Countdown to the Daytona 500: NASCAR’s Season Opener at Daytona International Speedway

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Daytona 500 schedule and how to watch 2024 NASCAR Cup opener

The 76th season of NASCAR racing is set to kick off with the highly anticipated Daytona 500, featuring Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney defending his championship title.

Drivers will navigate 500 miles around the iconic Daytona International Speedway, which recently hosted the thrilling Daytona 24 Hours race, won by Porsche Penske Motorsport in a nail-biting finish.

The defending Daytona 500 champion, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, along with six other past winners, will vie for victory at the historic Florida venue.

Countdown to the Daytona 500: NASCAR's Season Opener at Daytona International Speedway
Countdown to the Daytona 500: NASCAR’s Season Opener at Daytona International Speedway (Credits: Nascar)

The Daytona 500 is scheduled for Sunday, February 18, at 2:30 pm ET. Leading up to the main event are qualifying on Wednesday and the Duel races on Thursday, which determine the starting grid.

Qualifying for the Daytona 500 involves a unique single-car, one-lap format. The top two fastest cars secure front-row positions, while the Duel races determine the rest of the lineup.

A total of 36 spots are guaranteed for chartered teams, with the remaining four spots contested by open teams.

American viewers can catch the action on FOX, with pre-race coverage starting on FS1. Non-American viewers can watch via Viaplay Sports 1.

Highlights of the Daytona 500 will be available on various NASCAR platforms, including YouTube.

Daytona International Speedway features a 2.5-mile tri-oval course with high banking, making it one of NASCAR’s premier “drafting tracks.”

Weather forecasts predict occasional rain showers during the race weekend, which could impact the event.

The NASCAR at Daytona Speedweeks schedule includes various events leading up to the Daytona 500 on February 18.

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By Jayson O'Neil

Jayson is a car-o-holic, and you will often find him writing about cars & bikes here at DaxStreet. You can reach out to him at [email protected]

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