It's that time again. NASCAR is back in Daytona, and this year it's a whole different race - and racetrack.
For the first time since 1979, the Daytona International Speedway has a brand-new asphalt surface, as part of a $20 million repaving project that kicked off after the Coke Zero 400 last July. The rough surface that wore tires and created a battle of the best handling cars on NASCAR's biggest stage has been replaced with a smooth-as-glass blacktop that will promote fast, tight-packed racing for all of Speedweeks.
The fun kicked off last night, with Kurt Busch winning a wild Budweiser Shootout. Today, the drivers and teams are racing the stopwatch as they battle for the pole for the 53rd Daytona 500. Only the top two positions will be set today, with the rest of the field being composed Thursday as part of a week of on-track action.
While the Daytona 500 is the pinnacle of stock car racing, NASCAR's other two national series - the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series - are also in action this week at the World Center of Racing.
The track is closed for activity Monday and Tuesday, but things heat back up Wednesday and don't cool off until the checkered flag is waved at the end of Sunday's running of the Great American Race. Best of all, every practice, qualifying session, and race is televised, so tune in and catch all of the action that makes Speedweeks at Daytona the biggest event in stock car racing.
Wednesday, February 16
10:30 am: NASCAR Sprint Cup Practice 1 (SPEED)
1:30 pm: NASCAR Sprint Cup Practice 2 (SPEED)
4:30 pm: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Practice (SPEED)
Thursday, February 17
10:00 am: NASCAR Nationwide Series Practice (ESPN2)
12:00 pm: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Practice (SPEED)
2:00 pm: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Gatorade Duel (SPEED)
6:30 pm: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Final Practice (SPEED)
Friday, February 18
11:00 am: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Practice 1 (SPEED)
12:30 am: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Practice 2 (SPEED)
2:30 pm: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Qualifying (SPEED)
4:00 pm: NASCAR Nationwide Series Qualifying (ESPN2)
7:30 pm: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series NextEra Energy Resorcues 250 (SPEED)
Saturday, February 19
10:30 am: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Final Practice (SPEED)
1:15 pm: NASCAR Nationwide Series Drive4COPD 300 (ESPN2)
Sunday, February 20
1:00 pm: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 (FOX)