The Daytona 500 is a one of a kind 500-mile-long (805 km) Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series motor race. It is held annually at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. The 40-car field is set for this year’s race on next Sunday, Feb. 26.
But before the Showdown, two important races are on the line. First on Feb. 19 when two rounds of single-car qualifying will kick in. The second is on Feb. 23 when the Can-Am Duel races begin.
Here are more details on two events:
Single-car qualifying race
This event will determine who will race in the front row (spots 1 and 2) for the Daytona 500. In the two rounds of single-car qualifying, 12 fastest cars in Round 1 will advance to Round 2. Further, after a 10-minute break between rounds, cars will make their Round 2 run based on Round 1 times with the slowest going first and fastest last.
The fastest driver in Round 2 will bag the Coors Light Pole Award for the Daytona 500. The second-fastest time in Round 2 will get the second spot on the front row for the Daytona 500. Also, the pole winner will start first in the first Can-Am Duel race on Thursday and the Second front row spot winner starts first in the second Can-Am Duel race.
The rest of the drivers will lineup for Thursday’s Can-Am Duels based on their qualifying time, with odd-numbered finishers lining up in the first Duel, and even-numbered finishers lining up on the second Duel.
The Can-Am Duels will provide spots 3-38 in the Daytona 500. With 36 Charter teams racing, two of these spots will be booked by the top Open car in each Duel race. The qualifiers from the first Duel will line up on the inside row in the Daytona 500 based on their Duel 1 finish. Consequently, the qualifiers from the second Duel will line up on the outside row of the Daytona 500 based on their result in Duel 2.