And so it begins…
On a beautiful Florida afternoon 43 drivers will take to the two and a half mile high banks of Daytona International Speedway to qualify for the pole and lead the field to the green flag at the Daytona 500 on February 16 as the NASCAR Cup Series kicks off the 2020 racing season.
A new season always brings changes, nearly half of the drivers will be talking to new crew chiefs over the radio this season.
Having announced that he is retiring at the end of the season after driving the four races at Daytona and Talladega, 44 year of Brendan Gaughan gets qualifying started off with a time of 47.663 seconds.
The drivers have just one lap to show off the speed in their cars.
David Ragan officially retired after last season but was asked to come run one more Daytona 500 for Rick Ware Racing.
Racers, past and present, are known for making friendly bets on various sporting events. NASCAR driver Clint Bowyer is a die hard Kansas City Chiefs fan; while former driver and current broadcaster Jeff Gordon is a die hard San Francisco 49ers fan. The bet was made – the fan of the losing team must wear the jersey from the winning team on a nationally televised NASCAR event. Clint Bowyer’s Chiefs won the Super Bowl, so when Bowyer took to the track for qualifying, Jeff Gordon donned a Chiefs jersey.
While 43 teams brought cars to the track, only 42 of them made a qualifying run; BJ McLeod did not make a run on the track.
After all of the drivers have made their qualifying run, Ricky Stenhouse Jr put his JTG Daugherty number 47 car on the pole with a time of 46.253 seconds around the track. Hendricks Motor Sports driver Alex Bowman will start alongside Stenhouse on the front row.
Thirty-six teams were guaranteed a starting spot in the race, the remaining seven teams must race their way into the four remaining spots. Brendan Gaughan and Justin Haley topped the list of the seven open drivers and are guaranteed a starting spot in the race on Sunday. The other drivers must race their way in during the Duel races on Thursday.
The lineup for the Duel races:
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Martin Truex Jr
John Hunter Nemechek