Ken de la Bastide column: Where are the teams for Daytona 500?

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Any time you can start your year off strong at the first race of the season is a big deal. I am enjoying the opportunities and feel privileged to be in this position. "You never really know how you're going to be until you get through Daytona and get through the first month, but it is neat to be considered one of the favorites already". "Hopefully, this is our breakthrough".

Last February at Daytona, Smithley was involved in a crash early in the race, and his day appeared to be done.

The 2018 NASCAR season gets underway on Sunday, Feb. 11, with qualifying for the Daytona 500 as well as the Advance Autoparts Clash.

"It was a good day, a great start to Speedweeks, and now there's two more to go", Keselowski said. The green flag time is set for 3:05 p.m. ET.

But while it would be easy to just start the Duel, do a lap and park the auto, ensuring you won't crash, it's not exactly that easy. Thursday's two 150-mile Can-Am Duels (broadcast on FS1, starting with the first qualifying race at 7 p.m., followed by the second around 8:30 p.m.) will determine the starting order of the rest of the field - and perhaps tip off the drivers, crews and fans as to which teams are the ones to beat over the weekend.

He had a piece of garbage stuck to the front of his Ford, and that appeared to be his only challenge. "I look for him to wind up on top, but something won't let go of Alex Bowman".

Ryan Blaney pulled out of line from behind Keselowski on the final lap in an attempt to beat his teammate, but he was left alone in the bottom lane and faded into traffic. But the championship definitely checks off the top five on the list of things you want to accomplish as a driver in this sport.

"If we could put ourselves in position again and win the biggest race of our year, that would be wonderful". And when I come to the track, I get a little more respect and that's always a good thing.

Defending-champion Kurt Busch (+2500) might be ruled out exclusively on the fact no driver has won in back-to-back years since 1995. Today (Wednesday) I will be conducting some driver interviews with Austin Dillon, Erik Jones, Kevin Harvick, and Ty Dillon as well as following along with the mainstream media coverage and driver interviews. Johnson's last Daytona victory was in 2013 when he won the 500 and then the July race. "I believe in him and he's got the experience to help me and I couldn't be in a better place with a better team to start this year in the Xfinity Series".

"In (eliminating the ride height rule) we make a significant advancement in liftoff speed", NASCAR vice president of innovation and racing development Gene Stefanyshyn said in October, via NASCAR.com. "I think, at this point, I've been maybe not in the NASCAR world too terribly long, but I've been racing long enough that people know who I am".

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