Daytona 500 Starting Lineup: Complete Order and Preview for NASCAR's Big Day

Mike Hoag@MikeHoagJrCorrespondent IIFebruary 23, 2013

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 17:  Danica Patrick, driver of the #10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet, with her Pole Award and Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, with his Front Row Award after qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 17, 2013 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Jerry Markland/Getty Images

Finally, NASCAR is back on track.

The Daytona 500 is set to kick off the 2013 season as drivers, are locked into their starting lineup positions at Daytona International Speedway. The green flag is just about to wave to kick off this year’s Great American Race.

Thursday’s Budweiser Duels, as well as Sunday’s qualifier, provided plenty of drama and excitement as some of the top drivers in the world positioned themselves to make a run at winning the 55th edition of this storied and prestigious race.

Danica Patrick became the first woman to win the pole for a Sprint Cup Series race. Does that give her good odds of being the first woman to win the race? Only nine of the race's pole sitters have ended up winning the Daytona 500 in the previous 54 races.

Starting position has historically helped drivers to come away with a win at this race, as 39 of those 54 previous races were won by a driver who started in the top nine of the pack.

However, that trend seems to be on the decline, as several drivers in the past decade have overcome poor starting position to win the checkered flag at Daytona.

Trevor Bayne (2011, No. 32), Matt Kenseth (2009, No. 43), Kevin Harvick (2007, No. 34), Jeff Gordon (2005, No. 15), Ward Burton (2002, No. 19) and Michael Waltrip (2001, No. 19) all won the race after poor runs during the pre-race duels.

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Where: Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, Fla.

When: Sunday, Feb. 24 at 1 p.m. ET

Watch: Fox

Complete Starting Lineup (via NASCAR.com)

Pos. No. Driver Pos. No. Driver
Row 1          
1 10 Danica Patrick 2 24 Jeff Gordon
Row 2          
3 29 Kevin Harvick 4 18 Kyle Busch
Row 3          
5 16 Greg Biffle 6 5 Kasey Kahne
Row 4          
7 42 Juan Pablo Montoya 8 33 Austin Dillon
Row 5          
9 48 Jimmie Johnson 10 15 Clint Bowyer
Row 6          
11 78 Kurt Busch 12 20 Matt Kenseth
Row 7          
13 14 Tony Stewart 14 55 Mark Martin
Row 8          
15 2 Brad Keselowski 16 27 Paul Menard
Row 9          
17 13 Casey Mears 18 31 Jeff Burton
Row 10        
19 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 20 1 Jamie McMurray
Row 11        
21 22 Joey Logano 22 34 David Regan
Row 12        
23 47 Bobby Labonte 24 9 Marcos Ambrose
Row 13        
25 38 David Gilliland 26 43 Aric Almirola
Row 14        
27 87 Joe Nemechek 28 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Row 15        
29 26 Michael Waltrip 30 7 Dave Blaney
Row 16        
31 95 Scott Speed 32 35 Josh Wise
Row 17        
33 21 Trevor Bayne 34 39 Ryan Newman
Row 18        
35 11 Denny Hamlin 36 99 Carl Edwards
Row 19        
37 56 Martin Truex Jr. 38 98 Michael McDowell
Row 20        
39 32 Terry Labonte 40 51 Regan Smith
Row 21        
41 36 JJ Yeley 42 83 David Reutimann
Row 22        
43 93 Travis Kvapil      

Driver to Watch: Danica Patrick

CNN’s Don Lemon interviewed Danica Patrick about her history-making performance in becoming the first woman to win the pole for a Sprint Cup Series event.

Patrick has certainly drawn her share of media attention since transitioning to NASCAR in 2012. Her rookie season didn’t go too well. In 10 races, she failed to place in the top 10, recording an average finish of 28th place.

A win at Daytona would certainly propel Patrick to iconic status in the NASCAR world.

Prediction: Jeff Gordon

Jeff Gordon is the most successful active driver at this track, and he will definitely benefit from his second starting position. His three Daytona 500 wins makes him only the third driver in the history of the race to accomplish that feat.

Hendrick Motorsports, Gordon’s team, is stacked with talented drivers. It will field Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne and Dale Earnhardt Jr. this season, all of whom qualified in the top 20 for the race (three qualified in the top 10).

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