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DAYTONA TIME! The Great American Race!!

Daytona International Speedway - Photo Courtesy of Daytona International Speedway

NASCAR Kicks Off Sunday with the Big One!

DAYTONA, USA – February 15, 2019 – Anthony Holbrook, Bluegrass Sports Nation

Just a few laps away and our fiercest gladiators will strap in their chariots of horsepower to challenge the 2.5 Superspeedway at Daytona International Speedway in quest for the Harley J. Earl Trophy.  Many ambitious drivers has attempted, only a few succeed.  A familiar No#. 3 Chevrolet was awarded as victor in the 2018 Daytona 500, piloted by Austin Dillion.

Before we drop the Green flag, let us reflect through the rear view mirror upon drivers, cars and regulations / specifications enforced by NASCAR for the ensuing season.

Drivers who have relocated, and or released this year follows

  1. Thirteen year veteran AJ Allmendiger has been released from JTG Daugherty Racing to pursue a career in NBC Broadcasting.
  2. Nine Year veteran Trevor Bayne has also been released by Roush Fenway Racing .
  3. Tanner Berryhill will be the full- season Driver for the #97 Toyota for Obaika Racing.
  4. Thirteen Year Veteran and Cup Champion Kurt Bush will leave Stewart Haas Racing and will drive the No 1 Hotrod owned by Chip Ganassi Racing
  5. Leavine Family Racing will gain Driver Matt DiBenedetto whom previous drove for GoFas Racing.
  6. Richard Childress Racing proclaimed Daniel Hemric to occupy the #8 Chevrolet for the 2019 Season.
  7. Kasey Kane formally announced in August 2018 of his retirement from NASCAR racing.  Fifteen years of racing, Kasey collected 18 Cup Career Wins.
  8. GoFas Racing announced Corey Lajoie will be joining their organization along with crew chief veteran Randy Cox in the 2019 season.
  9. Jamie McMurray will be vacating Chip Ganassi Racing, The Seventeen year veteran will assist with Fox Sport team broadcasting obligations in 2019.
  10.  Veteran Ryan Newman will leave Richard Childress Racing and transfer to Rouse Fenway Racing.  Newman has collected 18 victories in his 19 years of Cup racing.
  11.  Twenty Seven year old Ryan Preece signed a multi-year contract with JTG Daughtery Racing to drive the #47 Chevy Camaro ZL1.
  12.  Daniel Suarez has been appointed to Drive the #41 Stuart-Haas Ford , leaving Joe Gibbs Racing.
  13.  Matt Tifft will exit Richard Childress Racing and join the expansion of Front Row Motorsports, in car #36.
  14.  2017 Monster Cup NASCAR Champion Martin Truex Jr, will leave Furniture Row Racing and unite with crew chief Cole Pearn, joining the Joe Gibbs Racing #19 team.

NASCAR announced 2019 Package rule changes as follows:

  1. The  2019 New Package will include a Smaller Tapered Spacer to be utilized (Tracks larger than One Mile) which will reduce engine horsepower from 750 bph to 550 bph , complimenting closer racing.

 Additionally Taller Spoilers, Wider Radiator Pan and a Larger Splitter with a 2” overhang have been enforced for this year’s specifications.

  • NASCAR has limited teams to Goodyear Testing from three testing sessions, instead previous allowed 4.
  • The Driver – Adjustable Track Bar has been disallowed for the 2019 season.
  • NASCAR has tightened up Post Race Inspections for Team Winners and violators of the Rule Books will be disqualified and penalized accordingly.
  • NASCAR has changed and tweaked scheduling (Time allotment) procedures for Qualifying on majority of its tracks.

The Daytona 500 is classified as the most respectful and admired gem of Stock Car Racing. Very seldom does a Sporting Venue begin with an epic Event to start the Season.

The field will be led by Driver of the #24 Chevrolet William Byron who has won the rights of Pole Position, followed by teammate Driver #88 Chevrolet Alex Bowman,  locked his Chevy in 2nd position. Both teams are owned by Hendrick Motorsports.

 The remaining starting grid for 61st running of the “Great American Race” was determined upon Thursday night’s Daytona Can-Am Duel races finishing positions.

Duel 1 results set the inside row for the Daytona 500 starting lineup. Duel 2 set the outside row.

With the Can-Am Duel Qualifying completed, the official Daytona 500 starting lineup is set for “The Great American Race”.   

Starting Position Driver Team
1. William Byron Hendrick Motorsports
2. Alex Bowman Hendrick Motorsports
3. Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing
4. Joey Logano Team Penske
5. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Roush Fenway Racing
6. Clint Bowyer Stewart-Haas Racing
7. Paul Menard Wood Brothers Racing
8. Aric Almirola Stewart-Haas Racing
9. Matt DiBenedetto Leavine Family Racing
10. Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing
11. Martin Truex Jr. Joe Gibbs Racing
12. Kurt Busch Chip Ganassi Racing
13 Bubba Wallace Richard Petty Motorsports
14. Ryan Blaney Team Penske
15. Chris Buescher JTG Daugherty Racing
16. Jamie McMurray Spire Motorsports
17. Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports
18. Chase Elliott Hendrick Motorsports
19. Ryan Newman Roush Fenway Racing
20. Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing
21. Ryan Preece JTG Daugherty Racing
22. Ty Dillon Germain Racing
23. Daniel Suarez Stewart-Haas Racing
24. David Ragan Front Row Motorsports
25. Parker Kligerman* Gaunt Brothers Racing
26. Kyle Larson Chip Ganassi Racing
27. Landon Cassill Starcom Racing
28. Erik Jones Joe Gibbs Racing
29. Daniel Hemric Richard Childress Racing
30. Brendan Gaughan* Beard Motorsports
31. Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing
32. Corey LaJoie GO FAS Racing
33. Matt Tifft Front Row Motorsports
34. Michael McDowell Front Row Motorsports
35. Brad Keselowski Team Penske
36. Ross Chastain Premium Motorsports
37. Cody Ware Rick Ware Racing
38. BJ McLeod Petty Ware Racing
39. Tyler Reddick* Richard Childress Racing
40. Casey Mears* Germain Racing

 Green flag for the Annual Daytona 500 and the First Race of the 2019 Monster Cup Season drops Sunday February 17, 2019 @ 2;30 pm.  Fox Network

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