When the green flag drops at approximately 3:05pm ET today at Daytona International Speedway, the 2019 Nascar season will commence. Called “The Super Bowl of Racing” by some, the race is the biggest of the year and kicks off the new season in spectacular fashion.
Winning the Daytona 500 defines a driver’s career. The winner’s name is forever etched on the Harley J. Earl trophy and their car stays on display until the following year’s 500 at the Daytona Experience.
Austin Dillon’s 2018 Daytona 500 Winning Car
The Daytona 500 is unlike any other race on the Nascar schedule. It has its own unique qualifying procedure where only the two fastest cars in single-car qualifying secure their spot in the starting grid. Two races, known as The Duels, are held on the Thursday prior to the race and how the drivers finish in them sets the remainder of the starting grid.
Today also marks the start of what is the longest season in sports: 36 races that will culminate with a Champion being named at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 17th.
The race today will be interesting to watch especially in regards to how the drivers race. The Gander RV Duels on Thursday produced mainly single-file racing which was highly criticized by fans on social media. Here are just a few examples:
Boring . Let’s hope Sunday isn’t a merry go round . #GanderRVDuels
— ItsMe 🇺🇸 (@Leney_3) February 15, 2019
— Derek B. Miller ®️ (@derekbmiller3) February 15, 2019
Regardless of the racing we see for most of the race, I can say with certainty that the final 10 laps around the 2.5 mile speedway will be exciting and will have fans on the edge of their seats.
The excitement is building as Nascar Fantasy lineup are set, race-watching parties are held and the command to “start your engines” will ring out. For those who like to place some coin on the outcome, here are the odds for today’s Daytona 500.
Happy New Year, Nascar fans. May all your fantasy pick pan out and may your favorite driver do well. I will be pulling for my driver, Kevin Harvick.
photo credit: GETTY IMAGES
Wear your colors proudly, Nascar fans. Remember your race day superstitions and represent your driver loyalty. It’s Daytona 500 Day!
Happy New Year Nascar Style!!