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Follow Daytona 500 live: The Big One strikes late. Who will win?

In Sports
February 20, 2024

Ryan Blaney won an all-green second Stage of the Daytona 500. Blaney breezed past teammate Austin Cindric when the latter opted for the high line entering turn 3 on the final lap of the stage.

Blaney wiped out the frustrations of earlier in the stage when he was prevented from pitting with his fellow Fords because he was caught in the outside draft. He was eventually forced to pit with a mainly Chevrolet contingent as the last group on lap 115, but that pack emerged with enough pace to not be swallowed up by the rest of the field.

The lone caution of the race flew on lap 5 for an incident that took out Austin Dillon, Kaz Grala, Carson Hocevar and Harrison Burton.

Table of Contents

Elliott claims Stage 1

Chase Elliott won the first stage of the Daytona 500 on Monday. Elliott led a train of six Chevrolets to the green-and-white checkered flag, including Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kyle Larson in second. A Chevy did not lead the race until lap 44 as Toyota and Ford dominated early.

The pit strategy games began early with a lap 5 crash that would eventually take out Austin Dillon, Kaz Grala, Carson Hocevar and Harrison Burton. Only Ryan Blaney, Christopher Bell and Daniel Hemric stayed out and it ended up hurting them as they were leading the pack and having to burn more fuel than the better-fueled cars behind.

Blaney and Bell initially backed the field up, but, upon realizing they were helping the trailing cars even more, upped the pace by three seconds per lap. That tactic succeeded in requiring the rest of the field to pit again before the end of the stage, but they were out of sequence and wound up near the end of the lead lap pack.

Live181 updates

  • 🟩 🟩 🟩 GREEN FLAG 🟩 🟩 🟩

    Ross Chastain leads William Byron with four laps to go

  • 🟨 🟨 🟨 YELLOW FLAG 🟨 🟨 🟨

    Back to yellow

  • Half the field caught up in that accident

  • πŸŸ₯ πŸŸ₯ πŸŸ₯ RED FLAG πŸŸ₯ πŸŸ₯ πŸŸ₯

    They halt running for cleanup with eight laps still remaining

  • πŸŽ₯ The Big One πŸ‘€

  • A lot of wrecked race cars

    Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney, Brad Keselowski, Tyler Reddick and Martin Truex Jr. among those caught up in it

  • 🟨 🟨 🟨 YELLOW FLAG 🟨 🟨 🟨

    The big one strikes with eight laps to go, involving half of the field

  • From the broadcast πŸ—£οΈ

    Bubba Wallace didn’t get enough fuel on that last stop and will need to get a splash to make the finish

  • Chastain stays out front

    But he has the Fords of Logano and Keselowski directly behind

  • Ross Chastain leads the Chevy pack off pit road

    But the Fords appear ready to overtake them on the high side

  • Logano wins the race off pit road

    Logano’s braking on pit entry is elite

  • Joey Logano pits from the lead with 19 to go

    Logano leads a train of Fords to pit road

  • Last round of green-flag stops begin

    With 23 laps to go they start coming in, no one has pit from the lead yet

  • Those are not P29 and P30 cars…

  • Kyle Busch is inevitable

    Just 18 minutes ago Kyle Busch’s left front tire wasn’t fully attached. He’s currently leading.

  • Never to be counted out…

  • With 50 laps to go (in regulation)

    1. Busch

    2. Lajoie

    3. Hamlin

    4. Hemric

    5. Ragan

  • The boss is not happy

  • πŸŽ₯ Video of Kyle Busch incident πŸ‘€

  • 🟩 🟩 🟩 GREEN FLAG 🟩 🟩 🟩

    Stage 3 begins on lap 136 with Austin Cindric out front

  • Trouble for Kyle Busch 😱

    Kyle Busch didn’t get the retaining nut on the left-front tire during that round of stage break pit stops, but was able to limp back to pit road.

  • πŸŽ₯ The Stage 2 finish πŸ‘€

  • Ryan Blaney wins Stage 2 🟩 ⬜️ 🟩 ⬜️

  • From the broadcast πŸ—£οΈ

    Kyle Larson was 19th before that round of pit stops and emerged with the lead

  • Final group comes in on lap 115

    Mostly Chevys (including Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson) and Ryan Blaney’s Ford in this pack of eight

  • Chevrolets coming in

    Kyle Busch from the lead, heads a Chevy train to pit road on lap 11

  • Bad news for Bubba Wallace

    Bubba had been leading right before this round of stops

  • Josh Berry spins on pit road!

    John Hunter Nemechek clipped Berry who got fuel in his pit box backwards!

  • Green flag stops incoming

    It sounds like the Fords will be first. They’re currently running mostly the bottom line

  • Justin Haley currently running second behind Joey Logano

  • What Marty said πŸ—£οΈ

  • Three-wide on 31-degree banking πŸ‘€

  • The third line emerges early in Stage 2

  • 🟩 🟩 🟩 GREEN FLAG 🟩 🟩 🟩

    Back racing on lap 71

  • Chase Elliott wins Stage 1 🟩 ⬜️ 🟩 ⬜️ 🟩 ⬜️

    Six Chevys finish out front in Stage 1

  • Kyle Busch now leads

    The lead pack overtook Ragan and Preece as they are saving fuel. Chevys own the top seven spots

  • David Ragan leads with 5 to go in Stage 1

    Ragan and Ryan Preece, running P2, have been out for 52 laps

Daytona 500 TV/streaming schedule

All times Eastern

4 p.m.: Daytona 500 (Fox, Fox Sports app)
9 p.m.: Xfinity Series United Rentals 300 (FS1, 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 β€” 65 laps | Stage 2 β€” 65 laps | Stage 3 β€” 70 laps
2023 winner: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (47), JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet

Daytona 500 starting grid

  1. Joey Logano

  2. Michael McDowell

  3. Tyler Reddick

  4. Christopher Bell

  5. Chase Elliott

  6. Austin Cindric

  7. Alex Bowman

  8. Denny Hamlin

  9. Carson Hocevar

  10. John Hunter Nemechek

  11. Erik Jones

  12. Harrison Burton

  13. Daniel Suarez

  14. Zane Smith

  15. Ty Gibbs

  16. Brad Keselowski

  17. Kyle Larson

  18. William Byron

  19. Chris Buescher

  20. Chase Briscoe

  21. Ross Chastain

  22. Justin Haley

  23. Jimmie Johnson

  24. Bubba Wallace

  25. Ryan Preece

  26. Kaz Grala

  27. Martin Truex Jr.

  28. AJ Allmendinger

  29. Corey LaJoie

  30. Josh Berry

  31. Todd Gilliland

  32. Ryan Blaney

  33. Austin Dillon

  34. Kyle Busch

  35. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

  36. Riley Herbst

  37. Daniel Hemric

  38. Noah Gragson

  39. Anthony Alfredo

  40. David Ragan

Joey Logano after qualifying for the NASCAR Daytona 500 auto race Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024, at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Joey Logano won the first Daytona 500 pole position of his career on Wednesday night. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

Toyotas flexing their muscle

After a lackluster showing during single-car front row qualifying Wednesday night, the new-for-2024 Toyota package has recovered well over the past couple days. Tyler Reddick and Christopher Bell won their respective Duels on Thursday night, each of them coming from deep in the field.

On Friday, Denny Hamlin topped the time sheets with a lap of 45.575 in front of seven other Toyota drivers, including Bell and Reddick. So while the single car pace isn’t there, the revamped package runs incredibly well in the pack.

Michael McDowell, who will start the Daytona 500 on the outside of the front row was the fastest non-Toyota in ninth, turning a lap of 46.256 in his Front Row Motorsports Ford. Austin Dillon’s Richard Childress Racing entry was the fastest Chevrolet with a 46.411, good for 12th.

Reddick, Bell win qualifying duels as Johnson sneaks in

Tyler Reddick won the first Daytona 500 qualifying duel with a daring last-lap pass of Kyle Larson and will start inside row two for the race. About 4,000 feet of pavement down the road, Jimmie Johnson snuck past JJ Yeley to make the field for his 21st Daytona 500.

As in the first duel, Christopher Bell pulled off the winning move on the final lap. A crash with 13 laps remaining caught up half the field of the second duel and after the ensuing restart leader Michael McDowell β€” already guaranteed the second starting spot β€” was hung out to dry, handing the lead to Denny Hamlin. Hamlin led until the final half of the final lap when Bell made a daring move on the backstretch that led to victory.

BJ McLeod β€” who had been running well early on β€” was caught up in the lap 47 incident and had briefly overtaken Kaz Grala lost his spot in the Daytona 500 when Grala pipped him on the final lap.

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 β€” 20 apiece, along with the top two qualifiers β€” 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.

Logano ends the Hendrick, Chevy streak

Ford broke up Chevrolet’s Daytona pole monopoly Wednesday night. Team Penske’s Joey Logano earned his first pole position for the Daytona 500 with a second-round time of 49.465, which was just 0.071s faster than the Front Row Motorsports entry of 2021 Daytona 500 winner Michael McDowell.

Logano turned the fastest lap in the all-42 car first round and, after McDowell had a seemingly insurmountable second round lap of 49.536, bettered it by just over seven hundredths of a second.

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 β…“ 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 SuΓ‘rez (99), Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet
*β€”Not guaranteed a spot in the field

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