The 2013 NASCAR season kicks off with a bang this weekend at Daytona International Speedway with the Sprint Unlimited race, a 75-lap battle that marks the official start to the season.
While this race doesn’t count for any points, there are major bragging rights on the line for the competitors.
This will also be the first time the fans get to see the new NASCAR Generation-6 race cars in live race action.
There are so many amazing storylines driving what already is an exciting time in racing—just over a week until the Daytona 500—and this weekend’s first race will be too exciting to miss.
Where: Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, Fla.
When: Saturday, Feb 16 at 8:10 p.m. ET
Live Stream: FOX Sports Mobile
Sprint Unlimited Lineup (h/t SpeedTV)
Kasey Kahne: No. 5, Hendrick Motorsports—Chevrolet
Marcos Ambrose: No. 9, Richard Petty Motorsports—Ford
Denny Hamlin: No. 11, Joe Gibbs Racing—Toyota
Tony Stewart: No. 14, Stewart-Haas Racing—Chevrolet
Greg Biffle: No. 16, Roush Fenway Racing—Ford
Kyle Busch: No. 18, Joe Gibbs Racing—Toyota
Matt Kenseth: No. 20, Joe Gibbs Racing—Toyota
Joey Logano: No. 22, Penske Racing—Ford
Jeff Gordon: No. 24, Hendrick Motorsports—Chevrolet
Kevin Harvick: No. 29, Richard Childress Racing—Chevrolet
Ken Schrader: No. 32, FAS Lane Racing—Ford
Juan Pablo Montoya: No. 42, Earnhardt Ganassi Racing—Chevrolet
Aric Almirola: No. 43, Richard Petty Motorsports—Ford
Jimmie Johnson: No. 48, Hendrick Motorsports—Chevrolet
Mark Martin: No. 55, Michael Waltrip Racing—Toyota
Martin Truex Jr.: No. 56, Michael Waltrip Racing—Toyota
Kurt Busch: No. 78, Furniture Row Racing—Chevrolet
Dale Earnhardt Jr.: No. 88, Hendrick Motorsports—Chevrolet
Carl Edwards: No. 99, Roush Fenway Racing—Ford
Driver to Watch: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
The most popular driver in the sport of NASCAR is veteran Dale Earnhardt Jr., and after the success he found in 2012—one win, one poll, 10 top-fives and 20 top-10s—the expectations for an even bigger 2013 are through the roof.
The fans want Junior to win a Sprint Cup Series Championship this season.
Earnhardt has been with Hendrick Motorsports for several seasons, and more importantly several offseasons, and now is the time for the NASCAR star to put it all together in a championship-worthy effort.
The consistency was there last year as Junior ended up finishing 12th in the standings after making the final Chase to the Sprint Cup, but the veteran must string together a few more wins to put himself into the upper echelon of drivers.
Earnhardt has the talent and the equipment, and it’s about time he puts it all together. It could all start with a strong performance in the Sprint Unlimited race.