Sport Hembree: Daytona 500 could jump-start drivers seeking to reach the next gear

23:52  14 february  2018
23:52  14 february  2018 Source:   usatoday.com

Advance Auto Parts Clash at Daytona: Start time, lineup, how to watch

  Advance Auto Parts Clash at Daytona: Start time, lineup, how to watch Find out when the Advance Auto Parts Clash at Daytona starts, what the lineup is and how to watch it.The event has been a season-opening NASCAR staple since 1979 and will be preceded by the pole qualifying for the Daytona 500.

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the Conversation Guidelines and FAQs. Hembree : Daytona 500 could jump - start drivers After the Richmond experience, Logano and his team drove into a dark place. In the next five races, he finished 32nd, 37th, 21st, 25th and 23rd.

HEMBREE : Daytona 500 could lift drivers seeking next gear . The races are likely to be entertaining as drivers maneuver their cars and test their limits in the last competitive action prior to the 500 , but the drama associated with a make-or-break run into the 500 field is over.

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — It’s a new year in NASCAR, and hope springs eternal.

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This is the top of the trophy they all seek heading into the Daytona 500 .John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports. According to Mike Hembree of USA Today, included in this year's arsenal of There are a number of drivers who could win their first Daytona 500 .Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports.

Petty became the first driver to win the Daytona 500 in three different decades. Concerned about a damaged right front fender, Marlin jumped out of his car and started pulling the fender away from the tire. It was the first time the Daytona 500 reached last night television.

The long, silent winter is over. In the infield at Daytona International Speedway, fan RVs have popped up like flowers after a spring rain. Along the beach, you can buy three t-shirts for 10 bucks. Not that you’d necessarily want to do that.

Inside the garage area, where the real work is done, mechanics are under and around brand new race cars, each team not only gunning for a win in the world’s most important stock car race but also looking for a strong start to the 36-race season, one of sports’ longest.

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How teams do here is not indicative of how they will perform throughout the year. Kurt Busch, last year’s Daytona 500 winner, is evidence. He didn’t win the rest of the season.

But Daytona is big. The biggest.

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Daytona 500 pole position winners for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series's Daytona 500 are rewarded with being the driver to lead the field across the start line at the beginning of the 200-lap 500 -mile (800 km) race.

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Of the dozens of drivers pointing toward the 500 and beyond, several, perhaps, are a bit needier than most.

Atop that list is Joey Logano, who had a mysterious sort of season last year.

Logano missed the playoffs, and he did so despite winning a race. A victory-lane visit practically guarantees a playoff spot, but Logano’s Richmond winning car didn’t pass post-race inspection, and his win immediately was labeled “encumbered,” a rather mystical term that has been banished from NASCAR’s vocabulary this year. It will not be missed.

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After the Richmond experience, Logano and his team drove into a dark place. In the next five races, he finished 32nd, 37th, 21st, 25th and 23rd. He had eight top-10 finishes in the season’s first nine races but then had only nine top 10s the rest of the season.

The No. 22 team missing the playoffs was like the Patriots being absent from the Super Bowl. It’s not supposed to happen. It doesn’t fit the plans of the Captain, Roger Penske, who is used to racing the best and often beating them.

2018 Daytona 500: Live updates, highlights and results

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1991 Daytona 500 . From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Jump to: navigation, search. The pit stall selection was staggered to prevent drivers in neighboring stalls from pitting at the same time On the next time around, an orange flag would be waved, allowing the cars with orange stickers (even) to pit

Put a checkmark by Logano as a driver looking for redemption.

Also on that list is Chase Elliott, who is only 22 years old but already has people asking, “Dude, when you gonna win?”

Elliott did everything but win last year. He was second five times, third three times, fourth one time and fifth twice. In 2016, his rookie season, he had 10 top-five runs but no wins.

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Son of Bill Elliott, one of the most popular drivers in the sport’s history, Chase takes the “losses” very hard. Support from Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson, who has been there and done that, has been important.

The feeling about Elliott is that when he finally wins the dam will burst and a chain of victories will follow. Sunday will be the first chance this year for the breakthrough moment.

And then there is the case of Denny Hamlin, who as a kid racer met Joe Gibbs and told him he one day would drive for him. Remarkably, that prediction came true. In Hamlin’s first full season (2006) with Gibbs, he finished third in points, and many assumed the path to a championship had been paved

Trump promotes his ‘great friends from NASCAR’ ahead of Daytona 500

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1959 Daytona 500 . From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Jump to: navigation, search. Petty took the lead with 3 laps left, and led at the start of the final lap. I glanced over to Lee Petty's car as I crossed the finish line and I could see his headlight slightly back of my car.

1994 Daytona 500 . From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Jump to: navigation, search. Weather. Mild with temperatures reaching up to 77 °F (25 °C); wind speeds approaching 14 miles per hour (23 km/h). During Speedweeks, on the first day of practice for the Daytona 500 , legendary driver Neil

Despite a noteworthy career (including 31 Cup wins), Hamlin, now 37, hasn’t been able to close the door on the championship. He has been second, third (twice), fifth, sixth (three times) and ninth (twice).

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Hamlin remains confident he’ll reach the gold ring. He compares his situation to Dale Earnhardt Sr.’s long drought in the Daytona 500, one that ended in victory (in 1998) after two decades.

“Dale Earnhardt was the greatest Daytona driver for how many years before he won it? 20 years, right?” Hamlin said. “He dominated every time. Every year he was in contention. He just never won. He kept putting himself up front and in contention, and he won.

“That’s the way I'm going to keep approaching my career and keep grinding on the door."

The grind continues Sunday.

Related slideshow: History of the Daytona 500


Kyle Busch wins Atlanta pole, Wallace still in spotlight .
Darrell "Bubba" Wallace Jr. was the hot topic even as Kyle Busch won the pole Friday at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Busch will start in front Sunday in the second race of the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup season after edging Ryan Newman in a close battle.Busch overcame handling problems in the first two rounds of qualifying to win the pole with a lap of 184.652 mph in the third round. Busch won his 28th career pole, and his first at Atlanta.Busch beat Newman's 184.419 mph.Wallace will start 19th, in the middle of the 36-car field.

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