ThatsRacin

February 20, 2014

This week’s race: Daytona 500

What: 200 laps or 500 miles

What: 200 laps or 500 miles

Where: Daytona International Speedway, a 2.5-mile paved highly banked tri-oval in Daytona Beach, Fla.

When: 1 p.m. Sunday

TV: Fox

Radio: Motor Racing Network

Last year’s winner: Jimmie Johnson

Also this week: NextEra 250, Truck Series, Daytona International Speedway, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Fox Sports 1.

• Drive4COPD 300, Nationwide Series, Daytona International Speedway, 1:15 p.m. Saturday, ESPN.

Worth mentioning: This marks the fourth time a No. 3 car has won the Daytona 500 pole. Buddy Baker (1969), Ricky Rudd (1983), Dale Earnhardt (1996) did, and now Austin Dillon has.

Who’s Hot/Who’s Not

HOT

Denny Hamlin: His back is better and he already is back in Victory Lane.

Austin Dillon: Won the pole for the Daytona 500 and a dirt race on the same day.

Martin Truex Jr.: His Furniture Row team might have skipped preseason testing, but it certainly didn’t miss a beat on making a fast car.

Earnhardt-Childress Racing engines: Owns the front row of the Daytona 500 and finished one-two-three at the Rolex 24 last month.

Daniel Suarez: Won the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East season opener in New Smyrna.

NOT

Hendrick engines: Three blew up during pre-qualifying practice. Hopefully, not a sign of things to come.

Stewart-Haas Racing: All four drivers were in the 18-car Sprint Unlimited and all four got caught up in wrecks.

Danica Patrick: Unhappy because she has to start the Daytona 500 from the rear of the field because of an engine change.

Jim Utter

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