Daytona test to serve as innovative look at potential future
BUY TICKETS: Buy tickets for Daytona and all 2017 races Liftoff panels, ride heights and aero ducts will be on the menu today at Daytona International Speedway as NASCAR and Goodyear officials, along with five Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series teams, begin a two-day test at the 2.5-mile superspeedway. Erik Jones (Furniture Row Racing Toyota), Alex Bowman (Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet), Joey Logano (Team Penske Ford), Danica Patrick (Stewart-Haas Racing Ford) and Ryan Newman (Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet) are scheduled to take part in the program. "We've got three bodies of work we're going to try to do," Gene Stefanyshyn, NASCAR Senior Vice President Innovation and Racing Development, told NASCAR.com. "Once we learn from that, we take the best solution and that will go into the Goodyear test (on Wednesday)." Simulation and wind tunnel testing have shown that liftoff panels, which are installed underneath the rear of the car, can further reduce the likelihood of liftoff by a vehicle on the track. But what officials don't know, Stefanyshyn said, is "when we put cars together (out on the track), will it screw up the racing?" "We have two versions of the liftoff panel," he said. "We know they both work. Is there one that's better for racing? They could both hurt the racing and if that's the case, we'll scratch it." If it doesn't hamper the quality of competition, work in that area will continue, likely with a battery of additional tests in the wind tunnel before such changes would be implemented for competition. MORE: Evolution of track repave on display at Texas
Daytona Days: A France family affair
RELATED : Key moments in family history " NASCAR is France family business It's been one year since a red ribbon was cut to signal the official opening of DAYTONA Rising, a $400-million overhaul of NASCAR's iconic venue—the Daytona International Speedway (DIS). It was an exciting time for Brian France, Chairman and CEO of NASCAR, and his sister, Lesa France Kennedy, CEO of International Speedway Corporation (ISC) and Vice Chairperson of the NASCAR and ISC Board of Directors. This year brings similar excitement as they gather for Daytona ’s three NASCAR national series races, highlighted by Sunday's 59th running of the DAYTONA 500. There are a number of reasons why. A green-and-white checkered flag will wave twice during each race, followed by the traditional black-and-white checkered flag at the finish. More than just colorful flags, they will usher in a dynamic format in which races will be contested in three stages designed to deliver more dramatic moments over an entire race, where every lap matters and every moment can have a massive impact on a season. While Kennedy’s ISC projects include a modernization of Phoenix Raceway and construction of ONE DAYTONA , the premier mixed-use retail and entertainment destination sprouting across the street from DIS, France looks to continue to build on the collaboration that has impacted the NASCAR industry over the past several years. MORE: France talks key to running family business “Brian has such diverse talents,” says Kennedy. “He has a great feel for the racing side of the sport, yet he’s also great at marketing, a true visionary. He doesn't always get the credit he deserves for running this sport, but he was there early thinking ‘big’ alongside my father (Bill France Jr.), and he’s still thinking big today, not only with our family but also now with the entire industry.” "I am so proud of what Lesa has done here, from DAYTONA Rising to ONE DAYTONA -- and that's only in the last few years,” says France. “She's done it with passion and persistence, two of her biggest attributes. Lesa is without a doubt the best developer in the family. We are ushering in the next era of motorsports entertainment facilities, something this industry needs as our sport continues to focus on modernizing itself for the next 10, 20 and 30 years.” IN-DEPTH: Daytona rises even higher
Back-to-back Daytona 500s? Hamlin knows 'odds are stacked against (me)'
BUY TICKETS: See the Daytona 500 live! RELATED: See every winner of the Daytona 500 DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Denny Hamlin was all smiles and backslaps as he navigated the crowded Daytona 500 Club for NASCAR’s annual Media Day. He joked with Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Matt Kenseth in the midst of Kenseth’s live internet interview and later kidded with Kevin Harvick about his golf handicap. RELATED: Hamlin teases Harvick about his golf game Times are good for the reigning Daytona 500 champion. In another four days, however, Hamlin will have to defend his title. And consecutive wins in this event are rare. Sterling Marlin is the last driver to earn back-to-back trophies (1994-95) in the Great American Race. Only three men in the race’s great history: Marlin, Richard Petty (1973-74) and Cale Yarborough (1983-84) have won back-to-back Daytona 500 s. Hamlin knows the challenge and the historical record. But he’s fast. And he’s a favorite. His No. 11 FedEx Toyota led 48 of the 75 laps in Sunday’s The Clash exhibition and was out front when he collided with Brad Keselowski on the last lap. A couple hours later, he was sixth in Daytona 500 pole qualifying. "The odds are stacked against you," Hamlin acknowledged Wednesday of winning back-to-back Daytona 500 trophies. "If this were Martinsville I’d say the odds are really good, or Richmond. But at Daytona we know the entire field could win the race. We’ve seen surprise winners. There’s just more drivers that can win this week than say, next week in Atlanta. And it makes it very, very hard to repeat." Hamlin’s competitors acknowledge the route is tough. The late Dale Earnhardt made a great effort -- winning in 1998 and finishing second in 1999. His son, Dale Earnhardt Jr . was runner-up in 2012 and 2013 and won in 2014 before finishing third in 2015. RELATED: See Dale Jr.'s full 'Great American Race' history Ryan Newman won the 50th Anniversary edition of the Daytona 500 in 2008. He finished 36th the next year. And that’s an equally as common turn of events. " It is that hard to win a Daytona 500 in general," Newman said, allowing a smile. "So doubling up isn’t easy. It is challenging. You can have the best car and get shuffled out. You can have a not-so-good car and be stuck in the middle all day. It’s not easy. A lot of it is luck that you create. You have to put yourself in the right position. In 2008 we were fortunate to do that. "And," he added, "I think it was easier to have a package that would dominate say 10, 15, 20 years ago. Just the way the rules are and everything else, we all kind of know some things like the No. 4 car ( Kevin Harvick ) guys did. You can’t do that kind of stuff anymore. So it becomes harder because of that. I think those rules have kind of communized the garage performance-wise." Kevin Harvick hoisted the Harley J. Earl trophy in Daytona's Victory Lane in 2007 and finished 14th both the year before and the year after. He acknowledged that the last to win two straight here, Marlin, competed in a vastly different time in restrictor plate racing. "Those guys were dominant back in the 90s during that particular time period with the Kodak entry," Harvick recalled of Marlin’s wins. "When you get to superspeedways like this there are so many things that can go wrong. There are more things that can go wrong than right. If you have a fast car or a slow car you can get caught up in a wreck, a miscue on pit road, hit a bird. You just never know what can go wrong or what could go wrong. Usually if it’s going to happen there’s usually some crazy event that happens during the Daytona 500 , you just never know. "And," he paused, "It’s just really competitive." RELATED: Drivers with multiple Daytona 500 wins Michael Waltrip is a two-time Daytona 500 winner and very nearly captured three straight Daytona wins -- with victories in 2001 and 2003 and a fifth place in 2002. While acknowledging the odds are against a driver having both a super fast hot rod and everything fall right in competition, he immediately offered confidence in Hamlin becoming the first back-to-back Daytona champion in more than two decades. "We might see it this year," Waltrip said. "Denny obviously was in a position to win Sunday (in The Clash), so we could very well see it this year. I know, like I had the best chance ever in '02, and I finished fifth but that's just what the results say. "Part of my suspension fell off my car and went through Junior.'s radiator, took him out, and my car just drove terrible all day long, and we were the best car in '02, and then we finished fifth. So it's always something. This race is so difficult, and anything in the world can happen, and it's hard to predict. "But Denny could be the guy that does it." And that’s something Hamlin absolutely agreed with. "I do feel like over the past four years or so, I’ve always had a great shot," Hamlin said. "I’ve been smart enough to make the moves necessary to win it, but last year was the first time I did it. "I always feel like we have a chance, that our cars were good enough to do it. I know that. But it just seems like we didn’t win it for some reason or another. But last year things came together for us and we executed a plan great. "And this year I just feel like, if the chips fall right, we could do the same thing." &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Blaney's Daytona runner-up finish an early-season victory
RELATED: Results " Standings " Blaney amongst sport's next class of greats DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – All things considered, Ryan Blaney 's runner-up finish in Sunday's Daytona 500 was essentially an early season victory for the 23-year old driver. He started from the rear of the field in a backup No. 21 Motorcraft Ford, avoiding several multiple-car crashes and surviving a final-lap push to the front despite concerns about running out of gas. Any runner-up finisher – especially one in the Daytona 500 – would concede some disappointment on the day, but Blaney still left Daytona Beach deservedly feeling accomplished. And encouraged. "I thought we had a good car all day to start off," Blaney said. "We showed that definitely in the first half of the race. Then we got some damage there in one of those big wrecks about middle of the race. Kind of hurt our car a little bit." But, Blaney explained, he finally got some well-timed help going forward in the final laps. "I started kind of running out the gas there into (Turn 3), we started sputtering pretty bad," Blaney said. "Luckily made it back to the line. It was a good showing for us. It was a good way to start off the year. Stinks to be so close. But I think that's good momentum for our team, to be good at the beginning of the day, get some damage and be able to rally for a good finish." While Blaney's final lap effort was certainly dramatic, his Wood Brothers Racing team felt all along the car was good enough to challenge for the trophy. And that Blaney was good enough to challenge for the trophy. Blaney joked that not having his "rookie stripe" -- or yellow tape -- on the rear of his Ford may have helped encourage the veterans to stick with him. Of course, driving a super-fast car doesn't hurt either. "I thought our car in the Duel race was spectacular and it's a shame it got torn up, but our backup car was honestly, I felt like, just as good," Blaney said. "We came from the back really early and were able to drive up through the middle, and our car handled correctly where we could be up the middle and be aggressive when the time was right. We were able to stay up there." Blaney's crew chief Jeremy Bullins said he will arrive in Atlanta later this week feeling very encouraged by the work of the team and his driver. "Obviously, we showed speed in the 150s [ Daytona qualifying race], but we tore that car up," Bullins said. "It was an easy decision to get this car out. It was built just the same, just as fast. Had a good car all day, got ourselves up front pretty quick, got a little bit of damage a couple of times and had to work on it a little bit, but phenomenal job by Ryan of timing his moves and getting back through there at the end. "We knew we were close on fuel, got him to save a little bit, which was just enough to get us to the end. Almost where we wanted to be, but really close." It is Blaney's best Daytona finish in four races (three Daytona 500 starts) and places him second in the series points standings heading to Atlanta Motor Speedway – all in all, an impressive mark for him and a fine start to the season. "Any time you get a good finish anywhere, no matter what track, it always propels you into the next week," Blaney said. "Maybe it feels a little better when it's the Daytona 500. "It doesn't mean your car is going to be great when you go to Atlanta [next week], doesn't mean your car is going to be great when you go out West. Until you get nine or 10 in, then you can kind of get a good judge of how your cars are and where your team stacks up. "No matter where it is, if you get a good finish, it definitely helps your team confidence‑wise for the next week and maybe a couple weeks after that."
Kurt Busch seeks to snap Daytona 500 hex of runner-up finishes
BUY TICKETS: See the Daytona 500 live! MORE: Busch through the years " Busch marries fiancée DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Three hundred and fifty-five days. Give or take a week, perhaps. That's how long losing the Daytona 500 sticks with you, according to Kurt Busch . And Busch, driver of the No. 41 Ford for Stewart-Haas Racing , should know. Three times Busch has been in position to win the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season-opening event. Three times he has been denied, taking the checkered flag before everyone else except for the race winner. Second is a lonely place. Others have finished second in the 500-mile race held annually here at Daytona International Speedway more often than Busch. NASCAR Hall of Fame member Dale Earnhardt finished second five times. Fellow Hall cohort Cale Yarborough did it four times. Dale Earnhardt Jr . has been runner up four times, as well. But the sting of a second-place finish in the season's biggest event isn't as painful when there are Daytona 500 trophies in the trophy case, and that's the case for the Earnhardts, Yarborough and a host of others. For Busch, the lack of a Harley J. Earl trophy, presented to the Daytona 500 victor, is the lone omission on an otherwise solid resume. He's a former series champion (2004), and enters the 2017 season with 28 wins over a 17-year career. This year's race, scheduled for Sunday (2 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) will be his 16th attempt at being known as a Daytona 500 champion. "You go with all the optimism you can to win it," Busch said. "You apply all the knowledge from years past being so close to try to win it. (But) it sticks with you." WATCH: Busch and Kenseth talk Monster Energy, Daytona 500 Restrictor-plate races contested at Daytona and Talladega Superspeedway haven't been kind to Busch, although he did win an IROC race at Talladega in 2003 en route to the championship for that four-race series. He's also won the non-points "The Clash" at Daytona as well as one of the Can-Am Duel qualifying races that determine the bulk of the lineup for the 500. "But both those (Clash and Can-Am) wins were when we were doing the tandem (draft)," Busch said of the NASCAR victories. "I mastered the tandem really well I felt like." What he's yet to master, he said "is the aggressive blocking, making the car as wide as it can be at the end of the race to hold that position. "I was in position, I thought, to win the April race at Talladega last year and Brad (Keselowski) got around me at the end. I made a mistake. Coming to the line here in July running second, third, behind Brad. Joey (Logano, Keselowski’s teammate) is behind me pushing and I got spun coming to the line. "So many close opportunities and yet nothing to show for it as far as a points win. I just have to be more aggressive and strategic in blocking at the end."
Stadium tickets for 59th annual Daytona 500 sold out
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 25, 2017) -- Reserved stadium tickets for the 59th annual DAYTONA 500, the season-opening event for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series , are sold out, Daytona International Speedway President Chip Wile announced today. Ticket holders for "The Great American Race" on Sunday will enjoy all the amenities that come with the world's only motorsports stadium including 101,500 permanent and wider seats, five expanded and redesigned entrances, 40 escalators and other upgrades throughout the 11 football-field sized neighborhoods in the facility. Premium hospitality, infield admissions and UNOH Fanzone/Pre-Race access still remain for the DAYTONA 500 and are available at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP as well as through PrimeSport.com, the official ticket exchange and travel package provider of Daytona International Speedway . This is the second straight year that the DAYTONA 500 has sold out. "The ticket demand for the DAYTONA 500 continues to be a constant in our sport," Wile said. "Likewise, the race continues to be the perfect kick-off to a new NASCAR season, showcasing the unique and energized at-track experience that our sport -- and our stadium -- provides to our fans. "This is the most prestigious event on the NASCAR schedule and a true American sports tradition. Fans have always recognized those facts. This latest sellout, once again, reflects that recognition." This year's Daytona 500 will be attended by fans representing 41 different countries and every state in the U.S.
Starting lineup for the Daytona 500
BUY TICKETS: See the Daytona 500 live! The field is set! Heading into Thursday's Can-Am Duels at Daytona , we already knew 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). We also knew Elliott Sadler and Brendan Gaughan had clinched spots in the field because in Daytona 500 single-car qualifying, they posted the two fastest times among the six Open, or non-Charter teams. That's good for a spot in the field. And both drivers had to fall back on those times with Corey Lajoie and DJ Kennington racing their way into the Daytona 500 . As a reminder, the 36 Charter teams are locked into the Daytona 500 , and every other points race. Duel 1 results set the inside row of the Daytona 500 . Duel 2 set the outside row. * Denotes Open team
Bruce: In the end, it was classic Daytona
RELATED: Full race results " Post- Daytona standings " Detailed breakdown DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- All the game planning, pit strategy and teamwork had been overhauled due to the implementation of stages, those in-race resets that reward points for drivers running in the top 10 after a predetermined number of laps. But when the final laps of the 59th annual running of the Daytona 500 began to play themselves out, such things no longer mattered. In the end, it was a freight train of sheet metal and horsepower churning and chugging toward the start/finish line, every team and every driver acting selfishly with only one thing in mind -- get to the line first. Kurt Busch did, and the 2004 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion exorcised the demons of past restrictor-plate shortcomings in winning his first Daytona 500 after finishing second here a heartbreaking three times. RELATED: Busch wins at Daytona " How close Busch had come in the past Sunny skies and warm temperatures had long given way to the cool of evening here at Daytona International Speedway when Busch whipped his No. 41 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford into the lead, shooting high and to the outside of Kyle Larson as a 10-car line snaked its way into Turn 1 for the final time around the legendary 2.5-mile track. With help from a fast-closing Ryan (where'd he come from?) Blaney, and with the fuel-starved Chevrolet of Larson falling back, Busch stayed in the throttle and drove his way into Daytona lore. It was the first full points race of the season, the first for series sponsor Monster Energy and it played out in front of grandstands filled to the brim. RELATED: Monster Energy revs up the fans at the track It was a classic Daytona 500 finish in what had been a different, bizarre-at-times race up to that point. It was different because the format called for it to be different. A change in approach and a change in strategy was required. It was obvious that teams had spent time trying to figure out how to make the best of points opportunities while not giving away a shot at the big prize. Many will go back to the drawing board after Sunday. RELATED: Fast facts on race enhancements " Harvick, Busch wins stages Why else would nearly everyone driving a Toyota drop off the track and hit pit road under green after less than 20 laps of the opening 60-lap stage? At that point, they'd have enough fuel to make it to the end of the stage, they had ready-made drafting partners and stage points would be there for the taking. Simple, right? Only it didn't work out that way. Rookie Daniel Suarez was too fast on pit road and his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Matt Kenseth flat-spotted his tires trying to slow his car. Both had to return to pit road. The best laid plans, you know … It did pay dividends for JGR's Kyle Busch , who was indeed out front at the end of Stage 1 to collect 10 additional points. And it looked as if it might work again in the second stage, until a tire issue sent Busch spinning up and into the wall where he collected Kenseth as well as Dale Earnhardt Jr . RELATED: Dale Jr. in wreck with Kyle Busch " Two 'Big Ones' reshape race Ford teams appeared to have a similar strategy, albeit their pit cycle seemed to fall a bit later in each stage, and to be honest, when the caution flag began appearing every 10 laps or so, strategy went out the window. Suddenly it was a game of survival. Nearly a half-dozen former Daytona 500 winners loaded up and departed as just that -- former Daytona 500 winners. Some before the checkered, some incredibly made it to the end. Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson , Matt Kenseth , Denny Hamlin and Jamie McMurray saw their hopes at victory end or be severely curtailed due to their involvement in any one of the four multi-car accidents that gobbled up as few as five cars and as many as 17. Nearly the entire final 50 laps were run caution free, without delays to slow the action. Fuel concerns began to creep into the equation. Too late for some. The time for strategy had passed. From here up until the end, it was about racing. Flat-out, pure and simple. In the end it was exactly what everyone hoped for and most expected. It was bizarre at times, yes, but in the end, when it mattered most, it was a classic. It was the Daytona 500.
The First-timer's guide to the Daytona 500
BUY TICKETS: See the Daytona 500 live! RELATED: Read more Inside Groove So, you’ve decided to attend your first NASCAR race -- how exciting! You’ve chosen the Daytona 500 , the greatest spectacle of stock car racing, conquered by heroes like Jeff Gordon , Dale Earnhardt, Richard Petty, Darrell Waltrip, and Trevor Bayne . Here are some tips and tricks on how you can make your maiden trip to this year's Daytona 500 the most enjoyable experience at the track possible. -- Wear sunscreen! The sun is hot in Daytona Beach. It's common practice to wear a sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of your favorite driver's car number. Don't have a favorite driver yet? Jamie McMurray is a popular choice -- he's No. 1, really. --During the race, you'll hear a lot of people seated around you shouting, "Go Dale Jr.!" This is normal. Junior Nation has been asked to remind their driver to keep going -- he's been out of the car for a few months and his fans are trying to be helpful in case he forgot how to do his job. -- Purchase tickets well in advance of the Daytona 500 ! You can no longer arrive at the hallowed grounds of motorsports and expect to answer the Grand Marshal's three riddles to gain entry to the race. Times have indeed changed. -- Bump drafting is NOT encouraged in the line for the bathrooms. Trust me. Leave it to the professionals. -- On Lap 14 of the Daytona 500 , you'll be asked to hold up 14 fingers in honor of the now-retired Tony Stewart . Be sure to comply, lest you be ribbed and taunted by fellow racegoers for the remainder of the event. -- It's customary to perform "the wave" on each of the race's 200 laps as the pack races by where you're seated. Remind your neighbors of this if they forget. -- If you fall off your boat into Lake Lloyd, simply put yourself in a bag of rice for 24 hours to dry off. -- It'll be SUPER awkward walking into the track wearing your Scott Speed 2012 team t-shirt. Stop by the merchandise tent as soon as possible if that's the case. -- Upon gaining entry to the track, you'll be handed a race program that explains the race festivities. It's part of your ticket agreement with the track that you list the program for sale on eBay immediately following completion of the race. -- When 40 cars bolt past you at full speed after the green flag waves, the noise can be rather startling. Most race car drivers, however, are quite respectful if you give them a "shush" as they race on. Don't be shy -- race car drivers are people, too, and they're happy to comply with a fan's polite request! -- In the event of rain, the race will be delayed until the track is sufficiently dried. Avoid sitting in the grandstands for hours, thinking the cars will come back around the track any time now -- it's quite likely the cars are actually stopped on pit road, disguised by car covers! -- Do not utter the words, "Drivers, start your engines!" before the official command is given by the Grand Marshal. Reciting this phrase could startle drivers into accidentally starting their race cars sooner than expected -- and you don't want responsibility for that magnitude of disaster on your hands. -- Open bowls of cereal are not permitted in the facility. Finish those flakes and leave your bowl in the car before you attend The Great American Race! Better yet, meet up with other racing/cereal enthusiasts at one of the designated "cereal bowl zones" in the parking lot outside the track. -- You'll notice the cars look quite a bit different in person than they do on TV. That's simply because the camera adds ten pounds. Enjoy your slimmed and unfettered view of those speed machines! -- When there's a crash on the track, the cars always seem to end up at the end of skid marks. That means trouble! When you start to see skid marks appear, recite the customary Daytona skid marks chant to alert race fans around you: " Women and men 'round these hallowed grounds; hark -- now rise -- for trouble abounds!" -- Before the race begins, airplanes will fly in formation over the track -- this is called the "fly-over" and it's perfectly normal. Don't feel embarrassed -- you didn't accidentally go to the air show instead of the biggest race of the NASCAR season! -- Most food vendors within the gates of the race track do not offer free refills on cans of Monster Energy. -- Speaking of food vendors, try out some Daytona 500 specialties! Ask for the secret menu to get access to delicacies like "Race Puppies," "Busch Ears," "Cassill Greens," "Dale's Famous Gus Drops," and Daytona's own "Pasta Logano," named after the 2015 winner of The Great American Race. -- Fellow fans wearing a shirt bearing your favorite driver are required to return all high-fives and fist bumps. Promptly report any suspicious refusals to return high-fives to track security. -- If you forget to print out this guide and bring it with you to the track, just remember DAYTONA : -- DAY le Earnhardt, Jr. is a common driver for whom you can cheer in case you forget the name of your favorite driver -- TON y Stewart isn't racing in the Daytona 500 this year -- he retired. (Remember, 14 fingers on Lap 14!) -- A good idea would have been to print out the First Timer's Daytona 500 Guide. Most of all, have fun and enjoy yourself! In most cases, you can head back home at the conclusion of the race. It's the mark of a Daytona novice to accidentally sit in the grandstands for weeks following the race -- don't embarrass yourself! &amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;gt;
How the Can-Am Duels work, set Daytona 500 field
BUY TICKETS: See the Daytona 500 live! RELATED: Complete lineups for each Duel The Can-Am Duels are a pair of qualifying races held on Feb. 23 (starting at 7 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) that will determine the bulk of the field for the 2017 Daytona 500 (Feb. 26, 2 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). NASCAR.com offers a look at how the twin qualifying races work and how they impact the Daytona 500 . Programming info for Can-Am Duels: When: Feb. 23, starting at 7 p.m. ET Where: Daytona International Speedway TV: FS1 Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio What is the format? There are two 60-lap, 150-mile races. Who is in which Duel is determined based on qualifying speeds from Sunday's single-lap qualifying runs. How do the Duels set the Daytona 500 lineup? The Duels determine who will line up in spots 3-38 on the starting grid for the "Great American Race" after Sunday's qualifying speeds saw the Hendrick Motorsports duo of Chase Elliott and Dale Earnhardt Jr . earn front row spots for the 2017 Daytona 500 . Drivers in the first Duel race will line up on the inside row for the Daytona 500 (odd-numbered starting position), based on the order in which they finish the first Duel race. Drivers in the second Duel race will line up on the outside row for the Daytona 500 (even-numbered starting positions), based on the order in which they finish the second Duel race. Remember, all 36 Charter teams are guaranteed spots in the Daytona 500 . RELATED: Which teams have Charters? How can open teams make the Daytona 500 ? Two open teams will make the field based on their qualifying speed from Sunday's single-car qualifying runs. The other two open spots come from the best finishing open teams in each Duel. Should the fastest qualifying open team driver earn a spot based on his or her Duel result, then the next fastest open team would get in based on qualifying speed. Sadler and Gaughan had the fastest entries among the open teams in single-car qualifying and are locked into the Daytona 500 field. RELATED: Sadler, Gaughan lock in spots The open team entries that will battle for two Daytona 500 spots in the Duels are Timmy Hill (No. 51 Chevrolet), Reed Sorenson (No. 55 Toyota), Corey LaJoie (No. 83 Toyota) and DJ Kennington (No. 96 Toyota). How important are the Duels for drivers locked into the front row? Very important because of the race enhancements NASCAR announced last month. While a Duel win doesn't put you in the Chase, the top 10 drivers in each Duel will earn points heading into the Daytona 500 . Points for Duel results have not occurred before this year. Drivers locked into the front row need to avoid any sort of calamity to keep their starting spot. With qualifying day so early in Speedweeks and a multitude of practices over three days leading up to the Daytona 500 , wrecks resulting in backup cars, engine changes and more are all likely to pop up at some point to affect the green-flag order once on the grid. How are points awarded ? It's similar to stages in the 36 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races. Meaning the winner of each Duel will get 10 points down to the 10th-place driver, who will get one point. Two drivers -- each Duel winner -- will head into the Daytona 500 with a share of the point lead.
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