Four Things You Need To Know Before The Daytona 500

Race fans, I’m pleased to introduce “Four Things!”  Each week (primarily on Tuesdays), I will bring you four things that you need to know before the race such as team and driver updates, track and race changes, breaking news and more!

First up, let’s talk about the season opener for the Sprint Cup Series aka the Daytona 500.

Here are the four things you need to know…

Chase Elliott's pole run for the Daytona 500 may have felt like a blur.

Chase Elliott’s pole run for the Daytona 500 may have felt like a blur.

1: Chase Elliott added his name to the history books more than once by capturing the pole position for the Daytona 500.

Elliott is the youngest pole sitter for the Great American Race at 20 years, 2 months and 17 days beating out the previous record holder by three years. The 2014 pole sitter, Austin Dillon, previously held that record when he won the pole at 23 years, 9 months and 27 days.

Also, Elliott and his father, legendary Bill Elliott, became only the fourth father-son combinations to have claimed the prestigious pole award. Other who have done so are:

Richard Petty, 1966 and son, Kyle Petty, 1993

Bobby Allison, 1981 and son, Davey Allison, 1991

Dale Earnhardt, 1995 and son, Dale Earnhardt Jr., 2011

Bill Elliott, 1985, 1987, 2001 and son, Chase Elliott, 2016


It's not green, black, and orange for Danica Patrick anymore.

It’s not green, black, and orange for Danica Patrick anymore.

2: Danica Patrick’s new sponsor, Nature’s Bakery, is only six years old.

Signing a 28-race deal to replace long-standing sponsor GoDaddy, Nature’s Bakery is a fairly new company. Father-Son team Dave and Sam Marson started the fig bar company in 2010 and it currently has manufacturing facilities in two states and employs 420 people. Nature’s Bakery is one of the youngest and smallest major sponsors for a NASCAR race team.


After all, who doesn't like working overtime?

After all, who doesn’t like working overtime?

3: NASCAR Overtime

NASCAR is following suit with many other popular sports and implementing “overtime” for its races. Overtime works like this. For each of the three major touring series, the green-white-checkered finish will feature and “overtime” line. This happens if a caution is put in to effect during the closing laps of the race.

The “overtime line” location will vary from track to track but the procedure breaks down as follows. After the leader takes the green on a restart, the leader must then pass the “overtime line” for the green-white-checkered attempt to be considered good. If the leader takes the green flag and a caution is called before the leader reaches the “overtime line,” then it will be considered an invalid attempt at a green-white-checkered and the process starts over. Multiple attempts will be made if needed.

Once the leader passes the “overtime line,” the green-white-checkered attempt is considered good and the race will finish with the next flag thrown.


40 is the new 43 for Sprint Cup.

40 is the new 43 for Sprint Cup.

4:  New Points Systems (Sorta) and New Field Sizes

All three major touring series are seeing tweaks to their field size and points systems.

The Sprint Cup Series will consist of a 40-car field (36 charter cars and 4 open team cars). The driver finishing first will be awarded 40 points, second place will receive 39 points and so on down to the driver finishing last who will be awarded one point.

The Xfinity Series is very similar with a 40-car field and the same points system. This series will also implement a seven-race season ending “Chase” for the title.

The Camping World Truck Series will have a 32-car field with the winning driver awarded 32 points and the last place driver being awarded one. This series will also implement a seven-race season ending “Chase” for the title.

Katie Copple

They say the best things are left unsaid. I say, the best things need to be put down on paper...or the internet in this case. I discovered NASCAR and the world of motorsports in college and it changed my life... and my career path. Now, when people ask me to describe myself, I tell them that I am a 20-something that has an obsession with racecars.


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