Daytona Diary for Thursday, February 20, 2014

Big Race Daytona
Daytona 500 practice_-3209637093293864792
The first Sprint Cup series practice session here at Daytona International Speedway was cut short yesterday due to a violent crash near the start/finish line.  Joey Logano and Matt Kenseth made contact while drafting (Logano admitted he may have been a bit too aggressive) and it touched off a wreck that sent rookie driver Parker Kligeman on his roof.  There were no injuries, but one of the barriers on the outer wall was compromised and practice was called for the evening.  It will make tonight’s dual races all the more interesting with so few cars even getting a chance to practice yesterday.

Primetime at Daytona:  For the first time ever, the two races that will set the starting grid for Sunday’s Daytona 500 (outside of the front row which was pre-determined last Sunday) will be held under the lights.  Race one begins at 7:00pm.  It was a smart move by NASCAR as holding these two exciting events on a Thursday afternoon when most fans could not see them, was ridiculous.

Program Car:  While many sporting events don’t even sell an event program anymore, that’s not the case with NASCAR.  The Daytona 500 program costs $15 and each fan who purchases one, receives what they call a “program car”, a diecast collectible designed to the specific race.  It’s a cool item, especially for diehard race fans.

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