Preview capsule of the Daytona 500


First Posted: 2/12/2010

Site: Daytona Beach. Fla.

Schedule: Thursday, Gatorade Duel at Daytona 150-mile qualifying races (Speed, 1-6:30 p.m., replay 9 p.m.-12:30 a.m.); Friday, practice (Speed, 1-3:30 p.m.); Saturday, practice (Speed, 10:30 a.m.-noon); Sunday, race, 1 p.m. (FOX, noon-5 p.m.).

Track: Daytona International Speedway (tri-oval, 2.5 miles).

Race distance: 500 miles, 200 laps.

Last year: Matt Kenseth won the rain-shortened race to give team owner Jack Roush his first Daytona 500 victory. The race was called after 152 of 200 laps.

Last week: Kevin Harvick won the Budweiser Shootout for the second straight year, passing Greg Biffle with two laps left in the race that ended under caution.

Fast facts: Hendrick Motorsports teammates Mark Martin and Dale Earnhardt Jr. earned the top two starting positions in qualifying Saturday. At 51, Martin became the oldest 500 pole winner. Fifteen drivers - including two-time Daytona 500 winner Michael Waltrip - are fighting for the final four spots in the 43-car field. Martin Truex has replaced Waltrip - running a partial schedule this year - in Michael Waltrip Racing's NAPA-sponsored Toyota. ... Jimmie Johnson won his record fourth straight series championship last year for Hendrick. The 2006 Daytona 500 winner has consecutive seven-victory seasons and 47 wins overall. In December, he became the first driver to be selected AP Male Athlete of the Year. ... Tony Stewart won the Coke Zero 400 in July at Daytona. ... Earnhardt was a career-worst 25th in points last year.

Next race: Auto Club 500, Feb. 21, Auto Club Speedway, Fontana, Calif.

On the Net: http://www.nascar.com

Preview capsule of the Daytona 500

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