It's Speedweeks in Daytona, with the Bud Shootout in the rear-view mirror and drivers focused on qualifying for next Sunday's Daytona 500, beginning with Sunday's qualifying session. With Speedweeks comes a packed schedule, culminating in the Great American Race, the Daytona 500, next Sunday. Ahead of the race itself, however, is plenty of NASCAR action to keep race fans satisfied throughout the week.
Qualifying for the Daytona 500 is a unique experience, explained by SB Nation's Jeff Gluck. In short, the top-35 in owner points from 2010 are locked-in and only jockeying for position in the race. Those not in the top-35 have to make it in either through one of four transfer spots in the Gatorade Duels or by qualifying on the front row. Both the pole and outside of the front row will be determined by speed, with qualifying taking place all day Sunday.
Here's the schedule of events for the week.
Daytona 500 Qualifying: Sunday at 10:05 p.m., with 49 drivers running to secure a spot on the front row. Here's the full list of drivers in the running.
Gatorade Duels: 11 a.m. on Thursday. The Gatorade Duels are a series of 150-mile qualifying races to determine the starting order of the rest of the field. As explained earlier, the only two spots exempt are those on the front row, determined with the traditional fastest-lap qualifier.
Camping World Truck Series: 4:30 p.m. on Friday. The first of the actual races gets going with the truck series. The race is 250 miles, or 100 laps, at the oval.
Nationwide Series: 10:15 a.m. on Saturday. Serving as the warmup for the main event, the Nationwide series is just a step below the Sprint Cup on the circuit. The Nationwide race is 300 miles, or 120 laps.
Daytona 500: The 53rd running of the Daytona 500 takes place on Sunday at 10 a.m. It is, of course, 500 miles, or 200 laps at Daytona International. The 500 serves as the culmination of Speedweeks, and is the granddaddy of NASCAR.
For more on the races, check out SB Nation's Daytona 500 StoryStream.