Michael Waltrip goes full throttle for 30th, final Daytona 500
The 53-year-old driver from Owensboro, Kentucky, is committed to capping off his Cup career by competing one last time at the track that has brought him joy, pain and wins.
Hendrick Motorsports, which has a relationship with Mountain Dew, has avoided using the new series sponsor Monster Energy logos on cars when posting images from its race shop. Dale Earnhardt Jr. had the patch on upside down when doing an ESPN interview Thursday. Asked about whether there is any disagreement with the series sponsor or if they've decided what they will do and not do, team owner Rick Hendrick plainly stated: "When you see our cars at the track, they'll have the Monster logo on the windshield, on the side of the car. Our guys will have it on their uniform."
Logano signs deal with Penske through 2023
Joey Logano has signed an extension with Penske Racing through at least 2023, the organization announced Friday.
Joey Logano, who was signed through 2018, has extended with Team Penske beyond 2022. Along with Logano's extension, Penske announced the extensions of sponsor Shell/Pennzoil and crew chief Todd Gordon. In addition to Logano's solid performance, team owner Roger Penske continues to have a partnership for reduced-cost fuel and oils for the Penske trucking fleet of 244,000 while providing product development support through his race teams.
Jeff Gordon will drive the pace car prior to the start of the Daytona 500. The car is a Chevrolet Camaro ZL1.
Truex car among 3 failing postrace inspections
Cars driven by AJ Allmendinger, Martin Truex Jr. and Chris Buescher failed postrace inspections following Thursday's Daytona 500 qualifying races, forcing them to the rear of Sunday's field.
Hamlin passes Earnhardt Jr. late to win second Duel.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. leads 53 laps but gets overtaken by Denny Hamlin on Lap 58 to win the second Can-Am Duel at Daytona.
Chase Elliott captures first Duel race.
Daytona 500 pole sitter Chase Elliott leads the final 24 laps to win the first Can-Am Duel.
Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin lead school in Duels
There was excitement, of course, but what was really valuable to the drivers in Thursday night's Daytona Duels was knowledge. Insight headed into Sunday's Daytona 500 is the most valuable gift.
AJ Allmendinger (fourth in the second Daytona 500 qualifying race), Martin Truex Jr. (seventh in first race) and Chris Buescher (16th in the second race) failed postrace height measurements Thursday at Daytona. They will have to start at the rear of the field for the Daytona 500 (Allmendinger would have started 10th, Truex 13th and Buescher 32nd). Allmendinger will not receive the seven points he earned with his finish and Truex won't receive the four he had earned.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. feels the love, then the frustration
Dale Earnhardt Jr. basked in the glow of the ovation he got when introduced Thursday night. He's happy with his skills after a long layoff. Losing his Duel in the waning laps? Not so happy.
Dale Jr embraces being back on the track.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. joins Marty Smith to discuss his return to racing against competition and his thoughts on Sunday's Daytona 500.
That, ladies and gents, is a big league donut.
Glass half-full after Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin win Duels
Chase Elliott, pole-sitter for the Daytona 500, won his Duel on Thursday night. Denny Hamlin killed the joy in the second Duel, rolling past a dominant Dale Earnhardt Jr. for the win.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. was a little frustrated but understood why Austin Dillon helped push Denny Hamlin in the outside lane with less than two laps to go in their Daytona 500 qualifying race Thursday. Earnhardt, who led 53 of the 60 laps, said: "I would have probably done the same thing he did. He finished fifth. He pushed that 11 [of Hamlin] in the lead. He was in second. It didn't really work out that awesome for him. … He might have won the race, you never know if a couple of things worked out for him."
Jimmie Johnson will go to a backup car for the Daytona 500 after damage from slapping the wall Thursday night in his qualifying race. Johnson will have the 26th starting spot in the Daytona 500 but will have to fall to the rear at the start of the race Sunday.
Austin Dillon on why he chose to push Toyota driver Denny Hamlin in the final laps instead of trying to help fellow Chevy driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. on the inside lane late in their Daytona 500 qualifying race: "It was top lane versus bottom lane. ... I had to go with the momentum. Tough love there."
Denny Hamlin wins the second Daytona 500 qualifying race. D.J. Kennington earned the Daytona 500 transfer spot. Dale Earnhardt Jr. led most of the race but was passed with less than two laps to go and finished sixth.
Elliott wins first Daytona 500 qualifier
Chase Elliott earns 10 points after winning the first of a pair of 150-mile qualifying races at Daytona International Speedway.
It has been 21 years since a Daytona 500 polesitter won a Daytona 500 qualifying race. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Chase Elliott is the first to do it since Dale Earnhardt in 1996. The only other driver to do it since 1990 was Davey Allison (1991).
Reed Sorenson was tagged by Corey LaJoie and sent into the wall as they vied for a spot Thursday night in their Daytona 500 qualifying race. LaJoie earned the transfer spot and Sorenson likely will miss the 500. Sorenson: "I just think at this level of the sport, you could just run the race like you're supposed to and not have to worry about that. I'm just disappointed somebody would do something like that." LaJoie: "Obviously wrecking Reed is not how I drew it up, and it certainly wasn't on purpose. I was just trying to fill a hole and he didn't think I should be there. … If it was my mom, I would probably spin her out to make the Daytona 500, too."
Chase Elliott, who will start from the Daytona 500 pole Sunday, won the first qualifying race at Daytona. Corey LaJoie earned the transfer spot to make the Daytona 500.
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