The wait is finally over for NASCAR fans.
The 2014 season for all three national series – Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series – kicks off at Daytona International Speedway for Speedweeks beginning Friday and culminating Sunday, February 23, with the Daytona 500.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series christens the new season this weekend with the Sprint Unlimited – formerly the Budweiser Shootout – on Saturday evening followed by Daytona 500 pole qualifying on Sunday afternoon.
The Sprint Unlimited, which will be televised live on FOX Sports 1 beginning at 7:15 p.m. CT, consists of the pole winners for all the 2013 Sprint Cup season events as well as past winners of the race who have also attempted to qualify for at least one Cup race during the past season. The non-points race will have a new twist this season for the fans as its carrying the tagline, “It’s their race, your rules.”
Fans have the opportunity to vote as often as they like on NASCAR.com to determine three key components of the 75-race, 187.5-mile restrictor-plate race at Daytona. They are:
- Determining whether the final segment should be 10, 15 or 20 laps
- Determining if the starting line-up should be set by most career poles, 2013 driver points or final Unlimited practice speeds
- Determining if the restart order for the final segment should be based off the fastest lap in the first two segments, most laps led in the segments or a race off pit road after a mandatory pit stop
Voting currently is open and your vote counts twice if you cast using the NASCAR.com mobile app.
The LVH Super Book out of Las Vegas already has posted its opening Sprint Unlimited odds with defending champion Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch and Dale Earnhardt Jr. as the favorites at 7:1 and six-time and defending Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson at 8:1.
On Sunday beginning at 12:05 p.m. CT live on FOX, qualifying will get underway for the Daytona 500. The new qualifying format announced in January does not apply to the Daytona 500, which will preserve its historic and unique qualifying format. The new qualifying procedure will debut with the NASCAR Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series events at Daytona.
Qualifying will lock in the front row for the Daytona 500 as well as set the starting fields for the Budweiser Duels 150-Mile Qualifying Races (60 laps) on Thursday, Feb. 20, that will determine the starting positions for the Daytona 500. The Duels also will have a new look as the traditional afternoon race will now move to the evening, with a 6 p.m. CT start live on FOX Sports 1.
The green flag for the Daytona 500 will be Noon CT on Sunday, Feb. 23.
Click here http://www.nascar.com/en_us/news-media/articles/2014/1/10/daytona-nascar-speedweeks-schedule-duels.html for a full Speedweeks schedule with television coverage information.