Daytona 500 preview, TV schedule


Dale Earnhardt Jr., bottom front, and Tony Stewart, top front, lead a group of cars down the front stretch during an evening practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

The starting lineup is set for Sunday’s Daytona 500. Leading the way is pole winner Austin Dillon, who has been driving the storied No. 3 car which had not been used by anyone since Dale Earnhardt’s fatal crash at Daytona.

Dillon, the 23-year-old grandson of NASCAR team owner Richard Childress, had already qualified for the race since he won the pole-position last Sunday. He finished Thursday’s Budweiser Duel unscathed, electing to race conservatively after leading the opening 14 laps.

“As soon as we got kind of going backwards and three-wide, I said all right, now it’s time to go back there and play the patient game,” Dillon said (via SB Nation). “It’s no fun, but we get to start on the pole for the Daytona 500 with a really fast car.”

Matt Kenseth won the first of two Budweiser Duel qualifying races, while Denny Hamlin finished first in the latter, avoiding a crash-filled final lap. They earned the third and fourth starting positions, respectively.

Martin Truex Jr., qualified second, but he’ll have to go to the back of the field of 43 qualifiers with a backup car after being involved in a wreck in Duel 2.

56th annual Daytona 500
When: Sunday, Feb. 23 at 1 p.m.
Where: Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla.
TV: WTTG (Channel 5), WBFF (Channel 45)
Defending champion: Jimmie Johnson

Starting lineup (via Associated Press):

Pos Driver Car # Make Qual. Speed
1 Austin Dillon 3 Chevrolet 196.019
2 Martin Truex Jr. 78 Chevrolet 195.852
3 Matt Kenseth 20 Toyota 194.574
4 Denny Hamlin 11 Toyota 194.477
5 Kasey Kahne 5 Chevrolet 194.544
6 Jeff Gordon 24 Chevrolet 195.042
7 Marcos Ambrose 9 Ford 194.894
8 Kurt Busch 41 Chevrolet 194.078
9 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 88 Chevrolet 195.211
10 Paul Menard 27 Chevrolet 194.919
11 Josh Wise 98 Ford 192.061
12 Brian Scott 33 Chevrolet 194.776
13 Aric Almirola 43 Ford 194.658
14 Trevor Bayne 21 Ford 194.334
15 A J Allmendinger 47 Chevrolet 194.108
16 Kyle Larson 42 Chevrolet 194.410
17 David Gilliland 38 Ford 193.736
18 Landon Cassill 40 Chevrolet 193.732
19 Ryan Newman 31 Chevrolet 195.707
20 Clint Bowyer 15 Toyota 194.523
21 Tony Stewart 14 Chevrolet 193.365
22 Jamie McMurray 1 Chevrolet 192.695
23 Cole Whitt 26 Toyota 192.538
24 Terry Labonte 32 Ford 192.135
25 Greg Biffle 16 Ford 195.818
26 Bobby Labonte 52 Chevrolet 191.493
27 Danica Patrick 10 Chevrolet 194.380
28 Casey Mears 13 Chevrolet 194.582
29 Alex Bowman 23 Toyota 189.685
30 Carl Edwards 99 Ford 195.712
31 Brian Vickers 55 Toyota 192.798
32 Jimmie Johnson 48 Chevrolet 194.637
33 Brad Keselowski 2 Ford 195.296
34 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 17 Ford 195.004
35 Joey Logano 22 Ford 194.582
36 Michael Annett 7 Chevrolet 194.574
37 Kyle Busch 18 Toyota 194.502
38 Kevin Harvick 4 Chevrolet 194.422
39 Reed Sorenson 36 Chevrolet 194.066
40 Justin Allgaier 51 Chevrolet 193.815
41 Parker Kligerman 30 Toyota 193.594
42 Michael Waltrip 66 Toyota 193.428
43 David Ragan 34 Ford 192.328
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