Danica Patrick became the first woman to win the pole, though winning this race is another issue. Ten pole sitters have won the Daytona 500 and the last drive to win this race from the pole was Dale Jarrett in 2000.
This is a race involving 43 cars, which usually means multiple wrecks. This race is not only getting hype due to Patrick, but also the new Gen-6 cars that are expected to make a big impact. The Daytona 500 is expected to feature a lot of pack racing and few few two-car tandems with the Gen-6.
"Smoke" has won at Daytona 18 times, including four wins in the 400-mile race here in July. Yet he's never won this race in 14 attempts. He's been close with a T2 and T3 finish. He also finished 4th this past weekend in his new car. The 15th time will be Stewart's time to shine.
Hamlin finished 4th last year at the Daytona 500 and recorded the second best driver rating, while leading a race high 57 laps. He had the strongest car on the outside line. If the track wasn’t damaged by fire he might have had a chance to win. Last July with 8 laps to go Hamlin was running in 4th but came across Kyle Busch’s nose and caused the big one. In fourteen races he’s finished in the top ten twice.
Jeff Burton does well at the plate tracks. Last year, Burton finished in the top five in both starts at Daytona. Burton's has 38 starts at Daytona International Speedway with one win (July 2000), nine top-five and 11 top-10 finishes. Burton also scored the pole position for the 2006 Daytona 500 and has led 145 laps at the historic 2.5-mile superspeedway.
2013 Daytona 500 Race Info
Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup.
Date: Sunday, Feb. 24.
Race: Daytona 500.
Site: Daytona International Speedway.
Track: 2.5-mile tri-oval.
Start time: 1 p.m. ET.
Laps: 200. Miles: 500.
2012 Winner: Matt Kenseth.
Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio.
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