Originally written on Start 'N' Park Blog  |  Last updated 9/6/14
It has been over three months since Brad Keselowski was crowned champion during the 2012 season finale at Homestead-Miami. Come Sunday, the wait for Sprint Cup cars to begin their next season will come to an end. The 2013 season has arrived. The Daytona 500 is always the biggest race of the year but, this year, with the Gen 6 cars, it is likely the most anticipated Daytona 500 ever. The Gen 6 cars will be out on the track for their first real test on Sunday and all of the team’s off-season work will be shown. Daytona is here. The fifty-fifth running of the Daytona 500 will go green on Sunday February 24, 2013 at approximately 1:20 PM EST. The race will consist of 200 laps which make up the prestigious 500 miles. Unlike last year’s Daytona 500, the weather on Sunday is not expected to be a rainout but, a 30% chance of rain could bring some showers during the day. The high temperature will be 73 F and a low temperature will be 60 F. The race can be seen live on FOX and a radio broadcast of The Great American Race can be heard on MRN. This will be the first race of the season and therefore, the first race for the Gen 6 car that counts. One of the most memorable Daytona 500’s occurred last year. From rain, to fire the race had everything. It was the first Daytona 500 to be pushed back to Monday due to rain and the primetime race still had surprises to come. Juan Pablo Montoya crashed into the Jet Dryer in turn three which lit the jet fuel on fire and caused a long delay which lasted over two hours. Matt Kenseth would go on to hold off Greg Biffle and Dale Earnhardt Jr. to win the race but, the race didn’t end until 1 AM EST which made it the longest Daytona 500 from the scheduled green flag until the actual checkered flag. Just under 36 hours. All of NASCAR hopes that the race doesn’t go as long as it did last year but, we hope the same excitement can return this Sunday. Well, everything except the Jet Dryer incident. The field was set Thursday for the race and Danica Patrick held onto the pole during the Duel. Jeff Gordon will be starting to her outside on Sunday. A few drivers will be making their first start with their new team Sunday including Joey Logano and Matt Kenseth. Sunday’s race will also mark the first official race for Penske Racing with Ford. The Daytona 500 will also mark the first race in Brad Keselowski’s defense of his championship. The 2013 season starts Sunday and every team will look to start off the season strongly. My Fantasy Picks: Group A- Tony Stewart Group B- Kyle Busch, Marcos Ambrose Group C- Trevor Bayne This year’s Daytona 500 will definitely live up to the hype. With just about the whole world watching, the drivers will put on quite a show. The Gen 6 car will make the racing better than before and that will be obvious come Sunday. Any driver will be able to win this race if only they can position themselves in the right place at the right time on the final lap. Get ready because this Daytona 500 will be epic and it will definitely go down in the history book. Event Schedule (for the rest of the days leading up to the race) 11:00 AM- 12:00 PM EST (Friday) Sprint Cup Practice, televised on SPEED 12:30-1:30 PM EST (Friday) Sprint Cup Practice, televised on SPEED 10:30 AM-12:00 PM EST (Saturday) Sprint Cup Series Final Practice, televised on SPEED 1:00 PM EST (Sunday) The Daytona 500, televised on FOX Next Race- 3/3 Subway Fresh Fit 500k at the Phoenix International Speedway Avondale, Arizona Starting Lineup for the Daytona 500 Danica Patrick (#10) Jeff Gordon (#24) Kevin Harvick (#29) Kyle Busch (#18) Greg Biffle (#16) Kasey Kahne (#5) Juan Pablo Montoya (#42) Austin Dillon (#33) Jimmie Johnson (#48) Clint Bowyer (#15) Kurt Busch (#78) Matt Kenseth (#20) Tony Stewart (#14) Mark Martin (#55) Brad Keselowski (#2) Paul Menard (#27) Casey Mears (#13) Jeff Burton (#31) Dale Earnhardt Jr. (#88) Jamie McMurray (#1) Joey Logano (#22) David Ragan (#34) Bobby Labonte (#47) Marcos Ambrose (#9) David Gilliland (#38) Aric Almirola (#43) Joe Nemechek (#87) Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (#17) Michael Waltrip (#26) Dave Blaney (#7) Scott Speed (#95) Josh Wise (#35) Trevor Bayne (#21) Ryan Newman (#39) Denny Hamlin (#11) Carl Edwards (#99) Martin Truex Jr. (#56) Regan Smith (#51) Travis Kvapil (#93) David Reutimann (#83) Terry Labonte (#32) J.J Yeley (#36) Michael McDowell (#98) DNQ Mike Bliss (#19) Brian Keselowski (#52)  
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