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
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.
Jeff Gordon to drive Camaro pace car at Daytona 500
BUY TICKETS: See the Daytona 500 live! DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Three-time Daytona 500 winner and four-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon will lead the field to the start of Sunday's Daytona 500 (2 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) behind the wheel of the new 2017 Camaro ZL1 pace car. "Chevrolet and I have a great history at the Daytona 500 and it's an honor to drive the 650-horsepower Camaro ZL1 pace car for the largest, most historic race of the season," Gordon said. Chevrolet will also pace the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Nextera Energy Resources 250 with a 2017 Silverado on Friday evening. A 2017 Camaro SS -- featuring a new Krypton Green exterior color -- will pace the NASCAR XFINITY Series Powershares QQQ 300 on Saturday. "Chevrolet is proud to pace the 'Great American Race' on the high banks of the iconic Daytona International Speedway ," said Steve Majoros, director of marketing, Chevrolet Cars and Crossovers. "The Camaro ZL1 delivers unprecedented levels of technology, refinement and track capability." Gordon has plenty of experience leading the field at Daytona . In addition to winning the Daytona 500 in 1997, 1999 and 2005, he shared the overall win last month at the Rolex 24 at Daytona . All three Chevrolet pace vehicles share graphic theme highlights in silver and black, along with selected accessories and personalization features. &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Gibson's patience pays off with first Daytona 500 win
BUY TICKETS: See the races in Atlanta DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Tony Gibson was still grinning, a little worse for wear and tear perhaps, but still grinning when he arrived inside the Bill France Room of the Ticket and Tours building here at Daytona International Speedway Monday morning. Make that early Monday morning. Tired? A good tired. A winning tired. A little more than 12 hours earlier, Gibson, 52, had helped guide his driver to victory in the Daytona 500 , the season-opening event for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series . It's the race in NASCAR and nothing puts an exclamation point on a racing career like saying you've won the Daytona 500 . Now Kurt Busch is finally a Daytona 500 champion. And Gibson, who has accomplished so much in NASCAR, is finally a Daytona 500 champion crew chief.
Fill-in-the-blank: Daytona 500
Can you believe it? -- Kurt Busch won the Daytona 500 25 cars finished the Daytona 500 A last-lap pass to decide the Daytona 500 The Monster Energy car in Victory Lane ! I've seen everything now. This was the -- wildest most recent best most entertaining Daytona 500 since -- the last Daytona 500 Clint Bowyer finished the race upside down and on fire that time Ward Burton won the race that time Trevor Bayne won the race This race had it all: -- a new Daytona 500 winner pit strategy fuel mileage Michael Waltrip finishing as the highest Toyota , -- teammates wrecking together on multiple occasions only odd-numbered cars finishing in the top 5 15 cars finishing on the lead lap Rob Gronkowski , and most of all, -- Brendan Gaughan six Daytona rookies 37 lead changes the winner only leading a single lap . I don't think anybody expected to see -- the Toyota teams crash together halfway through the race Tony Gibson celebrate boisterously Cole Whitt have a shot at winning the race like, three clean cars at the end of the race in total both Furniture Row cars pass inspection . I haven't seen anything that crazy since -- Trevor Bayne won the 2011 Daytona 500 the pre-race grid walk Sterling Marlin tugged on his fender under the red flag Carl Edwards suddenly retired . And how about -- Michael Waltrip's final race Ryan Blaney's charge to the finish Denny Hamlin not speeding on pit road for one whole race Corey LaJoie making the race only to crash out early ! Unbelievable, right? He's such -- a millennial a good race car driver a disappointment an important part of the future of the sport . This was the first race with -- NASCAR's new stage-based race format Daniel Suarez Jimmie Johnson's beard Stewart-Haas Racing driving Fords Monster Energy as series title sponsor . It was a big change, which made me feel -- happy inside uncomfortable excited for the future optimistic , yet -- wondering how it would have been normally yearning for the past suspiciously thirsty missing Carl Edwards like Sterling Marlin with a fresh bag of Doritos . This Daytona 500 was also the first one -- with the five-minute post-crash clock in place without Greg Biffle to feature no Joe Gibbs Racing cars on the lead lap without a Labonte since 1978 , which makes me so -- confused frustrated nervous excited different inside ! I'm just glad this -- darn crash-filled Ford-dominated underdog-laden Brian Scott-less race didn't go too much longer than it did. After all, I've got to -- watch the Academy Awards change my preseason playoff picks watch how Ryan Blaney passed like 30 cars on the last lap figure out how Kevin Harvick is fourth in points weep alongside fellow Toyota fans watch the entire race again from the beginning in case something changes throw my Kevin Harvick 2017 Daytona 500 champion T-shirt in the trash figure out if Kyle Busch's segment win gets him closer to 200 career wins get this car fixed before my five minutes expires .
Elliott: I'd stay home if I didn't think I could win Daytona 500
RELATED: Full lineup for Daytona 500 DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Even in winning his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series event, Thursday night's Can-Am Duel, Chase Elliott refused to consider himself the odds-on favorite for Sunday's Daytona 500 (2 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). He does, however, like his chances. The 21-year old Elliott became the youngest winner in the Duels' great history with a 0.156-second win on the field. Three days ago, he won the Daytona 500 pole position for the second straight year. It's been a good week for the second-generation NASCAR star. "I definitely think we have a shot at it (winning Sunday). I mean, if I didn't feel that way, like I always say, I'd stay home," said Elliott, whose father, NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott , won both the 1985 and 1987 Daytona 500 s from the pole position. "I feel like we have a shot on Sunday. I feel like we had a shot before we got down here. "Tonight's result hasn't changed my opinion on that. I'm looking forward to it, obviously. You love to get that qualifying spot on Sunday, but we really earned it tonight, to start on the front row, which is even better. "It was definitely a great way to start the season. As I said, I know it's just a Duel win. You obviously wish it was Sunday and counted towards the playoffs, but it still means a lot to me. Means a lot to our team. Happy to have NAPA colors on tonight. Had some big steam under the hood, which is a huge factor in keeping us out front. "So glad we were able to race and stay aggressive and battle those guys. Hopefully we can dial it in just a little better for Sunday, give it another shot."
NASCAR Snapchat: Live story from Daytona 500
BUY TICKETS: See the Daytona 500 live! Throughout the season, NASCAR takes you behind the scenes of the sport with first-person accounts from drivers and industry insiders. This exclusive content brings fans closer to race day than ever before. To add NASCAR on Snapchat, click here or search for "NASCAR" in the app when adding accounts by username. And don't miss NASCAR's latest Live Story on Snapchat this weekend as we take you inside race day at Daytona International Speedway . The Live Story will feature videos and photos submitted by drivers, teams and fans from in and around the track, showcasing behind-the-scenes access with your favorite stars along with the best of what fans experience around the track. Here's your chance to experience a day in the life at one of NASCAR's most exciting races, even if you can't make it to the track. If you're making the trip to Daytona , be sure share your race day Snaps into the Daytona 500 Live Story.
Two 'Big Ones' in short span reshape Daytona 500
RELATED: Full results " Standings Contact from Trevor Bayne sent Jimmie Johnson 's No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet spinning on Lap 127 in Sunday's Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway . The 'Big One' also collected Danica Patrick , Clint Bowyer , Kevin Harvick , Joey Logano , Denny Hamlin , Kurt Busch , Joey Gase , Chris Buescher and Landon Cassill , among others. Johnson was running third when the wreck unfolded. He was ruled out of the race, along with Patrick, due to extensive damage that was not fixed in the five-minute window on pit road. The wreck involved 17 cars in total. Less than 15 laps later, a wiggle from Chase Elliott 's No. 24 Chevrolet caused a multi-car pile-up that involved Brad Keselowski , Jamie McMurray , Daniel Suarez , Ty Dillon and Ryan Newman , and brought out the eighth caution flag at Lap 141. All told, 11 cars were involved. Together, the two wrecks reshaped the running of the 59th annual Daytona 500 . WATCH: Wreck collects Suarez, Keselowski, others "The Fords were really fast today," Patrick said. "We got organized and we were gone! It was the (most fun) 500 I've ever had. Well, probably not 500 , more like 300 or 250. It is a real shame. I feel like we could have been a contender at the end, for sure we could have been an influencer." Austin Dillon and Kasey Kahne were running 1-2 as cleanup for the wrecks commenced, although Kurt Busch -- involved in the first of these wrecks -- rallied for victory. All told, 15 cars finished more than 10 laps back largely due to these incidents.
LaJoie, Kennington race way into Daytona 500 field
BUY TICKETS: See the Daytona 500 live! RELATED: Projected lineup DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Corey LaJoie and DJ Kennington clinched berths in their first Daytona 500 , both racing their way into the field in Thursday night's qualifying races at Daytona International Speedway . LaJoie, 25, will make just his third start in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in Sunday's race (Feb. 26, 2 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Kennington, a 39-year-old Canadian veteran, also showed his emotions after qualifying for the "Great American Race," just his second start in NASCAR's big leagues.
Rob Gronkowski brings the Monster Energy party to Daytona 500
RELATED: Read more Inside Groove " Celebrities at Daytona Things just have a way of being a whole lot bigger at the annual Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season-opening Daytona 500 -- the fun, the stakes, the wrecks and, now, the fans. Rob Gronkowski, the 6-foot-6, larger-than-life personality and Super Bowl-winning tight end for the New England Patriots, is out in full force at Daytona International Speedway and he's brought the party with him. "Just enjoying it, seeing everyone pre-game, tailgate, talking to everyone. Just having a blast so far," Gronkowski told media ahead of the "Great American Race." "It's my first Daytona 500 . Having a great experience and just having a blast," Gronkowski said. "I've never really gotten to tailgate, never got to run around, so it's cool to run around, meet people, enjoy the atmosphere and seeing how it really goes down outside the stadium when everybody is getting prepared for the big event." Gronkowski, a Monster Energy athlete, pulled double-duty as pace car driver and grand marshal at Chicagoland Speedway in 2015, and has taken to NASCAR and its "strong" drivers and "passionate" fans since. RELATED: Gronk spends family time, double-duty at Chicago "I've been to Chicagoland one or two years ago and I see the fans and I see how passionate they are about the racing," said Gronkowski. "It just puts a new level of respect to the game. To be out there for three or four hours, being able to race that long, (drivers have) got to have that mentality, that strong mentality in your mind to just keep on going, keep on driving and doing everything right, every single turn. "It's just critical, so you've got to give huge respect to the drivers on what they do and how focused they are throughout the three hours." With a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series shirt on his back and a Monster Energy drink in his hand, Gronkowski was asked which he was a bigger fan of -- the drink or the trademark Monster Energy girls. "I'm a fan of both (Monster Energy drink and Monster Energy girls)," he said. "I've got my own drink, too, I make the girls drink my own drink so I get the benefit of both." &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;gt;
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