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Schedule and how one can watch 2024 NASCAR Cup opener

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The world-famous Daytona 500 will kickstart the 76th season of NASCAR racing the place Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney will start his championship defence.

Drivers will sort out 500 miles across the illustrious Daytona Worldwide Speedway that, simply lower than one month in the past, hosted the enthralling Daytona 24 Hours, the place Porsche Penske Motorsport won by 2.1 seconds ahead of Cadillac in a grandstand end on its 3.56-mile highway course.

However, from the week commencing 12 February, it will likely be time for America’s inventory automobiles to face the historic Florida venue’s 2.5-mile, high-banked oval with Ricky Stenhouse Jr getting into the race because the defending Daytona 500 winner.

Stenhouse Jr is one among seven Daytona 500 winners on this yr’s grid, but Blaney shouldn’t be one among them – having come extraordinarily shut and even been put within the wall by his Penske team-mate Austin Cindric on the sprint to the end line in 2022 – so will the newly-crowned Cup champion lastly clinch victory on the well-known speedway?

When is the Daytona 500?

Date: Sunday 18 February
Time: 7:30pm GMT/2:30pm ET

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The opening spherical of the 2024 NASCAR Cup season, the Daytona 500, begins at 7:30pm in the UK and a couple of:30pm native time on Sunday 18 February.

However, earlier than the Daytona 500, is qualifying on Wednesday and the Duel races that set the grid behind the entrance row on Thursday, main as much as Sunday’s essential occasion.

Date Session Session begin time
Wednesday 14 February ET/Thursday 15 February GMT Daytona 500 qualifying 1:15am GMT/8:15pm ET
Thursday 15 February ET/Friday 16 February GMT Duel Race 1 12am GMT/7pm ET
Thursday 15 February ET/Friday 16 February GMT Duel Race 2 1:45am GMT/8:45pm ET
Friday 16 February Daytona 500 Follow 1 10:35pm GMT/5:35pm ET
Saturday 17 February Daytona 500 Follow 2 3:30pm GMT/10:30am ET
Sunday 18 February Daytona 500 7:30pm GMT/2:30pm ET

Race winner Ricky Stenhouse Jr., JTG Daugherty Racing, Kroger/Cottonelle Chevrolet Camaro

Picture by: Rusty Jarrett / NKP / Motorsport Images

How does qualifying work for the Daytona 500?

Qualifying for the Daytona 500 is in contrast to something in motorsport, notably Components 1 – the place every little thing occurs on the identical weekend.

On the Tuesday earlier than, a random draw takes place and this decides the order automobiles will take to the monitor for Wednesday’s qualifying. The ultimate 20 spots, although, are given to the 20 highest scoring drivers from the earlier yr as a result of there is a bonus to setting a scorching lap later attributable to monitor evolution.

Qualifying for the Daytona 500 is a single-car, one-lap format. So, every driver will get one flying lap across the tri-oval and the 2 quickest automobiles will probably be locked into the front-row for Sunday’s Daytona 500. The opposite qualifying occasions decide the beginning grid for each Duel races, which determine the line-up from third to fortieth for the Daytona 500.

The Duels are of 60 laps, masking 150 miles, and the outcomes of the primary race decide the within row for the five hundred, whereas the second decides Sunday’s exterior row.

However 36 spots for the ‘Nice American Race’ are assured for chartered groups, who compete in each spherical throughout a NASCAR Cup season. This implies the opposite 4 spots are given to so-called ‘open groups’ who compete part-time, so there will probably be drivers who fail to qualify for the Daytona 500 if there are over 40 entrants [at the time of writing, there are 41 cars entered for this year’s edition].

The 2 quickest open groups in one-lap qualifying will routinely qualify for the five hundred with no need to compete within the Duels. The opposite two spots are then decided by each Duels and the ultimate 4 grid positions for the Daytona 500 are assigned to the open groups.

Solely after qualifying and the Duel races have been run, do two apply periods happen for race preparation on Friday and Saturday.

How can I watch the Daytona 500?

Kyle Larson, Hendrick Motorsports, HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro and Ricky Stenhouse Jr., JTG Daugherty Racing, Kroger/Cottonelle Chevrolet Camaro

Kyle Larson, Hendrick Motorsports, HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro and Ricky Stenhouse Jr., JTG Daugherty Racing, Kroger/Cottonelle Chevrolet Camaro

Picture by: Nigel Kinrade / NKP / Motorsport Images

Non-American viewers can watch the Daytona 500 by way of Viaplay Sports activities 1, which is able to broadcast sure periods in the course of the week.

Viaplay Sports activities 1 will first reside broadcast each Duels on Thursday 15 February with protection beginning at 11:30pm GMT. The channel will subsequent broadcast the Daytona 500 on Sunday 18 February with its pre-race protection starting at 6:30pm GMT – one hour earlier than lights out.

Viaplay Whole Month-to-month prices £14.99 monthly for brand spanking new prospects.

Date Session Community Programme begin time
Thursday 15 February Duel Races 1 and a couple of Viaplay Sports activities 1 11:30pm GMT
Sunday 18 February Daytona 500 Viaplay Sports activities 1 6:30pm GMT

The place can I watch highlights of the Daytona 500?

Final yr, the NASCAR on FOX YouTube channel uploaded highlights quickly after the Daytona 500 had completed, whereas doing the identical for the periods which preceded it that week.

The official NASCAR YouTube channel presently has a full replay of the 2023 Daytona 500, so observe the varied NASCAR platforms to observe a highlights package deal – or the complete race once more – as quickly because it drops.

What sort of monitor is Daytona Worldwide Speedway?

The Daytona layout lends itself to drafting

The Daytona format lends itself to drafting

Picture by: Rusty Jarrett / NKP / Motorsport Images

Daytona’s tri-oval course is a 2.5-mile format with 4 designated corners which have a 31-degree banking, whereas it’s an 18-degree banking alongside the start-finish space, which is sited within the grandstand-lined tri-oval part.

The Daytona 500 options 200 laps of the oval, which takes near 4 hours to finish. It’s one among three Cup circuits thought of to be “drafting tracks” – when automobiles line up one behind one another to get a pace enhance just like the slipstream – alongside Talladega Superspeedway and Atlanta Motor Speedway.

That is totally different to the sportscar course used for the Daytona 24 Hours, which is a 3.56-mile format with 12 corners together with all 4 banked turns however among the infield part as properly.

Daytona 500 climate forecast

Occasional rain showers are forecast for the 2024 Daytona 500 weekend, with air temperature going as much as 20C whereas drivers are more likely to face a stout breeze as properly, which at all times impacts the drafting.

Contemplating Daytona’s location alongside the Florida shoreline, rain shouldn’t be too frequent on the 500 attributable to its February date. However long-range forecasts are sometimes unreliable attributable to its tropical local weather.

When it final rained for the five hundred, in 2021, the race was delayed by virtually six hours – so when showers do fall on the speedway, they hit onerous! As with many of the American oval racing, the automobiles won’t run if it does rain as they solely use slick tyres.

Nonetheless, climate in the course of the previous week shouldn’t be too unhealthy with Daytona 500 qualifying and the Duels each anticipated to happen in sunny situations on Wednesday and Thursday.

NASCAR at Daytona schedule

Date and time Occasion
Wednesday 14 February ET/Thursday 15 February GMT  
1:15am GMT/8:15pm ET NASCAR Cup Daytona 500 Qualifying
Thursday 15 February ET/Friday 16 February GMT  
10:05pm GMT/5:05pm ET NASCAR Truck Sequence Follow
12am GMT/7pm ET NASCAR Cup Duel Race 1
1:45am GMT/8:45pm ET NASCAR Cup Duel Race 2
Friday 16 February ET/Saturday 17 February GMT  
8pm GMT/3pm ET NASCAR Truck Sequence Qualifying
9:35pm GMT/4:35pm ET NASCAR Xfinity Sequence Follow
10:35pm GMT/5:35pm ET NASCAR Cup Daytona 500 Follow 1
12:30am GMT/7:30pm ET NASCAR Truck Sequence Daytona 250
Saturday 17 February  
3:30pm GMT/10:30am ET Daytona 500 Follow 2
4:30pm GMT/11:30am ET NASCAR Xfinity Sequence Qualifying
10pm GMT/5pm ET NASCAR Xfinity Sequence Daytona 300
Sunday 18 February  
7:30pm GMT/2:30pm ET Daytona 500

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