Still the big one: Drivers hold Daytona 500 in high esteem

Cup racing is back with the Daytona 500

NASCAR officials and fans have to be disappointed only 40 teams were entered for the Daytona 500 on Sunday.

You might have seen that Bowman, Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s successor in the No. 88 vehicle, won the pole for the 500.

This one sort of bends the rules, but we're really talking about a handful of guys: Alex Bowman, William Byron and Darrell Wallace Jr.

The NASCAR season continues next Thursday with the Cam-Am Duels and then has its first full-length race the following Sunday with the running of the Daytona 500. It's a record-tying fourth consecutive year a Hendrick auto has won the Daytona 500 pole. Byron especially is interesting, given his meteoric rise through the ranks of NASCAR (he spent one season each in the two lower divisions, winning the Xfinity Series championship in 2017).

It's a good deal for Carpenter with Patrick bringing along the "Go Daddy" sponsorship dollars for what is believed to be her final race.

While he waited, Bowman sat on the sidelines. "I just focus on what I have to do". "You know, everything happens for a reason". Denny Hamlin, who won the 2016 race, will start second. And instead of any of them, I'm going with. "I got to make a lot of mistakes without anybody watching". And that's great, and probably to be expected if you're going to compete in a race to try and do you best.

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The Great American Race marks the beginning of the NASCAR calendar and was won by Kurt Busch previous year, although the defending champion finished half a second off Bowman's pace in Sunday's qualifying to end the session in 17th.

Hendrick looks at this as a chance to give three young drivers a chance to develop on the job. Byron was joined by Hendrick and fellow NASCAR legend Jeff Gordon at Liberty's first fall Convocation later that month when it was announced that he would inherit the No. 24 vehicle from Jeff Gordon, NASCAR's winningest Cup Series driver of the modern era. Earnhardt got Bowman this shot at Hendrick.

Junior is being replaced by 24-year-old Alex Bowman in the Hendrick Motorsports No. 88 auto, and all Bowman did was win the pole for Sunday's 500.

Su√°rez finished 29th in last year's race.

It's nearly time to run the Great American Race. "He paid his dues, and he deserves to be here". He was like a human computer for them.



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