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2013 NASCAR Preseason

Before we get to the Daytona 500 we have three races and a qualifying unlike the rest.

First we have the Sprint Unlimited, next Saturday, February 16, at 8pm on Fox. This race will be broken up into three segments, but the rest is basically up to you. A fan vote (vote here), that will conclude Feb 13th, will determine a few things. You can vote for how long the three segments will be, either 40/20/15, 35/30/10, or 30/25/20. Also you can vote if there should be a required pit stop after the first segment, and if it should be two tires or four. And the last thing, that matters, that you can vote on is if 0, 2, 4 or 6 cars should be eliminated after the second segment. However, there will be one final voting session, the day of the race that will determine if the starting lineup will be set by 2012 owners points, practice speeds, or car number. It's nice to see NASCAR trying something different and when it's a race at Daytona, it can't fail. 

That brings us to February 17th next Sunday, at 1pm on Fox, we have what will look like your basic qualifying run. But instead of locking the field in place, only the front row will be determined, and even that isn't a lock. If either car on the front row has to go to a backup car they will end up moving to the tail end of the starting lineup. In other words this might not end up being as meaningful as it should be, maybe that's why Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Aric Almirola, and Michael Waltrip will be running a half marathon before their qualifying runs.

From there we move on to the Budweiser Duels on Thursday, the 21st at 2pm and 3:30pm. The 150 mile races will take the top 35 in owners points and split them up. The cars that finished in even numbers spots in last years owners points will be in one race while the odd finishers in the other. They will be joined by cars that qualify on their Sunday speed that are outside the top 35. From there the final finishing positions in those two races will determine the rest of the starting order for the Daytona 500, with the one race determining the odd number spots and the other the even numbered spots. 

It's a bit confusing, but it makes for a fun lead up to the regular season starting with the Great American Race. We'll be back for a preview of what's to come in that race after the Duels. For now go vote for the Sprint Unlimited and get ready for some NASCAR action next Saturday night!   


Sunday, February 10, 2013

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