Drivers slow down for Daytona 500 Media Day

Danica Patrick drives back to her garage after NASCAR auto racing practice at Daytona International Speedway Saturday Feb. 10 2018 in Daytona Beach Fla

But now it's time to determine how the rest of the drivers will fill out the starting grid, and of course, there's only one way to do that: With the Can-Am Duels, a pair of 150-mile races that will not only lock down the starting lineup for next Sunday but will also reward the first championship points of the new season. The one with the pencils in her frazzled hair, looking over her glasses through the smoke of a just-exploded chemistry experiment. A decade ago, 53 drivers ran a qualifying lap. The new driver of the No. 88 auto following the retirement of Dale Earnhardt Jr., Bowman is already impressing his opponents. He'll start 34th on the 40-car grid. We're already way ahead of what most rookies have to go through, and I feel like that's an advantage for me and the fans will be eager to see what we can do on the race track in the 24 auto. Truex's title, however, came in the four-year-old playoff format that requires the champion to beat three other eligible drivers in the winner-take-all season finale. All of the above made for a lot of bouncy, dicey laps.

Tonight's running of the Can-Am Duels at Daytona will set the starting positions for the Daytona 500 on Sunday. And yes, that includes the cars that ran up front. You're one of the last throwback drivers in the garage area. Kevin Harvick has struggled here recently with finishes of 39th, 22nd, and 33rd but over his career has had success with a win in the summer race and also won the Daytona 500 in 2007. "So, everything that was a problem tonight will be multiplied Sunday".

How could you not enjoy watching as Darrell Wallace Jr. pushed his best friend Ryan Blaney to a thrilling victory?

If the Duels showed us anything Sunday's 500 will not be the same old, same old.

"We have a clear process around charter member governance", NASCAR said in a statement. But that only masked what was really happening. "I'm like, 'hey guys I have a name.' It's all good".

Three different teams have celebrated in victory lane at Daytona since Hendrick Motorsports last won in 2014 by way of Earnhardt Jr.

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I expect sometime in the near future Danica Patrick will be announcing she will be competing in the Indianapolis 500 in a Chevrolet-powered vehicle provided by Ed Carpenter Racing.

It's up to NASCAR and these young guys to fix it.

That would explain why Trevor Bayne and Jamie McMurray have won the Daytona 500, and Michael Waltrip and Sterling Marlin each have won it twice, while Kyle Busch still is seeking to break through. Particularly when you consider he was taking a conservative approach to it all and taking a whole lot of mental notes. NASCAR traditionalists don't spell it with a "g" for a reason: Everybody's in a hurry to get to the finish line, so let's eliminate all the extraneous clutter.

In terms of raw, natural talent, Kyle Busch is only behind a few drivers in the history of the sport. "There's more people to work with". He was forced to settle for a 12-place finish in the qualifying race for Sunday's Daytona 500. Busch at just 32 already has 43 career wins and there are no signs of him slowing down. The drivers will be plenty dialed in.

NASCAR is going to have to find some juice in its racing, give fans compelling reasons to engage, and drive dollars back to the sport.

Over of the past three weeks, the INDY 'S resident NASCAR fanatic Mike V. has previewed his favorites to be this year's Cup Champion.


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