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NASCAR - Sprint Cup - Daytona 500 Preview
Date: Sunday, Feb. 24
Site: Daytona International Speedway (1959) -- Daytona Beach, Fla.
Track: 2.5-mile tri-oval - 3,800 feet (Frontstretch); 3,000 feet (Backstretch)
Capacity: 146,000 (Grandstand Seating)
Annual: 55th
Television: FOX
Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio
Start Time: 1 p.m. ET
Qualifying Time: Daytona 500 time trials were held on Feb. 17
Defending Champion: Matt Kenseth
Runner-up: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Pole Winner: Carl Edwards (finished 8)
Laps: 200
Miles: 500
Qualifying Record: Bill Elliott, 1987 (210.364 m.p.h.)
Race Record: Buddy Baker, 1980 (177.602 m.p.h.)
2012 Finish
FinishDriverStartFinishDriverStart
1Matt Kenseth 4 6 Paul Menard 37
2Dale Earnhardt Jr. 5 7 Kevin Harvick 13
3Greg Biffle 2 8 Carl Edwards 1
4Denny Hamlin 31 9 Joey Logano 12
5Jeff Burton 9 10 Mark Martin 22
2012 Daytona 500 Facts and Figures
Average Speed: 140.256 mph
Time of Race: 3 hrs., 26 mins., 2 secs.
Margin of Victory:  0.210 secs.
Caution Flags: 16 for 60 laps (race record)
Lead Changes: 25 among 13 drivers
Pole Winner: Carl Edwards (194.738 mph)
Past Daytona 500 Winners (Starting Position) Car -- Speed
2012 -- Matt Kenseth (4) -- Ford -- 140.256 mph
2011 -- Trevor Bayne (32nd) -- Ford -- 130.326 m.p.h.
2010 -- Jamie McMurray (13th) Chevrolet -- 137.284 m.p.h.
2009 -- *Matt Kenseth (39th) -- Ford -- 132.816 m.p.h.
2008 -- Ryan Newman (7th) -- Dodge -- 152.672 m.p.h.
2007 -- Kevin Harvick (34th) -- Chevrolet -- 149.335 m.p.h.
2006 -- Jimmie Johnson (9th) -- Chevrolet -- 142.667 m.p.h.
2005 -- Jeff Gordon (15th) -- Chevrolet -- 135.173 m.p.h.
2004 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. (3rd) -- Chevrolet -- 156.345 m.p.h.
2003 -- *Michael Waltrip (4th) -- Chevrolet -- 133.870 m.p.h.
2002 -- Ward Burton (19th) -- Dodge -- 142.971 m.p.h.
2001 -- Michael Waltrip (19th) -- Chevrolet -- 161.794 m.p.h.
2000 -- Dale Jarrett (1st) -- Ford -- 155.669 m.p.h.
1999 -- Jeff Gordon (1st) -- Chevrolet -- 161.551 m.p.h.
1998 -- Dale Earnhardt (4th) -- Chevrolet -- 172.712 m.p.h.
1997 -- Jeff Gordon (6th) -- Chevrolet -- 148.295 m.p.h.
1996 -- Dale Jarrett (7th) -- Ford -- 154.308 m.p.h.
1995 -- Sterling Marlin (3rd) -- Chevrolet -- 141.710 m.p.h.
1994 -- Sterling Marlin (4th) -- Chevrolet -- 156.931 m.p.h.
1993 -- Dale Jarrett (2nd) -- Chevrolet -- 154.972 m.p.h.
1992 -- Davey Allison (6th) -- Ford -- 168.256 m.p.h.
1991 -- Ernie Irvan (2nd) -- Chevrolet -- 148.148 m.p.h.
1990 -- Derrike Cope (12th) -- Chevrolet -- 165.761 m.p.h.
1989 -- Darrell Waltrip (2nd) -- Chevrolet -- 148.466 m.p.h.
1988 -- Bobby Allison (3rd) -- Buick -- 137.531 m.p.h.
1987 -- Bill Elliott (1st) -- Ford -- 176.263 m.p.h.
1986 -- Geoff Bodine (2nd) -- Chevrolet -- 148.124 m.p.h.
1985 -- Bill Elliott (1st) -- Ford -- 172.265 m.p.h.
1984 -- Cale Yarborough (1st) -- Chevrolet -- 150.994 m.p.h.
1983 -- Cale Yarborough (8th) -- Pontiac -- 155.979 m.p.h.
1982 -- Bobby Allison (7th) -- Buick -- 153.991 m.p.h.
1981 -- Richard Petty (8th) -- Buick -- 169.651 m.p.h.
1980 -- Buddy Baker (1st) -- Oldsmobile -- 177.602 m.p.h. (race record)
1979 -- Richard Petty (13th) -- Oldsmobile -- 143.977 m.p.h.
1978 -- Bobby Allison (33rd) -- Ford -- 159.730 m.p.h.
1977 -- Cale Yarborough (4th) -- Chevrolet -- 153.218 m.p.h.
1976 -- David Pearson (7th) -- Mercury -- 152.181 m.p.h.
1975 -- Benny Parsons (32nd) -- Chevrolet -- 153.649 m.p.h.
1974 -- Richard Petty (2nd) -- Dodge -- 140.894 m.p.h.
1973 -- Richard Petty (7th) -- Dodge -- 157.205 m.p.h.
1972 -- A.J. Foyt (2nd) -- Mercury -- 161.550 m.p.h.
1971 -- Richard Petty (5th) -- Plymouth -- 144.462 m.p.h.
1970 -- Pete Hamilton (9th) -- Plymouth -- 149.601 m.p.h.
1969 -- LeeRoy Yarborough (19th) -- Ford -- 157.950 m.p.h.
1968 -- Cale Yarborough (1st) -- Mercury -- 143.251 m.p.h.
1967 -- Mario Andretti (12th) -- Ford -- 146.926 m.p.h.
1966 -- *Richard Petty (1st) -- Plymouth -- 160.627 m.p.h.
1965 -- *Fred Lorenzen (4th) -- Ford -- 141.539 m.p.h.
1964 -- Richard Petty (2nd) -- Plymouth -- 154.334 m.p.h.
1963 -- Tiny Lund (12th) -- Ford -- 151.566 m.p.h.
1962 -- Fireball Roberts (1st) -- Pontiac -- 152.529 m.p.h.
1961 -- Marvin Panch (4th) -- Pontiac -- 149.601 m.p.h.
1960 -- Junior Johnson (9th) -- Chevrolet -- 124.740 m.p.h.
1959 -- Lee Petty (15th) -- Oldsmobile -- 135.521 m.p.h.
NOTE: * - Rain shortened.
Past Daytona 500 Pole Winners (Finish)
2012 -- Carl Edwards -- 8th
2011 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. -- 24th
2010 -- Mark Martin -- 12th
2009 -- Martin Truex Jr -- 11th
2008 -- Jimmie Johnson -- 27th
2007 -- David Gilliland -- 8th
2006 -- Jeff Burton -- 32nd
2005 -- Dale Jarrett -- 15th
2004 -- Greg Biffle -- 12th
2003 -- Jeff Green -- 39th
2002 -- Jimmie Johnson -- 15th
2001 -- Bill Elliott -- 5th
2000 -- Dale Jarrett -- 1st
1999 -- Jeff Gordon -- 1st
1998 -- Bobby Labonte -- 2nd
1997 -- Mike Skinner -- 12th
1996 -- Dale Earnhardt -- 2nd
1995 -- Dale Jarrett -- 5th
1994 -- Loy Allen Jr. -- 22nd
1993 -- Kyle Petty -- 31st
1992 -- Sterling Marlin -- 35th
1991 -- Davey Allison -- 15th
1990 -- Ken Schrader -- 40th
1989 -- Ken Schrader -- 2nd
1988 -- Ken Schrader -- 6th
1987 -- Bill Elliott -- 1st
1986 -- Bill Elliott -- 13th
1985 -- Bill Elliott -- 1st
1984 -- Cale Yarborough -- 1st
1983 -- Ricky Rudd -- 24th
1982 -- Benny Parsons -- 26th
1981 -- Bobby Allison -- 2nd
1980 -- Buddy Baker -- 1st
1979 -- Buddy Baker -- 40th
1978 -- Cale Yarborough -- 2nd
1977 -- Donnie Allison -- 30th
1976 -- Ramo Stott -- 26th
1975 -- Donnie Allison -- 28th
1974 -- David Pearson -- 35th
1973 -- Buddy Baker -- 6th
1972 -- Bobby Isaac -- 33rd
1971 -- A.J. Foyt -- 3rd
1970 -- Cale Yarborough -- 37th
1969 -- Buddy Baker -- 5th
1968 -- Cale Yarborough -- 1st
1967 -- Curtis Turner -- 25th
1966 -- Richard Petty -- 1st
1965 -- Darel Dieringer -- 2nd
1964 -- Paul Goldsmith -- 3rd
1963 -- Fireball Roberts -- 21st
1962 -- Fireball Roberts -- 1st
1961 -- Fireball Roberts -- 20th
1960 -- Cotton Owens -- 40th
1959 -- Bob Welborn -- 41st
Last Race Results
Race: The Sprint Unlimited at Daytona (Feb. 16)
Site: Daytona International Speedway -- Daytona Beach, Fla.
Miles: 187.5
Laps: 75
Winner: Kevin Harvick
Second: Greg Biffle
Third: Joey Logano
Fourth: Tony Stewart
Fifth: Matt Kenseth
Pole Winner: Carl Edwards (finished 12)
Time of Race: 1 hr., 3 mins., 22 secs.
Average Speed: 177.538 mph
Margin of Victory: 0.149 secs.
Caution Flags: 3 for 4 laps
Lead Changes: 9 among 5 drivers
Lap Leaders: C. Edwards - pole; G. Biffle 1-2; M. Truex Jr. 3-4; M. Kenseth 5-29; T. Stewart 30-33; K. Harvick 34-42; T. Stewart 43; K. Harvick 44-61; M. Kenseth 62; K. Harvick 63-75.
Daytona 500 Entry List
CarDriver, HometownCar/Name
1 Jamie McMurray (Joplin, MO) Chevrolet/McDonald's Chevrolet
2 Brad Keselowski (Rochester Hills, MI) Ford/Miller Lite
5 Kasey Kahne (Enumclaw, WA) Chevrolet/Farmers Insurance
7 Dave Blaney (Hartford, OH) Chevrolet/Florida Lottery
9 Marcos Ambrose (Launceston, Australia) Ford/Stanley Ford
10 Danica Patrick (Roscoe, IL) Chevrolet/GoDaddy
11 Denny Hamlin (Chesterfield, VA) Toyota/FedEx Express
13 Casey Mears (Bakersfield, CA) Ford/GEICO
14 Tony Stewart (Columbus, IN) Chevrolet/Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1
15 Clint Bowyer (Emporia, KS) Toyota/5-Hour Energy
16 Greg Biffle (Vancouver, WA) Ford/3M
17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (Olive Branch, MS) Ford/Best Buy
18 Kyle Busch (Las Vegas, NV) Toyota/M&M's
19 Mike Bliss (Milwaukie, OR) Chevrolet/G-Oil/Plinker Tactical
20 * Matt Kenseth (Cambridge, WI) Toyota/Dollar General
21 Trevor Bayne (Knoxville, TN) Ford/Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire
22 Joey Logano (Middletown, CT) Ford/Shell/Pennzoil
24 Jeff Gordon (Vallejo, CA) Chevrolet/Drive to End Hunger
26 Michael Waltrip (Owensboro, KY) Toyota/Sandy Hook School Support
27 Paul Menard (Eau Claire, WI) Chevrolet/Menards/Peak
29 Kevin Harvick (Bakersfield, CA) Chevrolet/Budweiser
31 Jeff Burton (South Boston, VA) Chevrolet/Caterpillar
32 Terry Labonte (Corpus Christi, TX) Ford/C&J Energy Services
33 Austin Dillon (Welcome, NC) Chevrolet/Honey Nut Cheerios
34 David Ragan (Unadilla, GA) Ford/Detail Doctor
35 Josh Wise (Riverside, CA) Ford/MDS Transport
36 J.J. Yeley (Phoenix, AZ) Chevrolet/Golden Corral
38 David Gilliland (Riverside, CA) Ford/Love's
39 Ryan Newman (South Bend, IN) Chevrolet/Quicken Loans
42 Juan Pablo Montoya (Bogota, Colombia) Chevrolet/Target
43 Aric Almirola (Tampa, FL) Ford/Smithfield
47 Bobby Labonte (Corpus Christi, TX) Toyota/Kroger
48 Jimmie Johnson (El Cajon, CA) Chevrolet/Lowe's
51 Regan Smith (Cato, NY) Chevrolet/Guy Roofing
52 Brian Keselowski (Rochester Hills, MI) Toyota/truckerfan.com
55 Mark Martin (Batesville, AR) Toyota/Aaron's Dream Machine
56 Martin Truex Jr. (Mayetta, NJ) Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts
78 Kurt Busch (Las Vegas, NV) Chevrolet/Furniture Row
83 David Reutimann (Zephyrhills, FL) Toyota/Burger King/Dr. Pepper
87 Joe Nemechek (Lakeland, FL) Toyota/Florida DOT
88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Kannapolis, NC) Chevrolet/National Guard
93 Travis Kvapil (Janesville, WI) Toyota/Burger King/Dr. Pepper
95 Scott Speed (Manteca, CA) Ford/Leavine Family Racing
98 Michael McDowell (Glendale, AZ) Ford/K-Love/Curb Records
99 Carl Edwards (Columbia, MO) Ford/Fastenal
* - Defending champion.
Leading Contenders (Finish the last nine years)
Driver200420052006200720082009201020112012
Matt Kenseth 9th 42nd 15th 27th 36th Won 8th 34th Won
Dale Earnhardt Jr Won 3rd 8th 32nd 9th 27th 2nd 24th 2nd
Greg Biffle 12th 25th 31st 25th 10th 20th 3rd 35th 3rd
Denny Hamlin --- --- 30th 28th 17th 26th 17th 21st 4th
Jeff Burton 42nd 29th 32nd 3rd 13th 28th 11th 36th 5th
Paul Menard --- --- --- --- 22nd 38th 13th 9th 6th
Kevin Harvick 4th 28th 14th Won 14th 2nd 7th 42nd 7th
Carl Edwards --- 12th 43rd 23rd 19th 18th 9th 2nd 8th
Joey Logano --- --- --- --- --- 43rd 20th 23rd 9th
Mark Martin 43rd 6th 12th 2nd 31st 16th 12th 10th 10th
Clint Bowyer --- --- 6th 18th 24th 4th 4th 17th 11th
Martin Truex Jr --- 34th 16th 29th 20th 11th 6th 19th 12th
Marcos Ambrose --- --- --- --- --- 17th 41st 37th 13th
Bobby Labonte 11th 43rd 35th 21st 11th 22nd 21st 4th 14th
Dave Blaney 15th 14th 22nd 34th 38th --- --- 26th 15th
Tony Stewart 2nd 7th 5th 43rd 3rd 8th 22nd 13th 16th
Kyle Busch --- 38th 23rd 24th 4th 41st 14th 8th 17th
Terry Labonte 20th --- 17th --- --- 24th --- 15th 18th
Tony Raines --- --- --- 33rd --- --- --- --- 19th
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- 20th
Ryan Newman 31st 20th 3rd 38th Won 36th 34th 22nd 21st
David Gilliland --- --- --- 8th 28th --- --- 3rd 23rd
Regan Smith --- --- --- --- 37th 21st 39th 7th 24th
Kasey Kahne 41st 22nd 11th 7th 7th 29th 30th 25th 29th
Jamie McMurray 36th 32nd 37th 31st 26th 37th Won 18th 31st
Brad Keselowski --- --- --- --- --- --- 36th 29th 32nd
A.J. Allmendinger --- --- --- --- --- 3rd 32nd 11th 34th
Trevor Bayne --- --- --- --- --- --- --- Won 35th
Juan Pablo Montoya --- --- --- 19th 32nd 14th 10th 6th 36th
Danica Patrick --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- 38th
Kurt Busch 16th 2nd 38th 41st 2nd 10th 23rd 5th 39th
Jeff Gordon 8th Won 26th 10th 39th 13th 26th 28th 40th
Jimmie Johnson 5th 5th Won 39th 27th 31st 35th 27th 42nd
David Ragan --- --- --- 5th 42nd 6th 16th 14th 43rd
Sports Network Selections
Pick to Win - Tony Stewart
Last Week's Pick to Win (Dale Earnhardt Jr.) - finished 8
NOTES:
The 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series begins with stock car racing's most prestigious race of the season -- the Daytona 500. This will be the 55th running of "The Great American Race" at Daytona International Speedway.

Last Sunday, Danica Patrick became the first female to win a pole for a race in NASCAR's top series (Sprint Cup). Patrick, who is a rookie-of-the-year contender in the series this year, claimed the pole for the Daytona 500 with a qualifying lap at 196.434 mph (45.816 seconds) during time trials. Jeff Gordon grabbed the second starting position with a lap at 196.292 mph (45.850 secs.). The rest of the 43-car field for this race was determined in Thursday's Budweiser Duel (twin qualifying races).

Matt Kenseth, who is in his first season as driver of the No. 20 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing, is the defending winner of this race.

Last year's Daytona 500 featured a first for this event. It was delayed one day due to rain. The race also ran from start to finish at night for the first time. After the weather in the Daytona Beach area had improved on Monday afternoon, the 2.5-mile track was dried in time for a 7 p.m. ET start time.

By the time Kenseth hoisted the Harley J. Earl Trophy for winning the Daytona 500 a second time in his career, it was past 1 a.m. on Tuesday, thanks to a lengthy delay for a freakish accident that occurred with 40 laps to go. Juan Pablo Montoya's car slammed into a track-drying vehicle while the race was under caution. Montoya was traveling at a high rate of speed on the backstretch while rejoining the field, but he lost control and slid into the back of the dryer located in turn three. The vehicle, which had jet fuel on board, burst into flames. The fuel then spilled down the track in the turn area before a fire erupted. Track personnel were successful in repairing the track surface affected by the fire.

Kenseth overcame overheating issues and then avoided two big crashes on the tri-oval before holding off Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Greg Biffle in a green- white-checkered finish to win the race. A pair of multi-car wrecks occurred on the tri-oval during the closing laps. Seven drivers were involved in the first one, while eight were caught up in the last incident, which set up the two-lap overtime finish. Kenseth pulled away from Biffle and Earnhardt Jr. coming out of the final turn on the last lap. He beat Earnhardt Jr. to the finish line by 0.2 seconds. Kenseth's first Daytona 500 win came in 2009, a race that was curtailed because of rain.

Those drivers who have won back-to-back Daytona 500s include: Sterling Marlin, Richard Petty and Cale Yarborough. Marlin was the last driver who accomplished the feat, doing so from 1994-95. He's also the only driver whose first two career wins in the Cup Series occurred in the Daytona 500. Petty won this race consecutively from 1973-74, and Yarborough scored back-to-back victories from 1983-84.

Trevor Bayne is the youngest winner of the Daytona 500. Bayne won this race one day after he celebrated his 20th birthday on Feb. 20, 2011. When he was 50 years, 2 months and 11 days old, Bobby Allison became the oldest driver to win the Daytona 500 on Feb. 14, 1988.

Petty holds the record for most Daytona 500 wins with seven ((1964, '66, '71, '73, '74, '79, '81). Gordon leads all active drivers with three victories in this race (1997, '99 and 2005).

Lee Petty won the inaugural Daytona 500 on Feb. 22 1959. With more than 41,000 in attendance at the newly-built DIS, Lee Petty beat Johnny Beauchamp in a photo finish to win the race. However, the winner was not decided until 61 hours after the checkered flag had waved. NASCAR founder Bill France Sr. reviewed the finish from a newsreel and concluded that Petty crossed the line just two feet ahead of Beauchamp.

Since NASCAR began using electronic timing and scoring in 1993, the closest margin of victory in the Daytona 500 happened in 2007 when Kevin Harvick nipped Mark Martin to finish line by only 0.02 seconds.

The quickest a Daytona 500 has been completed occurred in 1980 when Buddy Baker, driving an Oldsmobile, finished the race in 2 hours, 48 minutes and 55 seconds at an average speed of 177.602 mph.

Seven drivers recorded their first career Cup Series victories in the Daytona 500: Tiny Lund (1963), Mario Andretti (1967), Pete Hamilton (1970), Derrike Cope (1990), Marlin (1994), Michael Waltrip (2001) and Bayne (2011).

Four drivers who are competing in this year's Daytona 500 made their first career Cup start in this race: Tony Stewart (1999), Casey Mears (2003), Kasey Kahne (2004) and Patrick (2012).

The purse for this year's Daytona 500 will be $19,339,134, with at least $1,444,850 awarded to the race winner. The second-place finisher is guaranteed to collect $1,063450, while the third-place finisher gets $773,000. Last year's purse for the Daytona 500 was $19,142,601. Kenseth had a $1,588,887 payday for his victory.

The driver who leads the 100th lap in the Daytona 500 will collect a $200,000 bonus. Martin Truex Jr. led the way at the halfway point in last year's race to claim the inaugural "Daytona 500 Mid-Race Leader Award."

Actor James Franco will serve as Grand Marshal for this year's Daytona 500. Franco stars in the Disney adventure fantasy film "Oz The Great and Powerful," which is scheduled for release on March 8. His other film credits include: "127 Hours," in which he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor, the "Spider-Man" trilogy, "Milk," "Pineapple Express" and "Rise of the Planet of the Apes."

The next Sprint Cup Series race is the March 3 Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. Denny Hamlin won last year's race there.


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