AUTO RACING: Daytona road course takes spotlight for NASCAR

All Times Eastern


O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 at Daytona

Site: Daytona Beach, Florida

Schedule: Sunday, race, 3 p.m.

Track: Daytona road course

Race distance: 70 laps, 253 miles

Last year: Chase Elliott won after starting seventh in mid-August.

Last race: Michael McDowell emerged from a multi-car wreck on the final lap to make the Daytona 500 his first career Cup Series victory in his 358th career start.

Fast facts: McDowell led for less than half a lap but took advantage when Team Penske teammates Brad Keselowski and race leader Joey Logano crashed battling for the win. … Denny Hamlin led a race-high 98 laps but finished fifth in his bid for an unprecedented third straight victory in “The Great American Race.” … Bubba Wallace, driving for the new team co-owned by Hamlin and basketball great Michael Jordan, became the first Black driver to lead a lap in NASCAR’s biggest race. … Only 11 cars finished on the lead lap. … Reigning series champion Chase Elliott finished second.

Next race: Dixie Vodka 400, Feb. 28, Homestead-Miami Speedway.



Super Start Batteries 188

Site: Daytona Beach, Florida

Schedule: Saturday, race, 5 p.m.

Track: Daytona road course

Race distance: 52 laps, 188 miles

Last year: Austin Cindric won from the pole in mid-August.

Last race: Cindric, the reigning series champion, held off Brett Moffitt and Harrison Burton in a two-lap overtime battle for his ninth career victory.

Fast facts: Cindric is the first reigning Xfinity champion to win the next year’s season-opening race since 1996 champion Randy LaJoie in 1997. … Moffitt’s second-place finish was a career-best. … Burton’s cousin, Jeb, finished fourth. … Justin Haley, seeking his fourth consecutive superspeedway victory in the series, crashed with 15 laps to go.

Next race: Contender Boats 250, Feb. 27, Homestead-Miami Speedway.



BrakeBest Pads 159

Site: Daytona Beach, Florida

Schedule: Friday, race, 7:30 p.m.

Track: Daytona road course

Race distance: 44 laps, 159 miles

Last year: Sheldon Creed won after starting 14th in mid-August.

Last race: Ben Rhodes got a push from teammate Matt Crafton on the final lap of overtime to pass Cory Roper for the victory

Fast facts: The race was the first for Rhodes’ ThorSport team since a switch from Ford to Toyota in the offseason. … Jordan Anderson also passed Roper to finish second in the season-opener for the second year in a row. The margin was 0.036 seconds. … Hailie Deegan spun out in her debut in a national series and finished 24th out of 36 cars.

Next race: Silver State 200, March 5, Las Vegas Motor Speedway



Last race: Lewis Hamilton completed his sixth championship season in seven years even though Max Verstappen held off the Mercedes duo of Hamilton and Valterri Bottas for his second victory of the season.

Next race: Bahrain Grand Prix, March 28, Sakhir, Bahrain (season opener)



Last race: Scott Dixon clinched his sixth series championship, holding off Josef Newgarden despite Newgarden’s Dixon-matching fourth victory of the season.

Next race: April 18, Birmingham, Alabama (season opener)



Next event: AMALIE Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, March 11-14, Gainesville, Florida.



Next event: Feb. 26-27, Paige, Texas.



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