This is one of the biggest weekends in racing, and for those of us race fans here in the Palm Beaches, it is a chance to drive only a couple hours up the road and see some of the stars of modern motorsports try to conqueur the high banks at the world center of racing.
Qualifying for the 58th annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola will be held Friday at Daytona International Speedway (DIS), with defending race champion Dale Earnhardt Jr. looking for a prime starting position in the annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series summertime classic.
Qualifying is set for 4:10 p.m. and will be preceded at 2:10 p.m. by qualifying for Friday night’s Subway Firecracker 250 Powered By Coca-Cola, a NASCAR XFINITY Series event. The Subway Firecracker 250 starts at 7:30 p.m. Friday night. After yesterday’s rain, an additional Sprint Cup series practice was scheduled from 9:45-10:30 a.m.
On Saturday night, the Coke Zero 400 starts at 7:45 p.m., with Earnhardt looking to win the race for the third time. Also, four-time race champion Tony Stewart will make his final Sprint Cup start at DIS, trying to tie David Pearson’s record of five career Coke Zero 400 victories.
Rain on Thursday forced cancellation of both Coke Zero 400 practice sessions, while one of two scheduled Subway Firecracker 250 practices was held. Erik Jones (No. 20 DEWALT FLEXVOLT Toyota) had the fast lap, 193.353 mph on the 2.5-mile tri-oval. David Ragan (No. 18 Surface Sunscreen/Rugged Maniac Toyota) was second-fastest at 193.307.
Tickets for Daytona International Speedway events are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP. Fans can stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and Snapchat (username: DISupdates), and by downloading the new version of Daytona International Speedway’s mobile app, for the latest speedway news throughout the season.