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Sunday, February 26, 2012

daytona 500 starting lineup

daytona 500 starting lineup

daytona 500 starting lineup, A poor qualifying session does not mean doom for these drivers. Sure, they may be starting from the bottom half of the 43-man Daytona 500 but when it's over, don't allow yourself to be surprised if any of these men is the last man standing.
Kurt Busch, Busch has been one of the circuit's better racers over the last few years, and a mediocre starting position is not going to do anything to change that. This is a guy with 24 career wins that has been a top 10 machine throughout his career.

With his style of racing, if Busch finds his way to the top 10, he can find his way to the winner's circle.
To win from the back of the pack, you have to race aggressively and take chances that you wouldn't normally take. The good thing for Busch is that he always races with aggression, so this isn't going to be a real change for him.If you noticed that he was starting from a pretty good place in 2009 but still getting better, give yourself a nice hearty pat on the back. Montoya knows this track well and has become an increasingly bigger factor at Daytona every year since switching to NASCAR.

While starting from Row 18 could not have been a part of the game plan, he's still a real threat to work his way up and take the checkered flag.

Montoya is a fantastic pure racer, which is a necessary skill when starting from so far back.If anyone really doubts that Bayne can win from the back of the back, I would suggest that you look at his 2011 Daytona 500. In that race, he started from the rather unimpressive 32nd position but when the race was over, it was Bayne standing tall over the rest of the field.

Now, we're looking at a similar starting spot, but counting him out would be foolish. Bayne knows that he can win at this track, which is an incredibly valuable tool. More importantly, he knows how to race at Daytona and is not going to be intimidated by the sport's big names.

Pulling of a double from the back of the pack would be one of the sport's greatest achievements, but Bayne has the chops to do that.
The 2012 Daytona 500 kicks off this weekend, and Thursday's Gatorade Duel is a great start for all the race festivities.

Two 150-mile qualifying races determine the starting lineup for the 54th annual Daytona 500 will be very fun to watch. It will definitely get you in racing mode and pumped up for the Sunday's big show.

It's a perfect chance to prepare for the actual Daytona 500, but some drivers will be taking a more cautious route. Some will be aggressive and race like it were the main event, while others will try to avoid big packs to play it safe.

Drivers such as Michael Waltrip and Kenny Wallace don't have a spot in the field yet, so they'll be going all out in the Gatorade Duel to try to get one of the two transfer spots available in each Duel. With that said, let's look at some specifics leading up to the two duels.

*Don't forget to check back here to see who wins and what all happened.won Gatorade Duel 1, which now puts him in the third position behind Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle. Stewart recorded an average speed of 192.460 while leading for 21 of the 60 laps.

This was the third time Stewart won the Gatorade Duel, with his other wins coming in 2005 and 2007. Unfortunately, Stewart's teammate Danica Patrick crashed on lap 59. Hopefully she doesn't suffer the same fate in the big race on Sunday.

Robby Gordon and Michael McDowell also qualified for Sunday's race.

The race is scheduled to start shortly after 2 p.m. ET, but fans can tune into the SPEED channel starting at 1 p.m. for all things racing.

Drivers (car number in parenthesis) that have qualified for Gatorade Duel 1 in order of their speed are: att Kenseth came out on top in Gatorade Duel 2, placing him in the fourth position for Sunday's Daytona 500 behind Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle and Tony Stewart. Kenseth registered an average speed of 194.923 and led for 10 of the 60 laps, including the all-important final one.

Joe Nemecheck and Dave Blaney both earned transfer spots in The Great American Race thanks to their respective 17th- and 12th-place finishes on Thursday.

This race is scheduled to start at 4 p.m. ET. Keep watching on he SPEED channel starting at 1 p.m. for all the coverage.

Drivers (car number in parenthesis) that have qualified for Gatorade Duel 2 in order of their speed are:
The Great American Race, the “other” name for the Daytona 500, should be an event marked by great finishes, and the 500 certainly has filled that requirement over the years.

Picking the best finishes of NASCAR’s most important race is a tough task and a good starting point for some serious bar debates. Here’s a shot at the 10 best finishes of the 53 Daytona 500s, in calendar order:

The Longest Finish (1959) – The first Daytona 500 took only three hours and 41 minutes to run (remarkably, there were no caution flags), but three days were needed to decide the winner. Lee Petty and Johnny Beauchamp crossed the finish line side by side (along with the lapped car of Joe Weatherly), and Beauchamp originally was declared the winner. But, after several days of studying photographs and film of the finish, NASCAR president Bill France Sr. changed lanes and awarded the win to Petty.

The King Versus The Silver Fox (1976) – In possibly the most dramatic 500 finish, David Pearson won the race at an alarming speed of about 30 miles per hour. He and Richard Petty crashed in the fourth turn while racing for the win on the last lap, and Pearson kept the engine in his battered Mercury running despite the mayhem. He chugged across the finish line at a snail’s pace to score his only 500 victory.

A Fight To The Finish (1979) – The 1979 Daytona 500 is considered a landmark race in NASCAR history because of the swells of publicity it produced. Cale Yarborough and Donnie Allison crashed while racing for the win on the last lap. As Bobby Allison (Donnie’s brother) and Yarborough exchanged fisticuffs in the infield after the wreck, Richard Petty inherited the lead and scored his sixth 500 victory.

A Fuelish Victory (1981) – Richard Petty’s last Daytona 500 win was scored on pit road, and it resulted in one of the most emotional victory lanes in the race’s history. Dale Inman, Petty’s long-time crew chief, made the critical call to bring Petty in for fuel only late in the race, taking the chance that the Buick’s tires would last the rest of the way. Petty outran Bobby Allison by 3.5 seconds to win the race. Inman, who had decided to leave the Petty team after the race, cried in victory lane.

Like Father, Like Son (1988) – Father-and-son driving combinations fill NASCAR history, but one of the biggest days for family life in the sport occurred Feb. 14, 1988 when Bobby Allison won the 500 with his older son, Davey, coming home in second, two car lengths behind.

Earnhardt Can’t Cope (1990) – Dale Earnhardt’s long search for a win in his sport’s biggest race appeared to be at an end in the 1990 race before chaos erupted on the final lap. Earnhardt dominated the race, leading 155 laps, and was in front on the last lap. But he ran over a piece of debris, blowing a tire, and was forced to slow. Derrike Cope inherited the lead and scored one of the biggest upsets in 500 historyThe 1993 500 became the Dale (Earnhardt) and Dale (Jarrett) Show, and it ended with Jarrett scoring his first of three wins in the race. When it became apparent that Jarrett would be a key player on the final lap, CBS handed the play-by-play call of the finish to Ned Jarrett, Dale’s father, in the broadcast booth. Playing the role of cheerleader, Jarrett urged his son forward, saying, at one point, “All right, come on. Bring her to the inside, Dale. Don't let him get down there.” Jarrett beat Earnhardt to the finish by .16 of a second.

Finally, The Intimidator (1998) – Dale Earnhardt had “lost” the Daytona 500 in virtually every way imaginable. When he finally won the race on his 20th try, finishing in front of Bobby Labonte under caution, the sport celebrated with him. Crew members from every team lined up along pit road to congratulate Earnhardt as he made his way to what had been an elusive 500 victory lane.

Harvick Outguns Martin (2007) – The arrival of the green-white-checkered finish in NASCAR racing added a new dimension to the 500. The race added two extra G-W-C laps in 2007, and Kevin Harvick was the man on the move at the finish. As a huge accident erupted behind him, Harvick outran Mark Martin by .02 of a second to win the race. Behind Harvick, Clint Bowyer finished the race on his roof, his car aflame.

And A Child Shall Lead Them (2011) – The 2011 race finish pitted 20-year-old Trevor Bayne, a raw rookie, against the giants of the sport, and the kid won. Crashes extended the race into eight laps of overtime, and Bayne was the ultimate survivor, riding to the finish first with drafting help from Carl Edwards. Bayne’s win returned the Wood Brothers team to Daytona’s victory lane.

Mike Hembree is NASCAR Editor for SPEED.com and has been covering motorsports for 30 years. He is a six-time winner of the National Motorsports Press Association Writer of the Year Award.

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