The 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season is getting ready to rev up with the 60th running of the Daytona 500 on Feb. 18 at 2:30 p.m. ET. Before that, drivers will participate in multiple rounds of qualifying while others are set to compete in the Advance Auto Parts Clash.
How to watch the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Daytona 500
Location: Daytona International Speedway
Date: Sunday, Feb. 18
Time: 2:30 p.m. ET
Length: 200 laps/500 miles
Stage 1: Ends on lap 60
Stage 2: Ends on lap 120
Final stage: Scheduled for lap 200
Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
NASCAR kicks off stock-car racing’s Super Bowl on Sunday with the 58th running of the Daytona 500 (1 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Forty drivers, one champion. Here are things to consider ahead of Sunday’s Great American Race.
As far as qualifying goes, here’s how it works: All 40 cars on the preliminary entry list will line up the Sunday before the Great American Race and run through the standard single car, two-round knockout system. The two fastest cars at the end of the session will start on the front row for the Daytona 500. The rest of the field will then compete four days later on Thursday as part of two Can-Am Duels. Driver placement in these 60 lap races will determine where they start for NASCAR’s Super Bowl.
In between front row qualifying and the duels comes the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Advance Auto Parts Clash. This is the unofficial start to the season. There is a large cash purse involved. However, drivers are not eligible to earn points towards the 2018 season. Think of it like the Hall of Fame game in the NFL preseason.
Not every driver will be competing in the Clash. Eligible drivers include those who raced full-time in 2017 and won a Daytona 500 pole in their career, last season’s pole starters as well as all 16 who competed in the playoffs last year. Matt Kenseth is the only playoff participant from last season not participating in the race while Danica Patrick and Dale Earnhardt Jr. are also choosing not to compete. Joey Logano and Erik Jones are the two non 2017 playoff drivers expected to race in the Clash.
As far as the Daytona 500 itself goes, the spotlight shifts from Dale Earnhardt Jr. to the young up-and-comers. Playoff contenders Chase Elliott (last year’s pole winner) and Ryan Blaney along with rookies William Byron and Darrell “Bubba” Wallace will be looking to make their mark. Erik Jones and Daniel Suarez are among those looking for success in their sophomore campaigns while Alex Bowman takes over for Dale Jr. in the No. 88.
The Great American Race will also signal Danica Patrick’s farewell to NASCAR. Patrick announced before the end of last season that her final two races would be the Daytona 500 and Indianapolis 500. The 35-year-old will be teaming up with original sponsor GoDaddy in the No. 7 for her sendoff.
Martin Truex Jr. is preparing to begin his title defense in the same state where he won the 2017 Championship less than three months ago. The 37-year-old won eight races, including the final one at Homestead Miami-Speedway. Truex has an average finish of 18.28 at Daytona, with his best being second place in 2016. 2018 Daytona 500
How to watch 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Daytona 500 front row qualifying
How to watch the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Can-Am Duels
How to watch the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Advance Auto Parts Clash