Speed Week at Daytona has come to an end, except for the grand finale, The Great American Race, the Daytona 500. The week was filled with excitement. As a NASCAR fan, it’s hard to keep up with all the action, so here is a quick recap of the week:
Tuesday night The Clash took place on the Daytona Road Course. Kyle Busch snuck in for the win as Chase Elliot and Ryan Blaney fought for the win on the last lap. As Elliot slowed after turning Blaney, Kyle swooped in for the win.
Wednesday night was qualifying for the 500. Alex Bowman won the pole, making this the 4th year in row that Bowman is starting on the front row. His teammate, William Byron joins him on the front, starting second. Ryan Preece and David Ragan had the fastest speeds of non-charted drivers, which earned them a spot in the 500. The rest of the qualifying times set the line up for the Duels on Thursday.
Thursday night the two duels took place, which determined the rest of the starting lineup. Aric Amirola won the first duel, allowing Austin Cindric to earn a spot in the 500. The second duel was won by Austin Dillon, which allowed Kaz Grala to earn a spot in the 500. Ty Dillon, Timmy Hill, Noah Gragson, and Garret Smithey failed to earn a spot for The Great American Race.
Friday night the Truck Series took to the track in the Beef, It’s What’s For Dinner 300. Rafael Lassard won Stage 1 and John Hunter Nemechek won Stage 2, but Ben Rhoades took the final stage and checkered flag. Some rookies have shown that they deserve to be racing at this level, while others struggled. Carson Hoavard finished 5th, Chandler Smith finished 8th, and Kris Wright finished 11th. While Hailie Deegan and Chase Purdy ran well most of the race, they finished 24th and 29th respectively.
Saturday brought on a double header with both the Arca Menard Series and Xfinity Series taking to the track. Corey Heim, a rookie, won the Lucas Oil 200 in Arca, while a couple other rookies finished well too. Ty Gibbs came in 4th while Jack Woods came in 9th. The other rookies did not fair as well. While Gracie Trotter ran in the top 5 for the majority of the race, she finished 25th. Derek Griffith finished 30th and Nicholas Sanchez finished 31st.
After that the Xfinity Series took to the track in the NASCAR Racing Experience 300. Brandon Jones won Stage 1 and Brett Moffit won Stage 2. But at the final checkered flag, it was Austin Cindric who crossed the line first. The rookies in this race did not fair so well. Ryan Vargas finished 18th and Josh Berry finished 27th with a DNF. Sam Mayer and Jordan Anderson failed to make the race. Ty Gibbs, who was expected to run, did not.
Now the only thing left is The Great American Race, the Daytona 500. Green flag is scheduled to drop at 3:05, providing the rain stays away. A notable change to the lineup is that nine drivers will have to go to the back of the field due to either repairs or using a backup car. Those drivers include: Brad Keselowski, Chase Briscoe, Kaz Grala, William Byron, Anthony Alfredo, Cole Custer, Ross Chastain, Martin Truex Jr., and Erik Jones. Who will win? Will Denny Hamlin make history by being the first driver to win three in a row? Will a rookie surprise everyone and win? Watch on Fox to find out!