There is nothing else quite like Daytona 500 qualifying in the NASCAR realm.
As the cars hit the track on Sunday at 1 p.m. E.T., they will put tires-to-asphalt posting speeds nearing 196 mph, which is a number unseen at Daytona for some time. Only the top two spots will be secured via times; the rest of the field will determine the final 41 starting positions in the twin duel-125 heat races on Thursday at 2 p.m. E.T.
Those top two spots are important, not only because they guarantee a spot in the "granddaddy of them all," but because the thrill of taking the field to the green in the Daytona 500 is something unparalleled in NASCAR.
With the combination of historical trends and the Gen-6 car, we may be looking at the same phenomenon again this year. But, for now, here are some early favorites for the 2013 Daytona 500 Pole.