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Feb 23, 2014 - 06:59 AM
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2014 Daytona 500: NASCAR Sprint Cup Starting Line-Up & Race Preview
Posted by: ASkyler on Feb 23, 2014 - 06:49 AM
NASCAR News
2014 Daytona 500: NASCAR Sprint Cup Starting Line-Up & Race Preview


By Mike Sulka

Three weekends ago was the annual Super Bowl, but today is the Super Bowl of racing! The 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup season series kicks off for the 56th time at the paved 2.5-mile d-shaped oval at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida.

NASCAR has been running at the Florida-based circuit since 1959 when Lee Petty won the first event. While IndyCar's Indianapolis 500 and Formula One F1's Monaco Grand Prix may be better known - and watched - world-wide, the is no question in the United States that the Daytona 500 is racing's biggest race of the year. And it is NASCAR's biggest race of the year.

Since 2000, only three drivers have won this event twice - Michael Waltrip (2001 & 2003), Matt Kenseth (2009 & 2012) and Jimmie Johnson (2005 & 2013). That's an amazing eleven different winners in the last fourteen races. If you are looking for an element of predictability, the Daytona 500 isn't it. There are few if any significant trends, other than... avoid the big one.

But we can predict this: 20-car pack finishes are back and mayhem is always lurking.

Among active drivers, Jeff Gordon has the most Daytona 500 wins with three. Gordon also has six career victories at the track out of 40 starts. Gordon has 6667 of 7062 laps completed for an amazing 94.4% at a track known for tearing up cars. But Gordon hasn't won at Daytona since 2005, and his best finish since then is a fifth place result in 2007.

Today, he starts sixth. But, when it comes to winning, it would seem Gordon's luck has run out and we'll have to look elsewhere.

So trying to find some trend to hang out hat on let's look at the 2014 results so far... Denny Hamlin won the Sprint Unlimited, Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth won their qualifying Duels, and the Daytona 500 Pole went to Austin Dillon.

However, we are going to be sentimental today and pick Austin Dillon and the No 3 for the win. It would be a great storybook win.

However, if Dillon falters or gets caught in the big-one, keep an eye on Dale Earnhardt Jr. We still believe that Junior can be a regular winner in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series, if he can just find that something he's been missing in recent years. And if you'd like a statistic to back that up, Junior was the second best driver at Daytona in 2010 with a second place finish in the Daytona 500 and two second place finishes at the 2012 & 2013 Daytona 500s.

So enjoy the race! Its going to be another close Daytona finish as the NASCAR Nationwide and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series events have already shown. Its money time now, and every driver wants this win.

May the best man - or woman - win!

 

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56th Annual Daytona 500 - Starting Line Up by Row
Daytona International Speedway
Provided by NASCAR Statistics - Fri, February 21, 2014 @ 10:50 AM Eastern
Driver Date Time Speed
Track Race Record: Bill Elliott 02/08/87 12:15:10 197.802
Row Pos Car Driver Team Manufacturer
Row 1: 1 3 Austin Dillon# DOW Chevrolet
Row 1: 2 78 Martin Truex. Jr. Furniture Row Chevrolet
Row 2: 3 20 Matt Kenseth Dollar General Toyota
Row 2: 4 11 Denny Hamlin FedEx Express Toyota
Row 3: 5 5 Kasey Kahne Farmers Insurance Chevrolet
Row 3: 6 24 Jeff Gordon Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet
Row 4: 7 9 Marcos Ambrose Stanley Ford
Row 4: 8 41 Kurt Busch Haas Automation Chevrolet
Row 5: 9 88 Dale Earnhardt. Jr. National Guard Chevrolet
Row 5: 10 27 Paul Menard Peak/Menards Chevrolet
Row 6: 11 98 Josh Wise Curb Records Ford
Row 6: 12 33 Brian Scott(i) Whitetail Chevrolet
Row 7: 13 43 Aric Almirola Smithfield Ford
Row 7: 14 21 Trevor Bayne(i) Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire&Auto Center Ford
Row 8: 15 47 AJ Allmendinger Kroger/USO Chevrolet
Row 8: 16 42 Kyle Larson# Target Chevrolet
Row 9: 17 38 David Gilliland Loves Travel Stops Ford
Row 9: 18 40 Landon Cassill Carsforsale.com Chevrolet
Row 10: 19 31 Ryan Newman Caterpillar Chevrolet
Row 10: 20 15 Clint Bowyer 5-hour Energy Toyota
Row 11: 21 14 Tony Stewart Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet
Row 11: 22 1 Jamie McMurray McDonalds Chevrolet
Row 12: 23 26 Cole Whitt# Speed Stick Gear Toyota
Row 12: 24 32 Terry Labonte C&J Energy Services Ford
Row 13: 25 16 Greg Biffle 3M Ford
Row 13: 26 52 Bobby Labonte Phoenix Construction Chevrolet
Row 14: 27 10 Danica Patrick GoDaddy Chevrolet
Row 14: 28 13 Casey Mears GEICO Chevrolet
Row 15: 29 23 Alex Bowman# Borla Exhaust Toyota
Row 15: 30 99 Carl Edwards Fastenal Ford
Row 16: 31 55 Brian Vickers Aarons Dream Machine Toyota
Row 16: 32 48 Jimmie Johnson Lowes Chevrolet
Row 17: 33 2 Brad Keselowski Miller Lite Ford
Row 17: 34 17 Ricky Stenhouse. Jr. Nationwide Insurance Ford
Row 18: 35 22 Joey Logano Shell Pennzoil Ford
Row 18: 36 7 Michael Annett# Pilot/Flying J Travel Centers Chevrolet
Row 19: 37 18 Kyle Busch M&Ms Toyota
Row 19: 38 4 Kevin Harvick Budweiser Chevrolet
Row 20: 39 36 Reed Sorenson Golden Corral Chevrolet
Row 20: 40 51 Justin Allgaier# Brandt Professional Agriculture Chevrolet
Row 21: 41 30 Parker Kligerman# Swan Energy Toyota
Row 21: 42 66 Michael Waltrip BlueDEF/AAA Toyota
Row 22: 43 34 David Ragan CSX - Play It Safe Ford


Did Not Qualify: #83 Ryan Truex; #95 Michael McDowell; #87 Joe Nemechek(i); #93 Morgan Shepherd(i); #35 Eric McClure(i); #77 Dave Blaney.
Manufacturer Starting Lineup DNQs Manufacturer Starting Lineup DNQs

(i) Ineligible for driver points in this series



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