NASCAR Cup Series

Next Race: DAYTONA 500

The Place: Daytona International Speedway

The Date: Sunday, February 18

The Time: 2:30 p.m. ET

The Purse: $28,035,991

TV: FOX, 1 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 500 miles (200 laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 65),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 130), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 200)

NASCAR Xfinity Series

Next Race: United Rentals 300

The Place: Daytona International Speedway

The Date: Saturday, February 17

The Time: 5 p.m. ET

The Purse: $3,510,021

TV: FS1, 4 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 300 miles (120 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 30),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 60), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 120)

NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series 

Next Race: Fresh From Florida 250

The Place: Daytona International Speedway

The Date: Friday, February 16

The Time: 7:30 p.m. ET

The Purse: $1,058,336

TV: FS1, 6:30 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 250 miles (100 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 20),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 40), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 100)

NASCAR Cup Series

2024 season officially begins with the DAYTONA 500

It is time to for all eyes to be on the World Center of Racing, as the competitors get ready to jump start the 2024 season, with the NASCAR Cup Series’ biggest event, the DAYTONA 500 at Daytona International Speedway this Sunday, February 18 at 2:30 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

This year marks the 76th season for the NASCAR Cup Series (1949-2024). During that time, the series has run 2,750 points-paying races, and has crowned 36 different driver champions including the newest title holder, Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney.

Blaney has joined an elite list of active champions that includes Jimmie Johnson (2006-2010, 2013, 2016), Kyle Busch (2015, 2019), Joey Logano (2018, 2022), Brad Keselowski (2012), Martin Truex Jr. (2017), Chase Elliott (2020) and Kyle Larson (2021).

‘Mr. Worldwide’ to get the party started at Daytona

The sunny beaches of Central Florida will play host to the official kick-off of the 36-race points-paying NASCAR Cup Series championship season, and no better person to help get everyone ‘feeling good’ than multi-platinum recording artist Armando Christian Pérez, Pitbull, who will be performing the pre-race show on the ballfield prior to the DAYTONA 500.

“There’s no better way to get the energy flowing than with Pitbull performing our pre-race concert for the Daytona 500,” said Daytona International Speedway President Frank Kelleher. “Pitbull has continued to release major hits for over a decade and has shown tremendous longevity as an artist over the years. He’ll bring all the South Florida vibes and culture up here to put on quite the show for the 66th running of The Great American Race.”

Pitbull announced the next iteration of the “TRACKHOUSE” album series, set for release in February. The lyrics and cover of the EP titled TRACKHOUSE: Daytona 500 Edition reflect key elements of NASCAR’s biggest race. Pitbull joined Trackhouse Racing as a co-owner in 2021, connecting the world of music and racing to unite and inspire fans globally.

“It’s an honor to once again be part of the Great American Race, this time performing at the DAYTONA 500,” said Trackhouse team co-owner Armando Christian Perez (Pitbull). “So, Everyone start your engines, Get Ready and Dale!”

“Mr. Worldwide” has earned 46 total awards throughout his career, sold 25 million studio albums, has over 40 million monthly listeners on Spotify, and passed 18 billion YouTube views. Most recently his Billboard Hot 100 global hit “Give Me Everything,” featuring Ne-Yo, Afrojack and Nayer surpassed 1 Billion streams on Spotify, his third record to join Spotify’s billion streams club.

Bowman can tie Yarborough, Elliott, Baker for series lead in DAYTONA 500 poles

Hendrick Motorsports’ Alex Bowman will be hunting for three qualifying records this week leading into the DAYTONA 500. The first record would be if he wins the pole on Wednesday, he will tie NASCAR Hall of Famers Bill Elliott (1985-87, 2001), Cale Yarborough (1968, ’70, ’78, ’84) and Buddy Baker (1969, ’73, ’79, ’80) for the all-time lead in DAYTONA 500 poles with four each. Bowman posted his third DAYTONA 500 pole last season (2018, 2021, 2023).

The next record Bowman will be aiming to accomplish, will be extending his record of six straight starts on the front row for the DAYTONA 500 to seven. Bowman has not qualified worse than second in the Great American Race since 2018. Prior to Bowman reaching five straight, the previous record of consecutive front row starts in the DAYTONA 500 was three and it had occurred five times – Fireball Roberts (1961-1963), Richard Petty (1966-1968), Bill Elliott (1985-1987), Ken Schrader (1988-1990), Dale Earnhardt (1994-1996).

The third qualifying record dangling for Bowman to grab this week is if he wins the pole again this season, he will become just the sixth different driver to win consecutive DAYTONA 500 poles; joining Fireball Roberts (1961-1963), Buddy Baker (1979-1980), Bill Elliott (1985, 1986, 1987), Ken Schrader (1988, 1989, 1990) and his Hendrick Motorsports’ teammate Chase Elliott (2016, 2017). 

Hot Streak: Chevrolet looks to win their 12th consecutive DAYTONA 500 pole

Chevrolet drivers will be looking to keep the streak of consecutive DAYTONA 500 poles alive this weekend as they look to make it 12 straight poles for the Great American Race – extending their race record.

DAYTONA 500 pole winners from the last 11 seasons:

Seasons
DAYTONA 500 Pole Winners
Manufacturer
2023
Alex Bowman
Chevrolet
2022
Kyle Larson
Chevrolet
2021
Alex Bowman
Chevrolet
2020
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Chevrolet
2019
William Byron
Chevrolet
2018
Alex Bowman
Chevrolet
2017
Chase Elliott
Chevrolet
2016
Chase Elliott
Chevrolet
2015
Jeff Gordon
Chevrolet
2014
Austin Dillon
Chevrolet
2013
Danica Patrick
Chevrolet

Prior to this current streak of DAYTONA 500 poles by Chevrolet, the longest streak of consecutive DAYTONA 500 poles by a manufacturer was four straight by Pontiac from 1960-1963 and Chevrolet from 2008-2011.

In total, seven different manufacturers have won the pole for the DAYTONA 500, led by Chevrolet with 31; followed by Ford (12), Pontiac (eight), Mercury (five), Dodge (four), Oldsmobile (three), and Plymouth (two).

Hendrick Motorsports is seeking fourth consecutive DAYTONA 500 pole

Hendrick Motorsports leads the NASCAR Cup Series in DAYTONA 500 poles with a total of 16 poles for the Great American Race – 10 more than the next organization on the list – Richard Childress Racing with six.

Hendrick Motorsports also holds the record for the most consecutive DAYTONA 500 poles with five straight from 2015-2019. This weekend, Hendrick Motorsports will look to score their fourth consecutive DAYTONA 500 pole and their ninth in the last 10 DAYTONA 500s (2015-2024).

Nine different drivers have contributed to the Hendrick Motorsports’ record 16 DAYTONA 500 poles – Ken Schrader (1988, 1989, 1990), Jeff Gordon (1999, 2015), Jimmie Johnson (2002, 2008), Mark Martin (2010), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2011), Chase Elliott (2016, 2017), Alex Bowman (2018, 2021, 2023), William Byron (2019) and Kyle Larson (2022).

Locked In: Qualifying on the front row for DAYTONA 500 has its benefits

Start your engines and make sure you don’t miss Busch Light Pole Qualifying for the DAYTONA 500 on Wednesday, Feb. 14 at 8 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. The fastest two drivers in Busch Light Pole Qualifying will be locked into the DAYTONA 500. Some competitors will argue their starting spot is of no consequence in the Great American Race, but the pole position is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing more winners (nine) than any other position.

The DAYTONA 500 pole or first starting position has a winning percentage of 13.8%. The most recent driver to win the DAYTONA 500 from the pole is NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett in 2000. 

In total, seven drivers have won the DAYTONA 500 from the pole. NASCAR Hall of Famers Bill Elliott (1985, 1987) and Cale Yarborough (1968, 1984) are the only two drivers to accomplish the feat more than once.

Season
DAYTONA 500 Winners From The Pole
1962
Fireball Roberts
1966
Richard Petty
1968
Cale Yarborough
1980
Buddy Baker
1984
Cale Yarborough
1985
Bill Elliott
1987
Bill Elliott
1999
Jeff Gordon
2000
Dale Jarrett

This week, eight former DAYTONA 500 pole winners are entered in the event – Kyle Larson (2022), Chase Elliott (2016, 2017), Alex Bowman (2018, 2021, 2023), Austin Dillon (2014), Martin Truex Jr. (2009), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (2020), William Byron (2019), Jimmie Johnson (2002, 2008).

How the DAYTONA 500 starting lineups will be decided

Setting the field for the DAYTONA 500 is unlike any other race in the world, and that is one of the many reasons why this event holds so much prestige.

Single-car qualifying on Feb. 14 (8 p.m. ET on FS1) will have two rounds, with the top 10 qualifiers in Round 1 moving on to the second round. The fastest two cars in Round 2 will lock in as the front-row starters for Sunday’s DAYTONA 500 (Feb 18 at 2:30 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

The rest of the starting grid will be decided by the BlueGreen Vacations Duel – two 60 lap qualifying races.

First, the single-car qualifying results will set the lineups for the Bluegreen Vacation Duel races on Thursday evening. Cars finishing first, third, fifth, seventh, etc. in single-car runs will comprise the field for Duel 1. The cars in even-numbered finishing positions in single-car qualifying will comprise the field for Duel 2.

Then the results from the Bluegreen Vacation Duels will set the starting lineup for the DAYTONA 500.

If more than 40 cars are entered in the race, the two fastest open cars, without a charter, in single-car qualifying will lock their way into the race regardless of the results of Thursday’s Duel. The final two spots of the 40-car field will be determined by the best finishers of the qualifying races.

A closer look at the BlueGreen Vacations Duel

Do you mean you have to race to get into the race? That’s right, welcome to the BlueGreen Vacations Duel.

From 1972 to 2004 the Duels were each scheduled for 50 laps and during that time frame eight of the Duel events had a driver lead 100% of the laps from flag-to-flag – NASCAR Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip was the first to accomplish the feat in 1988; he was later joined by Dale Earnhardt (1991,1998), Davey Allison (1991), Ernie Irvan (1996), Bill Elliott (2000), Ricky Rudd (2000) and Jeff Gordon (2002).

The race distance was updated to 60 laps in 2005 and ever since the most a driver has led in a Duel event is 86.7% (52 laps of the scheduled 60) by Aric Almirola in 2021.

A total of 47 different drivers have won the NASCAR Cup Series BlueGreen Vacations Duel, led by NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt with 12 Duel victories – seven more than the next competitor.

A total of 10 active drivers have won at least one of the Duel events at Daytona, led by Denny Hamlin (2008, 2014, 2017), Joey Logano (2019, 2020, 2023) and Kyle Busch (2009, 2013, 2016) with three victories each. The other seven active Duel winners are Chase Elliott (2017, 2018), Jimmie Johnson (2010, 2015), Ryan Blaney (2018), William Byron (2020), Austin Dillon (2021), Brad Keselowski (2022) and Chris Buescher (2022).

Since 1972, seven times a driver has won the Duel he competed in and then went on to win the DAYTONA 500 in the same year. The last driver to accomplish the feat was Matt Kenseth in 2012 (Duel #2).

No greater victory than the Great American Race

Known as the biggest race in NASCAR, the DAYTONA 500 holds a special place in every stock car driver’s heart. It’s an instant catapult to fame for the victor. It’s the pinnacle of a racer’s career, the crowning achievement that all other drivers aspire to possess, and fans and media admire. The NASCAR Cup Series season-opener is unlike any other event and holds the prestige among its competitors due to its ever-changing difficulty to master, much less finish. And this year’s Great American Race will undoubtedly bring all the action and excitement we have all grown to love and feverishly anticipate.

“It’s always, for me, one of those ‘pinch me’ moments the first lap or two,” said Chase Briscoe. “The prerace is crazy just knowing how many people are there, first off, but then even when you’re in the car and going around there, just knowing there are millions and millions of people watching the race on TV. I’ve made it a point every year before we take the green flag to look up at the grandstands to take it all in, just knowing you get to run that race. It’s super cool. There aren’t many races in the world that have that kind of feel and effect to it. Definitely a cool one, and I’m excited to run another one, truthfully.”

Seven DAYTONA 500 champs taking the green flag this weekend

In total, 42 different NASCAR Cup Series drivers have won a DAYTONA 500, and seven of the 42 are active this weekend:

Rank
Active Daytona 500 Winners
Wins
Seasons
1
Denny Hamlin
3
2020, 2019, 2016
2
Jimmie Johnson
2
2013, 2006
3
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
1
2023
4
Austin Cindric
1
2022
5
Michael McDowell
1
2021
6
Austin Dillon
1
2018
7
Joey Logano
1
2015

NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty leads the NASCAR Cup Series in DAYTONA 500 victories with seven trophies – (1964, 1966, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1979, 1981). Richard’s father, Lee Petty, won the inaugural DAYTONA 500 on February 22, 1959; he led 38 laps and won by two feet in an Oldsmobile.

Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin leads all active drivers in DAYTONA 500 wins with three Harley J. Earl trophies (2016, 2019, 2020). JTG Daugherty Racing’s Ricky Senhouse Jr. won last season’s DAYTONA 500.

Clash winner Denny Hamlin looks to keep the victories coming

Last weekend the NASCAR Cup Series got rockin’-n-rollin’ with a return to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum quarter-mile for the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum. Due to inclement weather the event was run on Saturday night instead of Sunday and Denny Hamlin managed grab his fourth Clash career victory (2006, 2014, 2016 and 2024) moving him into second on the all-time Clash wins list behind NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt with six wins. The victory by Hamlin also delivered Joe Gibbs Racing its series-leading 12th Clash win – 2024, ’23, ‘21, ‘20, ‘16, ‘14, ‘15, ‘12, ‘07, ‘06, ‘02, ‘01.

Now, Denny Hamlin, looks to become just the second different driver to win the Clash and the DAYTONA 500 in the same season multiple times; joining NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett (1996, 2000).

In total, five drivers have won the Busch Light Clash and the DAYTONA 500 in the same season: Bobby Allison (1982), Bill Elliott (1987), Dale Jarrett (1996 and 2000), Jeff Gordon (1997) and Denny Hamlin (2016).

Stenhouse Jr. looks to become fifth driver all-time to win back-to-back DAYTONA 500s

JTG Daugherty Racing’s Ricky Stenhouse Jr. returns to Daytona International Speedway as the defending DAYTONA 500 winner, and this weekend will look to add his name to the list of multiple Great American Race winners.

If Stenhouse does win this weekend, he will become just the fifth different driver to win consecutive DAYTONA 500s; joining Richard Petty (1973-74), Cale Yarborough (1983-84), Sterling Marlin (1994-95) and Denny Hamlin (2019-20).

First-time winners at Daytona happen often

They say you always remember the ‘first-time’ and Daytona International Speedway has been known for making memories that last in the NASCAR Cup Series.

In total 17 different drivers have scored their first NASCAR Cup Series career pole at Daytona International Speedway and 23 different drivers have won their first race in the NASCAR Cup Series at the 2.5-mile track.

First Time Pole WinnersSeasonFirst Time Race WinnersSeason
William Byron2019Austin Cindric2022
Chase Elliott2016Michael McDowell2021
Austin Dillon2014William Byron2020
Danica Patrick2013Justin Haley2019
Paul Menard2008Erik Jones2018
Greg Biffle2004Aric Almirola2014
Jimmie Johnson2002David Ragan2011
Kevin Harvick2002Trevor Bayne2011
Mike Skinner1997Greg Biffle2003
Dale Jarrett1995Michael Waltrip2001
Loy Allen Jr1994John Andretti1997
Sterling Marlin1991Jimmy Spencer1994
Greg Sacks1990Sterling Marlin1994
Geoff Bodine1982Derrike Cope1990
Ramo Stott1976Greg Sacks1985
Charlie Glotzbach1968Pete Hamilton1970
Darel Dieringer1964Mario Andretti1967
Earl Balmer1966
Sam McQuagg1966
A.J. Foyt1964
Bobby Isaac1964
Johnny Rutherford1963
Tiny Lund1963

Of the 65 DAYTONA 500 races in the books, nine times a driver has posted his first career NASCAR Cup Series victory with a win in the event; the most recent to accomplish the feat was Team Penske’s Austin Cindric in 2022.

First-Time Winners in DAYTONA 500
Seasons
Tiny Lund
1963
Mario Andretti
1967
Pete Hamilton
1970
Derrike Cope
1990
Sterling Marlin
1994
Michael Waltrip
2001
Trevor Bayne
2011
Michael McDowell
2021
Austin Cindric
2022

Three other drivers posted their career-first NASCAR Cup Series victory in (points-paying) qualifying races at Daytona: Johnny Rutherford (1963), Bobby Isaac (1964) and Earl Balmer (1966).

15 drivers on the search for their first career Cup win this weekend

Looking at the entry list for this season’s DAYTONA 500, 15 drivers will be attempting to earn their first NASCAR Cup Series win this weekend (in alphabetical order) – Anthony Alfredo, Josh Berry, Harrison Burton, Ty Gibbs, Todd Gilliland, Noah Gragson, Kaz Grala, Daniel Hemric, Riley Herbst, Carson Hocevar, Corey Lajoie, B.J. McLeod, John Hunter Nemechek, Ryan Preece, and Zane Smith.

Of the 15 drivers looking for their first win this weekend, Carson Hocevar is the only one that will be making his NASCAR Cup Series track debut at the 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway this week. Of the remaining 14, the best finish at Daytona belongs to Ryan Preece, who finished fourth in the 2021 August race.

Ryan Blaney looks to become sixth defending Cup champion to win DAYTONA 500

Reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion and Team Penske driver Ryan Blaney has the opportunity to become just the sixth different driver in series history to win the DAYTONA 500 as the defending series champion.

Five reigning NASCAR Cup Series champions have gone on to win the DAYTONA 500 the season after winning the championship – all now NASCAR Hall of Famers: Lee Petty (1959), Richard Petty (1973), Cale Yarborough (1977), Jeff Gordon (1999) and Dale Jarrett (2000).

Denny Hamlin will attempt to tie Cale Yarborough for second-most DAYTONA 500 wins

If Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin (2016, 2019, 2020) wins the DAYTONA 500 this season he will tie NASCAR Hall of Famer Cale Yarborough (1968, 1977, 1983, 1984) for the second-most DAYTONA 500 victories all-time with four each.

Only six drivers all-time in the NASCAR Cup Series have scored three or more DAYTONA 500 victories, led by NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty with seven wins in the Great American Race (1964, 1966, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1979, 1981); followed by Cale Yarborough (1968, 1977, 1983, 1984), Bobby Allison (1978, 1982, 1988), Dale Jarrett (1993, 1996, 2000), Jeff Gordon (1997, 1999, 2005) and Denny Hamlin (2016, 2019, 2020).

Legacy Motor Club’s driver Jimmie Johnson can become the seventh driver to win three DAYTONA 500s this weekend. The seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion, has two DAYTONA 500 wins to his name, hoisting the trophies in 2006 and 2013.

Hendrick Motorsports can tie Petty Enterprises for series-most DAYTONA 500 wins 

A total of 27 different organizations have won the Great American Race, led by Petty Enterprises with nine DAYTONA 500 victories (1981, ’79, ’74, ’73, ’71, ’70, ’66, ’64, ’59). This weekend, powerhouse organization Hendrick Motorsports, can tie Petty Enterprises for the series lead in DAYTONA 500 wins. Hendrick currently has eight DAYTONA 500 wins (2014, ’13, ’06, ’05, ’99, ’97, ’89, ’86).

Just three drivers contributed to the Petty Enterprises nine DAYTONA 500 wins – Lee Petty (1959) Pete Hamilton (1970), and Richard Petty (1964, ’66. ’71, ’73, ’73, ’79, ’81).

Five drivers helped Hendrick Motorsports reach their eight DAYTONA 500 wins – Geoff Bodine (1986), Darrell Waltrip (1989), Jeff Gordon (1997, ’99, ’05), Jimmie Johnson (2006, ’13) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2014).

2024 Sunoco Rookie of the Year Class: Berry, Grala, Smith, Hocevar

This season four drivers will compete for the Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors in the NASCAR Cup Series – Stewart-Haas Racing’s Josh Berry, Rick Ware Racing’s Kaz Grala and Spire Motorsports teammates Zane Smith and Carson Hocevar. Note: Grala will run majority of the season with RWR but will be attempting the DAYTONA 500 with Front Row Motorsports.

The Sunoco Rookie of the Year point system mirrors the points structure that awards the season-long championship, including stage points and Playoff points, with the eventual Sunoco Rookie of the Year earning the most points throughout the season.

As is the case with the season-long points structure, a race win will earn a Sunoco Rookie 40 points and five Playoff points. A second-place finish will earn a Sunoco Rookie 35 points; a third-place finish nets 34 points, and so on. A Sunoco Rookie who wins a stage will earn 10 points and one Playoff point.

Josh Berry – No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford – takes over the No. 4 previously driven by the recently retired Kevin Harvick and will be working with crew chief Rodney Childers this season. Berry has made one start at Daytona in the NASCAR Cup Series, last August for Legacy Motor Club, he started 29th and finished 22nd. This will be his first career attempt at the DAYTONA 500.

Kaz Grala – No. 36 Front Row Motorsports Ford – will be attempting to qualify for the DAYTONA 500 with Front Row Motorsports No. 36 team, but plans to run the majority of the season with Rick Ware Racing in the No. 15 Ford. This weekend, Grala will be working with crew chief Seth Barbour. Grala has made three starts at Daytona posting a best finish of 26th in last season’s DAYTONA 500.

Zane Smith – No. 71 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet – has been tapped to drive the No. 71 for Spire Motorsports’ newly formed team working with crew chief Stephen Doran.Smith made his DAYTONA 500 career debut last season driving for Front Row Motorsports, he started the event 17th and raced his way up to a 13th-place finish.

Carson Hocevar – No. 77 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet – will strap into the No. 77 for Spire Motorsports replacing Ty Dillon and will be collaborating with crew chief Luke Lambert. This weekend will mark the NASCAR Cup Series track debut for Carson Hocevar at Daytona International Speedway.

NASCAR Cup Series Etc.

GRAMMY® Award Winning Artist DJ Khaled Named Honorary Starter for DAYTONA 500 – GRAMMY® award winning DJ, artist and music producer DJ Khaled will waive the green flag ahead of the 66th Running of The Great American Race on Sunday, Feb. 18, 2024.

Khaled will be reminding fans to Go Biggie as he joins forces with longtime NASCAR partner Wendy’s® in promotion of Wendy’s Biggie™ Bag to bring together his love for fast cars, fresh beef, music, and golf. This one-of-a-kind infield experience at the Daytona International Speedway is bringing the big race day energy to Daytona’s biggest fans complete with a drive-thru experience to score the best deal in fast food and mini-golf activation like you’ve never experienced before, so sports fans can feel that biggie energy all day long whether in the stands or in the infield!

Khaled Khaled, known professionally as DJ Khaled, has produced decades’ worth of award-winning and chart-topping songs and albums. Throughout his career, he’s worked with artists such as Jay-Z, Justin Bieber, Rhianna, Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg, Beyonce and many more. He frequents the Billboard Hot 100 Chart, producing popular songs like “All I Do Is Win,” “I’m The One,” “Wild Thoughts,” “Popstar,” and “No Brainer.”

Over the course of his career, DJ Khaled has received 10 GRAMMY® Award Nominations, and won the coveted record trophy in 2020 for Best Rap/Sung Performance alongside co-artists Nipsey Hussle and John Legend for the hit song “Higher.”

“I’ve always respected the Biggie lifestyle at Wendy’s and being chosen as this year’s honorary starter lets me turn that dream into reality,” said Grammy-Award winning artist, producer, and CEO DJ Khaled. “Going Biggie means going all out in everything, every day and challenging expectations at every turn. And being this year’s honorary starter is yet another way for me to do just that! I’m looking forward to seeing all the fans at the track and in the infield at the Wendy’s activation, you won’t want to miss it!”

Newly Crowned Miss America to Serve as Honorary Pace Car Driver for The Great American Race – Madison Marsh, the recently crowned Miss America, will act as honorary pace car driver ahead of the coveted DAYTONA 500, leading the field around the 2.5-mile trioval of Daytona International Speedway before the green flag drops on Sunday, Feb. 18.

Alongside her Miss America duties, Marsh is also a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy and is currently earning her master’s at the Harvard University Kennedy School of Public Policy, while serving as a second lieutenant in the US Air Force. The 22-year-old is the only active-duty Air Force officer to ever receive the national title in the history of the pageant.

“It’s an honor to have someone like Madison, who has so much spirit, passion and national pride, join us for the DAYTONA 500,” said Daytona International Speedway President Frank Kelleher. “She is a clear representation of everything we try to embody each race day, as we bring fans, drivers and teams together from different corners of the world to enjoy the traditions and the thrills of The Great American Race at this historic track.”

Madison Marsh claimed her crown on Sunday, Jan. 14 earlier this year, representing the state of Colorado alongside contestants from all 50 states plus the District of Columbia.

“Being the first Miss America to drive the official pace car at the DAYTONA 500 is an exciting honor,” said Marsh. “I’m thrilled to be part of this historic moment and to represent the tradition of speed, skill, and Americana at such an iconic event.”

Thanks to Chase Elliott, when the No. 9 wins, fans win – NASCAR fans can visit Hooters on Mondays after NASCAR Cup Series races this season and ask their server for free fried pickles (with a drink purchase) when Elliott and the No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports team finishes in the top-10. If the No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports team wins, customers receive 10 free wings with any 10-wing purchase. Learn more at hooters.com/racing

Perfect way to gear-up for the season is to check out NASCAR: Full Speed on Netflix – Netflix’s newest sports docuseries, NASCAR: Full Speed, is streaming now and provides the perfect primer for this Sunday’s season-opening DAYTONA 500. The five-episode series premiered on Jan. 30, giving viewers a raw, behind-the-scenes look at the characters, chaos and competition that defined the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs. With unprecedented access at and away from the track with drivers like 3x DAYTONA 500 champion Denny Hamlin, 2015 DAYTONA 500 champ Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney, Ross Chastain and more, Full Speed is a can’t-miss binge for newcomers and longtime fans alike.

Upcoming Milestone Starts in the NASCAR Cup Series – Below are some milestone starts drivers can achieve in the NASCAR Cup Series in the next few weekends.

Daniel Hemric will reach his 50th Cup start at Las Vegas, Tyler Reddick will reach his 150th Cup start at Phoenix-1, Christopher Bell will also reach 150 Cup starts at COTA.

NASCAR Xfinity Series

NASCAR Xfinity Series is back in action at Daytona

The wait is finally over! The NASCAR Xfinity Series drivers are well-rested and ready to kick off the 2024 season at Daytona International Speedway with the United Rentals 300 on Saturday, February 17 at 5 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

This season marks the 65th running of the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at the 2.5-mile Daytona track. The previous 64 races have produced 37 different race winners and 43 different pole winners. Only six races have been won from the pole or first starting position, most recently by Austin Hill in 2023.

Let’s take a look at who currently holds records in the Xfinity Serie at Daytona heading into the weekend:

Race record: Geoff Bodine – 157.137 mph (2/16/1985)

Qualifying record: Tommy Houston – 194.389 mph (2/14/1987)

Most races: Joe Nemechek – 37

Most poles: Joe Nemechek – 5

Most wins: Dale Earnhardt and Tony Stewart – 7

Most top fives: Kevin Harvick – 12

Most top 10s: Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kevin Harvick – 14

Laps led: Dale Earnhardt Jr. – 560

Drivers will start their engines for practice on Friday, Feb. 16 at 4:35 p.m. ET followed by qualifying on Saturday, Feb. 17 at 11:30 a.m. ET.

Richard Childress Racing’s Austin Hill: A triple threat?

Twenty-nine-year-old Austin Hill won the season-opener in Daytona in 2022 during his rookie season, came back in 2023 to win it again, and now has the opportunity to join an exclusive list of drivers who have won the Daytona season-opening race for three or more consecutive years; joining NASCAR Hall of Famers Dale Earnhardt – (1990, 1991, 1992, 1993) and Tony Stewart (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011).

Austin Hill heads into the 2024 season after a stellar 2023 season where he posted four wins (Daytona -1, Las Vegas -1, Atlanta -1, Pocono), 16 top fives and 24 top 10s. He ultimately finished the season fifth in the championship standings – his best finish in the final points to date.

Dominating in Daytona: Superspeedway ringers

Conquering the high speeds at Daytona International Speedway is no easy feat, but there are three drivers entered in this weekend’s United Rentals 300 who have learned to ride the high banks in style to Victory Lane.

JR Motorsports’ Justin Allgaier is the most recent winner at Daytona International Speedway. The veteran driver has made 26 starts at the 2.5-mile track, posting one win (2023), eight top fives and 12 top 10s.

Richard Childress Racing’s Austin Hill comes into the weekend hoping for a three-peat. He’s posted two wins (2022, 2023) in his five Daytona starts.

Jeremy Clements Racing’s Jeremy Clements snagged his Daytona victory in the wild 2022 summer race. In his 27 starts, he’s posted one win, one top five and three top 10s.

In addition, eight drivers have multiple top-five finishes at Daytona in the Xfinity Series, led by Justin Allgaier with eight top fives, followed by AJ Allmendinger with four, Ryan Sieg and Jeb Burton each have three, Riley Herbst, Austin Hill, Brandon Jones, and Parker Kligerman each have two.

Multiple female competitors to attempt Xfinity race for first time since 2016

Not since 2016 when Claire and Paige Decker attempted to qualify for the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Iowa Speedway has multiple female competitors attempted to race in a Xfinity Series event. The last time a NASCAR Xfinity Series race had multiple female competitors qualify and compete in the race was in 2014 at Kansas Speedway, when Jennifer Jo Cobb and Milka Duno competed in the event.

Series
Track
Female Drivers
Start
Finish
Date
Xfinity
Iowa
Claire Decker
Sunday, June 19, 2016
Xfinity
Iowa
Paige Decker
40
31
Sunday, June 19, 2016
Series
Track
Female Drivers
Start
Finish
Date
Xfinity
Kansas
Jennifer Jo Cobb
39
24
Saturday, October 4, 2014
Xfinity
Kansas
Milka Duno
34
40
Saturday, October 4, 2014

This weekend, two women will attempt to start the United Rentals 300 – Hailie Deegan and Natalie Decker. Hailie Deegan, who is entering her rookie season in the NASCAR Xfinity Series with AM Racing, will be making her Xfinity Series Daytona debut this weekend. She has made three starts at the 2.5-track in the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series with a best-finish of 17th in 2021.

Natalie Decker will be looking for redemption behind the wheel of the No. 36 DGM Racing Chevrolet for her second Xfinity Series attempt at Daytona International Speedway. Her first start at the track was in last season’s Daytona summer race where she fell victim to a crash and finished 35th.

New year, new Sunoco Rookie of the Year class

Last season, Joe Gibbs Racing’s Sammy Smith beat his competitors and was crowned the 2023 Sunoco Rookie of the Year. This season, we have five drivers competing for the 2024 Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors.

Jesse Love: Nineteen-year-old Love will be behind the wheel of the No. 2 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing. He comes to the Xfinity Series after winning the 2023 ARCA Menards Series title. He will be making his debut in the series this weekend at Daytona.

Dawson Cram: Twenty-two-year-old Cram will be driving the No. 4 Chevrolet for JD Motorsports. He’s made 12 Xfinity Series starts from 2021-2023. He’ll be making his debut at Daytona International Speedway this weekend.

Shane Van Gisbergen: Thirty-four-year-old van Gisbergen, who took NASCAR by storm by winning the inaugural Chicago Street Race in his first-ever NASCAR Cup Series race, will be back full-time in the Xfinity Series driving the No. 10 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet. He will make his debut in the Xfinity Series this weekend in Daytona.

Hailie Deegan: Twenty-two-year-old Deegan is joining AM Racing behind the wheel of the No. 15 Ford. She has made one start in the Xfinity Series, where she posted a 13th-place finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2022.

Leland Honeyman Jr: Eighteen-year-old Honeyman will be behind the wheel of the No. 42 Young’s Motorsports Chevrolet. He has made eight starts in the Xfinity Series, all in 2023. He will be making his debut at Daytona on Saturday.

NASCAR Xfinity Series, Etc.

Frankie Muniz to attempt first Xfinity Series start in Daytona – Actor Frankie Muniz, who ran a fulltime ARCA Menards Series season last year and posted one top five and 11 top 10s, will be attempting to make his first NASCAR national series start this weekend.

He will be joining Joey Gase Motorsports behind the wheel of the No. 35 Chevrolet, and will be working with crew chief Wayne Carroll Jr.

“I am very fortunate to have the unwavering support of Ford and Ford Performance through my NASCAR journey, and I am very humbled yet excited to be teamed up with Joey Gase Motorsports to attempt my NASCAR Xfinity Series debut next weekend at Daytona International Speedway,” said Muniz.

In Muniz’s only ARCA start at Daytona, he started 16th and finished 11th.

Xfinity Dash 4 Cash returns in 2024 with more big checks – The NASCAR Xfinity Series Dash 4 Cash program was designed to add elements of unpredictability and drama leading up to and during four designated races, increase on-track competition, engage fans, and reward/recognize NASCAR Xfinity Series regular competitors.

The race at Richmond Raceway on March 30 will serve as a qualifier, setting the four-driver field eligible for the Dash 4 Cash opener. The rest of this year’s Dash 4 Cash schedule:

  • April 6: Martinsville Speedway
  • April 13: Texas Motor Speedway
  • April 20: Talladega Superspeedway
  • April 27: Dover Motor Speedway

Last season, three drivers banked the big Xfinity Dash 4 Cash checks – Cole Custer won the Dash 4 Cash at Talladega and Dover, Justin Allgaier pocketed the cash at Richmond and John Hunter Nemechek hoisted the big check at Martinsville.

NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series

2024 CRAFTSMAN Truck Series season kicks off at Daytona

Under the lights at Daytona International Speedway, the 30th NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series season kicks off with the Fresh From Florida 250 (Friday, February 16 at 7:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN, and SiriusXM Radio).

Since 2000, the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series has opened its season at Daytona marking this weekend as the 25th running of the event.

Before 2023, the last seven races at the 2.5-mile track had seen seven different winners. Zane Smith broke that streak last year and joined Todd Bodine (2008, 2009) as the second driver to win consecutive races at Daytona in the CRAFTSMAN Truck Series. Notably, there have been 20 different winners.

Here’s a look at who currently holds CRAFTSMAN Truck Series records at the 2.5-mile Daytona track:

Race record: Mark Martin 146.622mph (02/17/2006)

Qualifying record: Ty Dillon – 146.622 mph (02/20/2015)

Most races: Matt Crafton – 22

Most poles: Joe Ruttman – 2

Most wins: Johnny Sauter – 3

Most top fives: Todd Bodine – 6

Most top 10s: Matt Crafton – 8

Laps led: Johnny Sauter – 151

Friday night’s Fresh From Florida 250 will be broken up into three stages, the first two stages will be 20 laps each and the final stage will be 60 laps for a race total of 100 laps (250 miles). Qualifying will begin Friday, February 16 at 3 p.m. ET.

NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series welcomes new Sunoco Rookie of the Year class

This season, three drivers will compete for Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors in the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series; including Layne Riggs, Thad Moffitt and Connor Jones.

Layne Riggs: Twenty-one-year-old Riggs, the 2022 NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series National Champion, will be behind the wheel of the No. 38 Front Row Motorsports Ford with crew chief Dylan Cappello. Riggs has made six career Truck Series starts but will be making his series career track debut at Daytona this weekend.

Thad Moffitt: Twenty-three-year-old Moffitt, the grandson of “The King” Richard Petty, will be behind the wheel of the No. 46 Faction Chevrolet with crew chief Doug George. Moffitt has made four career NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series starts; including one at Daytona in 2022, where managed an 18th-place finish.

Connor Jones: Seventeen-year-old Jones, the 2023 World Series of Asphalt Pro Late Model Champion, will be behind the wheel of the No. 66 ThorSport Racing Ford. Due to NASCAR’s age restriction at track larger than 1.25 miles, Jones will be ineligible to compete at the season opener at Daytona International Speedway.

Fresh From Florida 250 drivers to watch

Several drivers who had strong seasons last year and will make their return in the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series. Let’s take a look at the drivers to watch this weekend.

Ben Rhodes: The reigning 2023 NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series champion will be back behind the wheel of the No. 99 ThorSport Racing Ford. At Daytona, Rhodes has made eight starts and tallied one win (2021), three top fives, and four top 10s. The veteran has also led 61 laps at the 2.5-mile track.

Grant Enfinger: Enfinger will pilot the No. 9 CR7 Motorsports Chevrolet this season. The veteran has made nine starts and tallied one win (2020), one pole, three top fives and four top 10s at Daytona. He has also led 60 laps at the track.

Tanner Gray: Gray is returning back to the No. 15 TRICON Garage Toyota. Although the driver has never tallied at win at the 2.5-mile track, he has been one to watch the last two seasons. Gray has made four starts and has tallied two top fives (runner-up in 2023) and two top 10s.

Ty Dillon: Dillon, the 2012 NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series Rookie of the Year, is returning to the series behind the wheel of the No. 25 Rackley W.A.R. Chevrolet. The veteran driver has made three starts at Daytona in the Truck Series and has tallied one pole and two top 10s. Dillon has also led 93 laps at Daytona.

ThorSport Racing can break three-way tie for most Daytona wins in the Truck Series

Tied sitting atop the wins list at Daytona International Speedway in the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series are three organizations – ThorSport Racing, GMS Racing, and Bobby Hamilton Racing – with three Daytona wins each. This weekend, ThorSport Racing has the opportunity to break the three-way tie and become the sole leader in wins at Daytona in the Truck Series.

Also, Front Row Motorsports will have the chance to win their third consecutive NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series race at Daytona (2022-2023), making it a four-way tie for the most wins with three each.

NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series, Etc.

Triple Truck Challenge returns for 2024 – The Triple Truck Challenge was introduced in 2019 as a three-race program that provides drivers in the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series an opportunity to win up to $500,000 in bonus money.

A $50,000 bonus will be awarded to the race winner of any one of the three events. If a driver wins two of the three races, they pocket an additional $150,000. Win all three races and they collect a cool half a million dollars.

Since its inception in 2019, no driver has been able to win all three Triple Truck Challenge races in one season. Last year’s winners were Ben Rhodes, Grant Enfinger, and Carson Hocevar.

For the 2024 season, the Triple Truck Challenge will be held at the following tracks:

  • May 24: Charlotte Motor Speedway
  • June 1: World Wide Technology Raceway
  • June 28: Nashville Superspeedway