Ryan Blaney wins first Daytona 500 qualifying race

Ryan Blaney wins first Daytona 500 qualifying race

This time, Ryan Blaney went to victory lane after winning the first of two Thursday night qualifying races that are used to set the Daytona 500 field. That puts Logano at the front of the pack. Brad Keselowski won last week's all-star race and Joey Logano has finished second to his teammates in both events. He's the man to beat. He said you're welcome for the push to you.

A lot has happened since the last checkered flag in November, when the sport saw the end of an era and edged nervously toward the unknown of 2018. Don't discount the guy in the No. 78 Toyota, however. And while Keselowski will generate plenty of attention despite starting at the back of the field, teammates Logano and Blaney are also expected to be in the hunt. Coverage of this year's race includes the introduction of Visor Cam, the return (and refinement) of the dedicated Car Channels on Fox Sports GO, and - in an industry first - a tethered drone that will provide live coverage from behind the backstretch at Daytona International Speedway.

"The cars are just so unstable", Elliott said. Many postulate that it was the pairing at the start of the 2015 season with rookie crew chief Cole Pearn, himself somewhat of an oddity as a Canadian in NASCAR's decidedly Southern ranks.

Elliott will win the Daytona 500 because he's way overdue to win a race, and he's good at Daytona. Fans have grown accustomed to seeing their favorite drivers up close thanks to in-car cameras, but, on Sunday, they'll be able to see what the driver sees.

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series still has practices slated for Friday and Saturday before the start of Sunday's 500.

By the way, the Streamline, the place where NASCAR was born, is newly renovated and billed as a boutique hotel, featuring deco style with a modern flair. It's a NASCAR moment that has stood the test of time.

"There was nothing I could do", said Almirola, who was competing for the first time in his new ride with SHR.

You don't need a calculator to figure out that even a backpacker with his left-turn signals on is going to have a chance to win the Great American Race. Points are awarded to the top-10 finishers, a small amount that could still make the difference by Indy in early September. Will this be the year that Kahne finally finishes on top? McMurray is a driver that has had some success at Daytona. Hamlin will start alongside Bowman in the second spot.

The teams appear to have gone back to the days when teams like the Wood Brothers taught everyone how to run a pit stop and drivers named Petty and Earnhardt taught everyone how to run a race. Since it's a superspeedway any of the 40 cars has a shot at winning.

Kaulig Racing has found success in the Xfinity Series by making the playoffs each of the past two seasons. RBR driver David Gilliland is a +12,500 longshot.

Denny Hamlin - Always strong in Daytona, the 2016 victor of the 500 has a strong team and Joe Gibbs Racing is prepared to put him back on the top of the podium. He had to sit out all of past year as he waited, but Hendrick made it up to him with an engine that has him on the Daytona 500 pole. Busch is +1,200 to repeat. Only five other drivers have completed the Clash-Daytona double.

The lineup for Sunday's Daytona 500 will be figured out tonight with the Can-Am Duels. His 6/1 odds are nice as he has a strong history at Daytona with three wins in his career.

The race results were encouraging for the sport in general. The last of those 2017 wins came way back on June 4 at Dover, the 13th race of the season. Simply finishing the 500 in one piece would be a major accomplishment for a seven-time champion in rebuild mode. He won only three races - none after June - and finished 10th in the final points standings.

Owning the pole position at Daytona has not necessarily been conducive to success in the race.

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