See who our staff members pick to take the checkered flag Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live Members of the NASCAR.com editorial team make their picks for the Great American Race below. Who do you have? Let us know in the comments section. Zack Albert Denny Hamlin . Joe Gibbs Racing cars have shown plenty of oomph so far in Speedweeks, making Matt Kenseth another Daytona favorite. Sunday, it should be Hamlin's turn in Victory Lane. Kenny Bruce Dale Earnhardt Jr. Strong all week, and probably as pumped as he's ever been about his team and his car. Holly Cain Jimmie Johnson. Pat DeCola Jimmie Johnson. The Hendrick Motorsports driver has been unstoppable thus far at Speedweeks, but he's coming off one of his worst seasons to date -- making Johnson the rare "dark horse favorite." The No. 48 Chevrolet swept both Daytona races in his 2013 championship season but hadn't finished higher than 20th in the six Daytona races prior to that. Still, I've got a feeling. Stu Hothem Dale Earnhardt Jr. After last Saturday's first practice, the defending Daytona 500 champion said he had the fastest car in the field. On the 20th anniversary of the last back-to-back winner (Sterling Marlin) going to Victory Lane, Earnhardt will join Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon and NASCAR Hall of Famers Bobby Allison, Dale Jarrett, Richard Petty and Cale Yarborough with three or more wins in the Great American Race. RJ Kraft Carl Edwards. The Joe Gibbs Racing stable has been as strong as the Hendrick Motorsports fleet during Speedweeks, with the veteran showing plenty of speed. It will be the organization's newest driver that brings Joe Gibbs his first trip to Victory Lane in the Daytona 500 since 1993. Brad Norman Tony Stewart. His car is fast, and Stewart seems more like the 'Smoke' of old than at any other point over the past two years. Plus, he's just due for a good break at Daytona. Jessica Ruffin Jeff Gordon. The three-time Daytona 500 champion is starting from the pole position, has a dynamic duo of Hendrick Motorsports teammates helping him in the front and his No. 24 Chevrolet SS has showcased its speed the entire week. But above all, with this event marking his final Daytona 500, Gordon has plenty of motivation to take the checkered one last time in the Great American Race. Taylor Starer Jeff Gordon. The four-time Cup champion is starting his final Great American Race as a full-time driver from the pole — what more motivation does he need to do well? Three previous Daytona 500 wins under his belt doesn't hurt, either. George Winkler Dale Earnhardt Jr. He becomes the first back-to-back winner of the Daytona 500 since Sterling Marlin in 1995. Junior's car has looked fast all week -- he won in the Daytona Duels -- and he has a strong history in this race (series-best 99.6 driver rating, two previous Daytona 500 wins). MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today
See what's coming this week to NASCAR.com Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live Here's what you'll see on NASCAR.com this week: MONDAY: Joey Logano and Roger Penske make the media circuit -- see what they have to say. TUESDAY: Does Joey Logano's Daytona 500 win vault him to the top of our weekly Power Rankings ? Plus our weekly video of the best sounds from the scanner. WEDNESDAY: Check out the new paint schemes for this week's tripleheader at Atlanta Motor Speedway. THURSDAY: Driver Reports will give you a great leg up on setting your Fantasy Live lineup this week. FRIDAY: Can't be on social media all week? No worries. We'll give you the eight best NASCAR-related tweets of the week. Also coming this week: The NOSCARS , a mix of NASCAR and the Oscars by none other than @nascarcasm ... Remember last year, when a squirrel ran across the track at Atlanta? The F-Post team does, and they'll have a video on it ... senior writer Holly Cain has a column on Jeff Gordon following his final Daytona 500 ... senior writer Kenny Bruce will be on the ground in Atlanta on Thursday for a pair of testing sessions.
Tempers flare at Bristol Motor Speedway, but Matt Kenseth keeps his cool to win the Irwin Tools Night Race.
Hendrick Motorsports driver looks ahead with new crew chief Keith Rodden Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live " Vote: Ultimate Daytona Challenge Kasey Kahne wasn't happy with his 2014 performance on the track. " … I wanted to be better," Kahne said of last year during Charlotte Motor Speedway Media Tour presented by Technocom. "I wanted to do better and when I didn't at times, things crossed my mind like 'Man, what's my problem? Can I not figure this out?'" The driver of the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet had glimmers of stardom sprinkled throughout the year. He won a thriller in August at Atlanta Motor Speedway, which qualified him to compete in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. He also nabbed top-10 finishes at 11 races, including the prestigious event at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (sixth). But when compared with his previous multi-win runs in the Sprint Cup Series, Kahne's season was considered otherwise subpar. In walks Keith Rodden, the new No. 5 team crew chief with arms full of knowledge, leadership and confidence in his driver. "I feel like Kasey's a great driver at every track," Rodden said. "We just need to put it all together, get everyone on the team pointed the same direction and get going." And Rodden isn't a stranger to the team. Despite Kahne's longtime kinship with former crew chief Kenny Francis -- who moved into a vehicle technical director position for Hendrick Motorsports at the end of 2014 -- the Kahne-Rodden duo has been strong for years. "It's been a long time since I've changed crew chiefs," Kahne said of the staffing change. "This is only the third one I've had in the Sprint Cup Series. So that's going to be a big change for us. "But as far as myself and Keith ... first time we worked together was in 2004 and that's before myself and Kenny worked together. And we've had a long relationship together -- Communication has been really solid between us over the years and we're friends." Rodden served as a team engineer for Kahne from 2004 until 2013, when he left to pursue a crew chief position with Jamie McMurray at Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. "It's been a lot of fun being back in the 5/24 shop, back with all the guys I used to work with," Rodden said. "Everyone's welcomed me back with open arms and we've really hit the ground running getting ready for the season." With Rodden back on his side, Kahne believes his team will be steered in the right direction. "Keith, he's a motivator, he's a team guy, he pushes you," Kahne said. "He asks for everything you've got and if you make a mistake, you're going to know it. ... We're going to figure out why and what it was, make it better and go from there. "He's also going to go after what he wants and what he needs and that's something that a crew chief needs to have at HMS to be competitive." Rodden's appointment was not the only change made in the offseason. During the few months of downtime on the NASCAR schedule, Kahne has worked on bettering another area of his No. 5 crew -- the ever-forgotten aspect of camaraderie. "The thing that I feel that I can help with -- and I can be a part of -- is just being part of the team and being part of the group," Kahne said. "We have a strong group of guys, and I don't think we've been a strong enough team to compete like some of the other ones. "That's something that we worked on during the offseason and we'll carry on through the regular season as well. Being together, knowing each other better, working hard for each other. ... We hold each other responsible, work hard and when we make mistakes, we make gains at the same time." During the offseason, the squad has convened several times off the track to build a brotherhood needed for cohesiveness on the asphalt. It's a door that hasn't been touched much -- and one that the soft-spoken driver felt he and his team needed to crack open. Because for Kahne, trust and accountability with his pit crew becomes even more important during the swift 12 seconds of a NASCAR pit stop. "There's so much that goes on in the pit stops and everything happens so quickly that the smallest mistake you lose two or three spots," Kahne said. "That cost you 30 minutes on the racetrack to get back to where you need to be ... (the pit crew's) role is a big role and (Rodden) knows that." With that understanding, Kahne believes his old pal Rodden will be just the guy to lead his team to Victory Lane in 2015. "Oh man, I'm ready to get started," Kahne said with a smile. "I want to get started and see where we stack up. I feel like Keith's going to do a really nice job with the cars and the team and the guys." And what he added later alludes to his confidence in his No. 5 team -- and himself. "It's racing -- I love it and know I can do it," Kahne said. "If we put the right situation together, we're going to win a lot of races still." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
If necessity is the mother of invention, than drama is her second cousin. Over the years we have seen wrecks that have acted as the catalyst to propel our sport to the next level.
See the full list of drivers entered at Bristol
See where each driver will start at Bristol RELATED: Play NASCAR Fantasy Live " Sign up for RaceView today Pos Car Driver Team 1 4 Kevin Harvick Jimmy John's Chevrolet 2 24 Jeff Gordon Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet 3 99 Carl Edwards Fastenal Ford 4 18 Kyle Busch Doublemint Toyota 5 22 Joey Logano Shell Pennzoil Ford 6 48 Jimmie Johnson Lowe's Chevrolet 7 41 Kurt Busch Haas Automation Chevrolet 8 16 Greg Biffle 3M Hire Our Heroes Ford 9 2 Brad Keselowski Wurth Ford 10 9 Marcos Ambrose DeWalt Ford 11 31 Ryan Newman Caterpillar Chevrolet 12 5 Kasey Kahne Great Clips Chevrolet 13 11 Denny Hamlin FedEx Ground Toyota 14 15 Clint Bowyer 5-hour Energy Toyota 15 55 Brian Vickers Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota 16 20 Matt Kenseth Dollar General Toyota 17 27 Paul Menard Serta/Menards Chevrolet 18 1 Jamie McMurray McDonald's Chevrolet 19 51 Justin Allgaier # Brandt Professional Agriculture Chevrolet 20 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet 21 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Fifth Third/Ford EcoBoost Ford 22 47 AJ Allmendinger Bush's Beans Chevrolet 23 78 Martin Truex Jr. Furniture Row Chevrolet 24 10 Danica Patrick GoDaddy Chevrolet 25 14 Jeff Burton Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet 26 3 Austin Dillon # Dow Great Stuff Chevrolet 27 23 Alex Bowman # Dr.Pepper Toyota 28 95 Michael McDowell Thrivent Financial Ford 29 34 David Ragan Dockside Logistics Ford 30 98 Josh Wise Provident Metals Chevrolet 31 66 Brett Moffitt Land Castle Title Toyota 32 38 David Gilliland MDS Ford 33 83 Ryan Truex # Burger King Toyota 34 26 Cole Whitt # Speed Stick Gear Toyota 35 37 Dave Blaney Accell Constuction Inc. Chevrolet 36 36 Reed Sorenson Chevrolet 37 32 JJ Yeley(i) Corvetteparts.net/Red Buck Premium Cigars 38 7 Michael Annett # Pilot/Flying J Chevrolet 39 40 Landon Cassill(i) CRC 1-Tank Power Renew Chevrolet 40 42 Kyle Larson # Target Chevrolet 41 33 David Stremme Little Joe's Autos Chevrolet 42 43 Aric Almirola STP Ford 43 13 Casey Mears GEICO Chevrolet MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news WATCH: Latest NASCAR video PLAY: NASCAR Fantasy Live FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView
A statistical look ahead to the night race at Bristol
Busch among Joe Gibbs Racing drivers with new crew chiefs Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- There were many decisions Joe Gibbs Racing 's leadership had to make when weighing whether to add driver Carl Edwards -- and subsequently, a fourth team -- to its organization for the 2015 season. Finding a new crew chief was not one of them. The team's familiarity with Adam Stevens essentially ensured that gap had already been filled. Team owner Joe Gibbs and team president J.D. Gibbs saw enough from Stevens in his four years calling NASCAR XFINITY Series races to know he would be a critical part of their plan to expand. "To be completely honest with you, Joe and J.D. and the company as a whole made it clear to me whenever they went to a fourth team, that I was going to be high on their list," Stevens said last week at Charlotte Motor Speedway Media Tour presented by Technocom. "And that was a long time ago. I don't even know for sure when the deals got done, but I was aware when that situation came up (of expanding to four teams) that it was going to be something they asked me to do." The results back up that trust, particularly when Stevens worked with Kyle Busch over the past two seasons. In 26 XFINITY Series races last year, Busch had seven wins and 25 top-fives. His average finish was 2.8. The pair had 52 total races XFINITY Series races together, with the following results: 19 wins, 46 top-fives and 47 top-10s. Snapping off top-five after top-five, the two made it look easy, although Stevens said that was hardly the case. "I think if you were there with us every weekend, you'd have a different opinion," Stevens said. "You know, operating with Joe Gibbs equipment with Kyle Busch in the XFINITY Series, the only acceptable outcome is a trophy. No one would tell you that's the case on the Cup side. The competition is too steep, too many people can win a race on any given weekend. "Its difficult to be at the track and nothing's good enough but a checkered flag, to have to carry that with you. Then to come up to the Cup side, there's levels of success I guess. At the end of the day, you're expected to win, but you're not expected to win every time. So it's going to be a little different." With Stevens getting the promotion to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, it allowed JGR to make two additional crew chief swaps. Darian Grubb, who led the No. 11 team for three years, moves to the newly formed No. 19 team of Edwards. Dave Rogers, who had helmed Kyle Busch 's No. 18 team full time since 2010, slid over to Hamlin's team to cover for the Grubb move and to make room for Stevens. "We're making some changes, and we believe we're putting people in the right places," Joe Gibbs said. "And the great thing about our sport is that we're going to find out if it works." Busch and Rogers had a relationship that produced 13 wins and was mostly harmonious, with the cool-headed crew chief serving as the foil to the driver's occasional tempestuous nature. The 2014 season produced a handful of moments between the two, though, that were not idyllic. A blowup at Bristol Motor Speedway during the Irwin Tools Night Race saw Rogers rip Busch over the headset, although he insisted after the race there were no issues between the two. Stevens and Busch may not have had a heated, public exchange over the headset during the past two years, but the crew chief knows the possibility of such an incident -- with the stakes so high -- comes with the territory. "You know, it's part of it," Stevens said. "The driver-crew chief communication is 30 percent of the battle. I feel like we have a good foundation to build off of there, but it doesn't mean anything if you don't have fast cars and make good decisions. The other two pieces of it are still yet to be determined." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
From battles on the track, to tempers reaching the boiling point between teams, to a Team Penske 1-2 finish, check out the in-car audio highlights from Bristol Motor Speedway.