The 2012 Nascar Season's unofficial start will begin on Saturday with the Budweiser Shootout. While being a non-points race, the Shootout is an invitation-only, All-Star matchup if you will, for the Nascar season. The race features 25 top drivers that will race a 25 lap opening segment which is followed by a 10 minute red flag which will allow for race car adjustments before starting a 50-lap battle to the finish.
Qualifying for the Daytona 500 will begin on Sunday with front row spots in the starting grid at stake. That will be followed by the Gatorade Duels which are a pair of 150-mile qualifying races that will determine the rest of the field for the race.
The 54th running of the Daytona 500 will be held on February 26 featuring a standard 43-car field in what is Nascar's biggest event of the season.
Here is a look at the complete schedule including times and broadcast information:
Saturday, February 18
Budweiser Shootout - 8:00 pm ET - FOX
Thursday, February 23
Gatorade Duel 1 - 2:00 pm ET - Speed
Gatorade Duel 2 - 4:00 pm ET - Speed
Sunday, February 26
Dayton 500 - 1:00 pm ET - FOX