2014 Daytona 500 (Sprint Unlimited): NASCAR Sprint Cup Starting Line-up & Race Preview
By Mike Sulka
The 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup season kicks it up a gear tonight as the 2nd annual Sprint Unlimited (formerly Budweiser Shootout) fires up with a 75 lap no points, only glory race as 18 of NASCAR's top stars take to the track. Tonight there is only one goal, and that is to win!
The annual race takes place at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida just one weekend before the Super Bowl of racing... the 2014 Daytona 500!
The format tonight will be decided by the fans. All we know right now is that it will be a 75-lap, 187.5-mile race with three segments.
As for providing the Pole sitter, we can't yet. Or even a starting line-up.
That will be up to the fans in attendance on race day. We'll update the starting line-up as soon as possible, so kept refreshing this page.
What we do know is that the drivers in the event will be: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Matt Kenseth, Ryan Newman, Marcos Ambrose, Denny Hamlin, Tony Stewart, Danica Patrick, Carl Edwards, Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, Jamie McMurray, Jeff Gordon, Terry Labonte, and Jimmie Johnson.
If you are looking for trends, there are a few interesting tidbits. Since 2001 Joe Gibbs Racing has won four times (2001, 2002, 2006, 2007). Three times with Tony Stewart - starting 15th - at the wheel, and once with Denny Hamlin - starting 16th.
Hendrick Motorsports also has multiple wins - since 2001 - with victories in 2005 (Jimmie Johnson) & 2008 (Dale Earnhardt Jr.). Four-time Cup champion Jeff Gordon has won this event twice, but hasn't won since 1997 - his other victory came in 1994.
You might also keep an eye on Richard Childress Racing's Kevin Harvick who won in 2009, 2010 and was last year's winner - 2013.
So enjoy tonight's first taste of NASCAR Sprint Cup race action! And if you haven't voted, get out and vote!