Published: Thu, February 15, 2018
Sports | By Spencer Underwood

Danica Patrick not feeling emotional ahead of final Daytona 500

Danica Patrick not feeling emotional ahead of final Daytona 500

The Tuscon, Arizona native has 81 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts to stand on, including plenty in the No. 88. Kyle Larson has what it takes to be one of the best drivers in the history of NASCAR.

That run hasn't translated to victories in "The Great American Race".

Just because Bowman sat out 2017 doesn't mean he isn't experienced. Trevor Bayne, 26, has raced Cup since 2011, but went fulltime in 2015.

As for whether Busch can repeat next weekend and win the 60th Daytona 500? "Jimmie taking the lead role and giving these guys, telling them this is what you need to expect out of the auto". We probably would. But I think when you look across all of sports now, the idea of sending someone home with a major sponsor just doesn't happen in sports today, and it's not just a reality for NASCAR, it's really all motorsports and sports in general. Of the 17, all but five won poles in 2017, with Jamie McMurray, Austin Dillon, Ryan Newman, Jimmie Johnson, and Kasey Kahne qualifying as 2017 playoff drivers.

Alex Bowman has won the pole for next week's Daytona 500 with a lap at 195.644mph (46.002s), beating out 2016 race victor Denny Hamlin by 0.130s.

"Chase brings the kind of intangibles that make him the total package as a driver", Hendrick said. The exhibition race Sunday was a follow-the-leader race until near the end, as drivers had little confidence in their cars.

Elliott is one of those drivers of few words, but he was ecstatic to get the ride. "We just come here to win", he said.

All five of these gentlemen could have made the list, but for one reason or another, I chose to leave them off in favor of the other 10.

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Larson, 25, was hired by auto owner Chip Ganassi to bring new life into his race team.

A meager crowd for the exhibition Clash and qualifying can't be traced to the 40-car entry list.

Patrick will race at Daytona with Premium Motorsports, a typically underfunded race team but one that finished Michael Waltrip's career with an eighth-place finish in the Daytona 500 a year ago and had a guaranteed spot in the race. He earned the Xfinity Series championship as a rookie previous year, and won eight races and almost the Camping World Truck Series championship in 2015, also as a rookie.

"I can do it pretty much when I want", Byron said.

Kenseth, too, was a victim of the youth movement. He edged out Denny Hamlin, who finished with a speed oof 195.092 miles per hour in his No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.

Truex Jr. had an incredible 2017 season, which culminated by winning the NASCAR Cup for his first series championship. No driver has ever done that.

Crews poured over the track's barrier wall to offer a congratulatory handshake, some even reaching into the window to slap the ecstatic driver's back.

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