hr. 40 min) 1:10 p.m.: Ryan Blaney 1:20 p.m.: Chase Elliott 1:50 p.m.: Kevin Harvick 1:55 p.m.: Justin Allgaier , Michael Annett 2 p.m.: John Hunter Nemechek , Denny Hamlin 2:10 p.m.: Ty Dillon , Matt Kenseth , Kurt Busch 2:20 p.m.: Landon Cassill , Kasey Kahne BREAK (15 min) 2:45 p.m.: Erik Jones BREAK (10 min) 3:05 p.m.: Ryan Reed BREAK (5 min) 3:15 p.m.: Brad Keselowski
Sense of rejuvenation for Ronnie Bassett Jr., team with his first K&N win
BUY TICKETS: See the Daytona 500 live! NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. -- Ronnie Bassett Jr. sat in contemplation last May, having rushed to witness first-hand the devastating fire that tore through his family-owned team's race shop in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. While thankfully no one was injured, the material loss was heavy, with little to salvage in the way of cars, tools, equipment and the team's hauler. Sifting through cinders in the days after the blaze, Bassett said he wondered what would come next for him and his brother, Dillon, a pair of next-generation racers. "We were sitting there scratching our heads," Bassett says. "We didn't know whether we were going to be able to race again the rest of that season or what." Sunday night, nearly nine months after their loss, came victory. The 21-year-old Bassett emerged from a frantic second half of the season-opening Jet Tools 150 to score his first NASCAR K&N Pro Series East victory at New Smyrna Speedway. The win also soothed the heartbreak of last year's K&N opener, where an official scoring check after the checkered flag kept Bassett from Victory Lane. Bassett's convincing victory, which included a late-race stretch of running 1-2 with his brother, belies the adversity that his family has faced. Working with insurance to rebuild their own shop has been a gradual process, and the family racing operation is now spread over three buildings in their hometown -- a small warehouse for primary cars, a shed for parts and another space serving as a makeshift fabrication shop. "We're just trying to make it happen," said Ronnie Bassett Sr., who enjoyed a successful career in the Sportsman division at Bowman Gray Stadium. "They don't have much to work out of. It's a tight spot, I can tell you that." What has helped has been a devoted crew, and fellow racers David Calabrese and Brandon Gdovic lending a hand with equipment to help the team finish out 2016 with a part-time slate. "We just prayed to the good Lord about it to see what needed to be done," Bassett Jr. said. "It kind of worked out. We have more than what we had when we were working out of our other shop. We've been blessed with a lot of great people." Bassett Jr. led the final 42 laps, sweating through a pair of red flags for accidents, including a final stack-up near the front of the field that knocked his brother and NASCAR Next driver Tyler Dippel from contention. It marked the first laps led in a K&N East career that's spanned 40 races since 2013. Though Bassett Jr. amassed a three-second lead on the half-mile track over the closing laps, he and his father remained antsy. Intense racing behind him threatened a late caution, and then there were the reminders of the mix-up from last season. Bassett actually crossed under the checkered flag first at New Smyrna in 2016, emerging from a three-car fracas with Todd Gilliland and Spencer Davis. But race officials determined that an extra lap had been inadvertently run beyond the scheduled distance, handing the victory to Gilliland. There was no doubt Sunday night. "I had a counter in my hand tonight," Bassett Sr. said with a laugh. "We were definitely watching the flagstand, that's for sure. It's all good, though." For his son, the victory was a needed boost after a long dry spell. Bassett had two runner-up efforts sprinkled among his nine previous top-five finishes, including a third place at New Smyrna last year. After leaving the Florida half-mile with trophy in hand, Bassett said the sense of rejuvenation was real. "It's been very, very tough on myself -- I went from running good in Late Model Stocks and then coming to these things, it's like punching myself in the heart," Bassett Jr. said, adding that the family plans a full K&N East schedule in its rebuilding year. "To come back and have a good race car and lead laps tonight, it builds my confidence back to know that I can still do it."
Update available for NASCAR Heat Evolution
BUY TICKETS: See the Daytona 500 live! Can't get enough NASCAR Heat Evolution? Well, get ready. The game is about to get even more real. An update to the Dusenberry Martin Racing game launched Feb. 21. It's $9.99 on the PlayStation Store, Xbox Marketplace and Steam. The update includes team and roster updates, new drivers, new 2017 paint schemes, the 2017 schedule, new Toyota Camry model and the video debuts of the No. 41 Monster Energy and No. 77 5-hour Energy cars. Dusenberry Martin Racing's long-term and deeply rooted relationship with NASCAR has allowed the company to develop a wide range of games across multiple interactive entertainment platforms, giving fans a uniquely NASCAR gaming experience. NASCAR Heat Evolution features fun and exciting gameplay for all skill levels, up to 40 player online multiplayer races (a console gaming first), more than 40 drivers, all 23 licensed Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series tracks and a variety of thrilling gameplay modes. In today's world of technology, video games can often take much time and skill to master, leaving a novice or causal gamer frustrated. Finding the balance between realism and fun, NASCAR Heat Evolution features an adaptive artificial intelligence (AI), which adjusts to gamers' competence, keeping them challenged based on their skill level. Equal to the importance of the game's adaptive AI is the players' ability to relate and understand the connection between racing for hours in a video game and doing the same in real life. NASCAR Heat Evolution features numerous game play modes that allow gamers to run just a few laps or up to an entire race. Along with full-length races, the game includes a career mode that gives users an understanding of acquiring sponsors and how to improve their car race after race. Brad Keselowski played a sample of the game last year with NASCAR.com and gave his insights. You can re-watch that video here.
Tweets to the Winner: Everything is Joey's fault
MORE BLOGS: Inside Groove page Joey Logano took advantage of a last-lap incident to win the Advance Auto Parts Clash at Daytona, injecting momentum into the No. 22 team's Speedweeks. While Logano and his fans were ecstatic to watch the familiar red and yellow Ford drive into Victory Lane to end the long offseason, others didn't have such nice things to say. Some folks were just flat-out mean -- and weirdly specific. #joeylagano won the race! What a weasel! — Paula Sandt Miller (@FlyDC989) February 19, 2017 @joeylogano PUKE IN DAYTONA — susieq (@kbuhurico) February 19, 2017 @NASCAR @joeylogano Joey Joey Joey is a kids name — Joe Post (@Joepost43) February 19, 2017 Other Logano haters felt it was more appropriate to dismiss the win altogether, despite the fact that the No. 22 wasn't involved in the late-race crash between Denny Hamlin and Brad Keselowski . @NASCAR @joeylogano you only got that win because others crashed. @joeylogano the way you were driving out there. — al provost (@ambergriffin123) February 19, 2017 Way to go Logano - payback won't be fun. #NASCAR — Koreen M (@czarinakem) February 19, 2017 At least some fans had Joey's back ... @MonsterEnergy the girl who offered @joeylogano the towel, wiped herself first then offer it to him? Gross. Good thing Joey didn't take it — Bridget Reeves (@trakmom2013) February 19, 2017 Logano? More like LoWINgo — ÿøęł (@novus_discipula) February 19, 2017 ... but there always will be the people who don't like when you have a good day. Will someone please Punch Joey Lagano he is always so happy — David Kemp (@davidkemp88) February 19, 2017
2017 update available for NASCAR Heat Evolution
New paint schemes, drivers plus the debut of the No. 41 Monster Energy car -- this 2017 update for the NASCAR Heat Evolution video game has all of it, plus more.
How the Daytona 500 field is set for the 2017 race
BUY TICKETS: See the Daytona 500 live! The Daytona 500 is a unique event in many ways, including how the 40-car field is set for this year's race (Sunday, Feb. 26, 2 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). There are two days that carry the most significance in how the field is set. The first is Sunday, Feb. 19 when two rounds of single-car qualifying will take place starting at 3:10 p.m. ET (FOX). The second is Thursday, Feb. 23 when the Can-Am Duel races take place, starting at 7 p.m. ET (FS1). Here are more details: SINGLE-CAR QUALIFYING Programming info for single-car qualifying When: Sunday, Feb. 19 Where: Daytona International Speedway TV: FOX Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio What is the format? This event will determine the front row (spots 1 and 2) for the Daytona 500 . There will be two rounds of single-car qualifying, with the 12 fastest cars in Round 1 advancing to Round 2. There will be a 10-minute break between rounds, and cars will make their Round 2 run based on Round 1 times (slowest going first, fastest last). The fastest time in Round 2 will be the Coors Light Pole Award winner for the Daytona 500 . The second-fastest time in Round 2 will earn the other spot on the front row for the Daytona 500 . The pole winner will start first in the first Can-Am Duel race on Thursday. The other front-row driver will start first in the second Can-Am Duel race. The rest of the field will line up for Thursday's Can-Am Duels based on qualifying time, with odd-numbered finishers lining up in the first Duel, and even-numbered finishers lining up for the second Duel. CAN-AM DUELS Programming info for the Can-Am Duels When: Thursday, Feb. 23 Where: Daytona International Speedway TV: FS1 Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio What is the format ? The Can-Am Duels will determine spots 3-38 in the Daytona 500 grid. With 36 Charter teams entered in the race, two of these spots will be filled by the top Open car in each Duel race. The qualifiers from the first Duel will line up on the inside row in the Daytona 500 depending upon their finish in Duel 1. The qualifiers from the second Duel will line up on the outside row for the Daytona 500 depending upon their result in Duel 2. The remaining two spots on the Daytona 500 grid will be awarded to the top Open teams from Sunday's qualifying that are still left (i.e. didn't qualify through the Duels). In review : - Two spots (front row) determined by Sunday's qualifying. - Spots 3-38 determined by results of Duels races. - Spots 39, 40 go to the top Open cars remaining. - That's a total of 40 cars for Sunday's race (36 Charter cars, 4 Open cars). &amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
'Tide Ride' returns for Kenseth in three-race deal
BUY TICKETS: See the Daytona 500 live! Joe Gibbs Racing and Tide have entered into a sponsorship agreement for the team's No. 20 Toyota and driver Matt Kenseth for the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series . The partnership, announced Friday, gives Tide's PODS product the primary sponsorship for three races -- March 19 at Phoenix, July 23 at Indianapolis and Oct. 7 at Charlotte. The deal includes associate sponsorship in the series' remaining events. Tide's return to the No. 20 Camry comes on the heels of last year's one-race deal for the annual NASCAR Throwback Weekend at Darlington Raceway . Kenseth's car took cues from Tide's rich history in the sport, with its classic bright paint scheme campaigned over the years by Darrell Waltrip, Ricky Rudd and Ricky Craven. "I'm glad they expanded their role, I think it's exciting for NASCAR and fans as well because they were such a common name in the sport for so many years," Kenseth said. "You always noticed that car on the track. I think getting it back on the track is pretty cool for the sport." &amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;gt;
Suarez's five-year plan heads for new heights
BUY TICKETS: See the Daytona 500 live! Where do you see yourself in five years? If Daniel Suarez were asked that question in 2012, he admits the answer would not have included sitting in the No. 19 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series car for Joe Gibbs Racing . But that's exactly where Suarez will be when teams take the track at Daytona International Speedway to prepare for the Daytona 500 -- in a seat once occupied by Carl Edwards , on a team already considered a powerhouse. To say Suarez has come very far, very fast would be an understatement. And in the whirlwind of activity since Edwards' surprising exit from JGR, nobody could blame Suarez if he were feeling overwhelmed by all the changes. However, the 26-year-old Drive for Diversity product looked comfortable sitting in a director's chair in front of the TV cameras answering questions at the recent Media Tour presented by Charlotte Motor Speedway . "In the national series, Truck, XFINITY, Cup, there is always pressure," Suarez said. "I guess we just get used to that pressure. For me right now, it's normal." Suarez might be feeling an extra boost of confidence because of his 2016 XFINITY Series championship and after becoming the first Latin American driver to win a NASCAR national series title. When we last saw Suarez in a race, he was celebrating in Victory Lane at Homestead-Miami Speedway , showering his team with Coca-Cola, smiling wide and pumping his fists in the air. WATCH: Suarez wins at Homestead, celebrates championship However, the path to that championship wasn't always clear. When Suarez first came to live in the United States, he didn't speak English and sponsorship for his car was hard to obtain. Still, in 2012 he managed to finish in the top 10 in four of 10 races in the K&N Pro Series. This was in addition to 14 races in the NASCAR Mexico Series, where he ranked third in the final standings. Suarez would get his first win on American soil in 2013 in the K&N Pro Series East event at Columbus, but it wasn't until 2015 that he'd get a full-time ride -- with Joe Gibbs Racing in the XFINITY Series. Suarez also drove in 13 events for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the Camping World Truck Series that year. Fast-forward two seasons and Suarez was enjoying the scene described above in Victory Lane. PHOTOS: Best images from Daniel's 2016 season "It is happening fast for sure, there's no question about it," Suarez said. "In 2012, when I moved to the United States, I didn't speak English. I was trying to find a sponsor for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. It was a very tough year. ... "But I guess being with the right people, being with the right team has helped me a lot, allowed me to move up the ladder faster." One person in particular, Kyle Busch , has had an enormous effect on Suarez. The young driver said there were many days when he'd "blow up" Busch's phone asking for advice. A little pestering has gone a long way, though, and it was with a touch of irony that Suarez had to pass Busch (with two laps to go) to get his first XFINITY win in June at Michigan. For one day, at least, it probably hurt Busch a little less to lose a close one. Now the two are teammates on the highest of levels in racing, and to hear Suarez tell it, he hopes he and Busch can still share notes. But his voice rises in pitch when he says "maybe" that will be the case this year. However, Suarez seems undeterred by that fact. He doesn't anticipate Busch blocking his calls. "I'm the same person. I'm the same Daniel Suarez as a couple years ago," Suarez said. "I'm not shy to go out there and ask questions to a veteran driver. Hopefully, I can get the right answers to be a better person and a better driver. Kyle has been the most helpful, but the entire Joe Gibbs Racing family has helped me." RELATED: Edwards helps guide Suarez at Phoenix test Suarez is just 10 weeks removed from winning a national series championship, but he says the celebration is about to end. It's time to move on to the next chapter in his professional career, starting with the Daytona 500 . He wants his head to be clear. Where will Daniel Suarez be five years from now? Let's find out. &amp;lt;/p&amp;gt;
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