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Daytona 500: Follow live as drivers vie for pole position for NASCAR’S biggest race

In Sports
February 15, 2024

Live3 updates

  • Hocevar sets a lap of 50.589. Anthony Alfredo is next out.

  • Carson Hocevar, one of four official Cup Series rookies is the first on track to set a qualifying time

The 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season begins in earnest this weekend with its biggest race of the year, the Daytona 500. After a rain-curtailed Clash at the Coliseum, points and, perhaps more importantly, prestige are on the line Sunday.

Daytona is just the beginning, though, as following NASCAR’s Super Bowl there are 35 more race weekends over the next nine months before a champion is crowned Nov. 10 at Phoenix.

Here’s what to know before the 66th running of “The Great American Race:”

Daytona 500 TV/streaming schedule

All times Eastern

8-10 p.m.:
Daytona 500 front-row qualifying (FS1, Fox Sports app)

7-8:45 p.m.:
Bluegreen Vacations Duel 1 (FS1, Fox Sports app)
8:45-10:30 p.m.: Bluegreen Vacations Duel 2 (FS1, Fox Sports app)

5:30-6:30 p.m.:
Daytona 500 practice (FS1, Fox Sports app)

10:30-11:30 a.m.: Daytona 500 final practice (FS1, Fox Sports app)

2:30-6 p.m.:
Daytona 500 (Fox, Fox Sports app)

Daytona 500 race details

Track: Daytona International Speedway (2.5-mile high-banked tri-oval) in Daytona Beach, Florida
Banking: Turns minus-31 degrees | Tri-oval minus-18 degrees | Backstretch minus-3 degrees
Race length: 200 laps for 500 miles
Stage lengths: Stage 1 — 65 laps | Stage 2 — 65 laps | Stage 3 — 130 laps
2023 winner: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (47), JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet

DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 19: Ricky Stenhouse Jr., driver of the #47 Kroger/Cottonelle Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Cup Series 65th Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 19, 2023 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. claimed the third NASCAR Cup Series win of his career at 2023 Daytona 500. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Daytona 500 qualifying format

The biggest race of the year also features a unique qualifying format not used anywhere else on the NASCAR calendar. On Wednesday night all 42 entered cars will turn one lap at top speed, the order of which is determined by a Tuesday night draw of numbers. The top 10 drivers then go into a shootout with the top two times from that session setting the front row for Sunday’s race.

The remaining 40 cars are dropped — 20 apiece, along with the top two qualifiers — into two 60-lap qualifying “duels” to be run Thursday night that set the field from spots three through 40. The finishing order for the first duel determines the inside row slots and the finishing order from the second duel sets the outside.

The 36 entries that own a NASCAR charter are guaranteed to make the race, so two of the six non-chartered entries will be left out. That group is headlined by Hall of Famer and seven-time series champion Jimmie Johnson, who is running an abbreviated nine-race schedule this season for his own Legacy Motor Club team.

Top drivers and betting odds for the Daytona 500

Superspeedway pack racing is rife with peril, where one mistake you have nothing to do with directly ahead can wipe out your race. Daytona, Talladega and Atlanta odds typically reflect that dynamic. No driver enters the week with better than 11-to-1 odds, according to BetMGM.

Best odds to win

  • Ryan Blaney +1100

  • Chase Elliott +1100

  • Denny Hamlin +1100

  • Brad Keselowski +1100

Reigning Cup Series champion Ryan Blaney boasts a win in the summer race at Daytona, having won the regular-season finale in 2021. While Chase Elliott has never won at Daytona, he has finished in the top 10 in ⅓ of his races there. Denny Hamlin owns the most Daytona 500 wins of any driver in the field with three and has finished 32 of 36 races at Daytona with an average position of 17th. Brad Keselowski is third in career laps led at Daytona (345) behind Hamlin (666) and Kyle Busch (519).

Daytona 500 weather forecast

It is highly unlikely the entire race weekend will go off without a rain delay as precipitation is in the forecast for Saturday and Sunday. The daytime high temperature should be in the low 70s and there is a 66 percent chance of rain for Saturday’s final Cup Series practice session, ARCA and Xfinity races. For Sunday’s Daytona 500, temperatures will drop to the mid-60s but the chance of rain increases to 75 percent.

Three of the last 10 Daytona 500s have been delayed by rain (2014, 2020 and 2021) with the 2020 edition moving to the following Monday evening due to a Sunday deluge.

Daytona 500 entry list

Ross Chastain (1), Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet
Austin Cindric (2), Team Penske Ford
Austin Dillon (3), Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
Josh Berry (4), Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
Kyle Larson (5), Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Brad Keselowski (6), RFK Racing Ford
Corey LaJoie (7), Spire Motorsports Chevrolet
Kyle Busch (8), Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
Chase Elliott (9), Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Noah Gragson (10), Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
Denny Hamlin (11), Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Ryan Blaney (12), Team Penske Ford
Chase Briscoe (14), Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
Riley Herbst (15), Rick Ware Racing Ford
A.J. Allmendinger (16), Kaulig Racing Chevrolet
Chris Buescher (17), RFK Racing Ford
Martin Truex Jr. (19), Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Christopher Bell (20), Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Harrison Burton (21), Wood Brothers Racing Ford
Joey Logano (22), Team Penske Ford
Bubba Wallace (23), 23XI Racing Toyota
William Byron (24), Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Daniel Hemric (31), Kaulig Racing Chevrolet
Michael McDowell (34), Front Row Motorsports Ford
Kaz Grala (36), Front Row Motorsports Ford*
Todd Gilliland (38), Front Row Motorsports Ford
Ryan Preece (41), Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
John Hunter Nemechek (42), Legacy Motor Club Toyota
Erik Jones (43), Legacy Motor Club Toyota
J.J. Yeley (44), NY Racing Team Chevrolet
Tyler Reddick (45), 23XI Racing Toyota
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (47), JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet
Alex Bowman (48), Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Justin Haley (51), Rick Ware Racing Ford
Ty Gibbs (54), Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
David Ragan (60), RFK Racing Ford*
Anthony Alfredo (62), Beard Motorsports Chevrolet*
Zane Smith (71), Spire Motorsports Chevrolet
Carson Hocevar (77), Spire Motorsports Chevrolet
BJ McLeod (78), Live Fast Motorsports Ford*
Jimmie Johnson (84), Legacy Motor Club Toyota*
Daniel Suárez (99), Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet
*—Not guaranteed a spot in the field

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