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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – NASCAR has certainly confirmed itself adept at managing a time desk within the ever-altering COVID-19 restricted prerequisites – racing at a slate of venues both engaging and aggressive. And this weekend’s Daytona International Speedway Aspect dual carriageway Route debut certainly appears to be like to compare that requirements.

The Lag Bowling 235 (Aug. 16 at 3 p.m. ET on NBC, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) presents a fresh challenge for the drivers and a welcome curiosity for fresh and longtime fans as stock vehicles compete on the 3.61-mile, 14-turn dual carriageway course on the necessary banks and thru a technical infield of turns – for the first time in NASCAR’s 71-yr history.

With only four races final to location the 16-driver 2020 Playoff field, this fresh pause on the time desk certainly affords the chance for plenty of of aggressive drama.

A crammed with 10 animated NASCAR Cup Series drivers gather streak the dual carriageway course beforehand. Seven-time sequence champion and Hendrick Motorsport’s driver Jimmie Johnson and Front Row Motorsport’s Michael McDowell lead the sequence IMSA sportscar begins within the Rolex 24 with seven each. Among the many 10 animated drivers to retract half in IMSA at Daytona, Kyle Busch changed into doubtlessly the most most as a lot as date. He raced a GTD-class entry in this yr’s Rolex 24.

Longtime fan approved Brendan Gaughan is entered for this weekend’s streak and he has three Rolex 24 begins, including a class retract in 2011 – the sole NASCAR Cup Series utilizing competing on Sunday with a historical dual carriageway course retract at Daytona.

With no discover or qualifying for the streak, preparation has advance from laptop simulators and be conscious of mouth from those more skilled on the Daytona Aspect dual carriageway Route. The challenge is maneuvering a fat stock automobile thru a course that encompasses both the high-banked turns and a technical drive thru the infield.

“It’s a terribly tricky infield half,” stated Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet and a two-time Rolex 24 runner-up (2005, 2008).

“Starting thru Turn 1 coming off the banking from the tri-oval, that entry is terribly tricky in a sports automobile. I think in our vehicles this can be more difficult but.

“I’m thankful there’s a chicane to slack us down some sooner than we in discovering there and that would perhaps even collected serve with the braking balance and in level of truth, how rough and bumpy that Turn 1 entry is. The infield half is mostly tight and that’s an moving challenge there honest how tight and slack the infield half is. Then you definately in discovering out on the NASCAR fragment and even the bus pause half on the wait on stretch is magnificent enormous so that you might gather this in level of truth slack infield and in level of truth hasty outer location all the contrivance thru.”

Johnson is hopeful his trip on the course pays off in particular. He is unquestionably one of three drivers honest beneath the cutoff line to qualify for the 16-driver Playoffs, most likely wanting a victory to make particular his design to contend for a picture eighth championship in his final fulltime NASCAR Cup Series season.

There are six Playoff positions no longer currently stuffed by winners entering this weekend’s streak at Daytona – a streak trophy that also doubles as an automatic tag to streak for a title.

The parts are tight from 14th design Clint Bowyer to 19th design Tyler Reddick. Bowyer holds only a 34-level advantage over 16th design William Byron. He is 60 parts up on 17th design Erik Jones. Byron holds a 26-level edge on Jones and Johnson (who are tied) and a 36-level edge on Reddick. Jones, Johnson and Reddick are separated by only 10 parts.

Among these drivers combating for a Playoff space, Jones has one dual carriageway course retract in NASCAR national sequence competition – a success a 2015 NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series streak at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. Johnson has a 2010 NASCAR Cup sequence retract at Sonoma Raceway.

Among fresh drivers, Martin Truex Jr., championship parts chief Kevin Harvick and reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Busch are the sole drivers with wins at both Watkins Glen, N.Y. and Sonoma, Calif. – two of the three dual carriageway programs in total aged in NASCAR Cup Series competition. Ryan Blaney and Toddle Elliott are the winners at the two Charlotte ROVAL races up to now.

Alongside with his 2d profession retract at Watkins Glen then the victory at the Charlotte ROVAL final yr, Elliott would perhaps even change into the first driver since NASCAR Hall of Famer Tony Stewart (2004-05) to retract three consecutive dual carriageway course races would perhaps even collected he retract the victory Sunday.

“I am enormous mad honest to head someplace fresh,” stated Elliott, driver of the No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. “I’ve enjoyed Watkins Glen these past couple of years. We have a fresh challenge ahead with the DAYTONA Aspect dual carriageway Route.

“I think the finest thing is no longer having any discover. I think it would perhaps presumably be fascinating nonetheless it no doubt’s also going to be in level of truth laborious for the guys which gather by no advance made a lap there sooner than. I think it’s going to present an spectacular enormous advantage to those who’ve streak the 24-hour streak and gather made any laps on that computer screen.

“I’ve by no advance made a lap. I don’t even know what turns are where. I’m going to in discovering on iRacing and strive and make some laps honest to familiarize myself with the computer screen. I’ve watched the 24-hour streak, nonetheless I’ve by no advance in level of truth paid a ton of consideration to it. It’s going to be in level of truth sophisticated for folk like me who gather by no advance considered it.”

XFINITY SERIES

It honest so occurs that this yr’s top-ranked NASCAR Xfinity Series drivers gather confirmed themselves the sequence’ easiest dual carriageway course rivals too. And with eight races remining to location the 2020 championship field, Saturday’s UNOH 188 at the Daytona International Speedway Aspect dual carriageway Route (Aug. 15 at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) turns into particularly compelling.

Totally a tiny handful of rivals gather ever turned laps on the 3.61-mile, 14-turn course on both Daytona International Speedway’s high banks and its hard infield. Among those are the two Xfinity Series championship leaders – Austin Cindric and Toddle Briscoe – who competed there honest this January.

Cindric, final week’s winner at Aspect dual carriageway The US in Elkhart Lake, Wisc., holds an 11-level advantage on 5-time winner Briscoe, who won on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Aspect dual carriageway Route in July. Each gather streak the Daytona Aspect dual carriageway Route – minus the chicane installed for the NASCAR weekend. Cindric has competed in three Rolex 24 races with a easiest conclude of fifth within the GTD Class in 2019. Plus, both ran the four-hour IMSA SportsCar Self-discipline streak that opens the Rolex 24 weekend in January.

Justin Allgaier, is the sole diversified multi-time Xfinity Series dual carriageway course winner competing fulltime for the Xfinity Series title this yr. He owns three profession Xfinity Series dual carriageway course victories. He’s ranked seventh within the championship standings, higher than consuming to finally notch his first retract of the yr.

Joining them are plenty of “dual carriageway course ringers” to contend with this weekend. A.J. Allmendinger, who has a NASCAR Cup Series retract at Watkins Glen and three earlier Xfinity Series dual carriageway course victories, has been a have faith deciding every dual carriageway course streak this yr. He is one more with hundreds of Daytona International Speedway Aspect dual carriageway Route trip with 14 begins within the Rolex 24 including the overall retract within the 2012 Rolex 24.

One more historical on the Daytona Aspect dual carriageway Route entered this week is Andy Lally, who started 23rd and carried out fifth final week at Aspect dual carriageway The US within the No. 02 Chevrolet. He has 29 sports automobile begins at Daytona, including 19 within the Rolex 24 – a streak he’s won 5 times in class.

Australian sports automobile star Earl Bamber will most likely be making his NASCAR debut at Daytona utilizing the perennial-contending No. 21 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet. Bamber is a 5-time IMSA winner and changed into runner-up within the GTLM class within the Rolex 24 this January.

While this one-of-a-kind tournament on the Daytona Aspect dual carriageway Route circuit is engaging on its have, it also represents a valuable streak toward setting up the championship contending 12 drivers. Six drivers – Cindric, Briscoe, Noah Gragson, Harrison Burton, Brandon Jones and Justin Haley gather punched their Playoff tag with wins this season. They all also happen to be aggressive dual carriageway course racers as successfully.

There might perchance be unquestionably hundreds of aggressive drama for those final few Playoff transfer positions. Eleventh design Riley Herbst holds only a 19-level edge on 12th design Brandon Brown within the final two transfer positions. Jeremy Clements, a historical dual carriageway course winner it needs to be necessary, fell to 13th design within the standings and is 53 parts within the wait on of Brown. Myatt Snider, one more driver with hundreds of dual carriageway course trip, has also fallen out of the Playoff transfer team of workers and is 73 parts within the wait on of Brown.

A most valuable-time season winner is frequently a risk and particularly so on a first-time consult with to a dual carriageway course turning this week’s tournament correct into a thriller on many ranges.

“In actual fact, these first-time races gather worked out enormous for me between the Roval and Indy, so I’m mad about it,” stated Briscoe, driver of the No. 98 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford. “I have the benefit of going to locations where I feel it’s a orderly slate honest on tale of I don’t feel like I’m within the wait on of the eight-ball as worthy.

“You wander to a design like Mid-Ohio or Aspect dual carriageway The US, where I’d by no advance been to sooner than, and I’m making an strive to play buy-as a lot as guys who gather hundreds of laps at those tracks. After we wander to a design like the Daytona Aspect dual carriageway Route for the first time, we’re all on a succesful taking half in field. I would perhaps perchance reasonably streak the dual carriageway course than the superspeedway honest on tale of I feel in discovering it irresistible places the streak more within the driver’s hands. So, I’m expecting it. I think it’s going to be a terribly steady streak.”

GANDER RV & OUTDOORS TRUCK SERIES

Perchance the finest wild card in its Daytona International Speedway Aspect dual carriageway Route debut would perhaps even successfully be the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series field in Sunday afternoon’s Sunoco 159 (Aug. 16 at 12 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

As an alternative of dual carriageway course “ringer” Alex Tagliani, the enormous make-up of the 39-automobile field of drivers has no trip on the 3.61-mile, 14-turn Daytona Aspect dual carriageway Route that contains the necessary computer screen’s enormous superspeedway turns as successfully as a good and tough infield dual carriageway course.

And if the fresh pause didn’t make this weekend titillating ample, the Gander Vehicles streak involves the first of a three-segment Triple Truck Self-discipline incentive. The winner of Sunday’s streak earns a $50,000 bonus as segment of the program. The subsequent two races segment of the program are at Dover International Speedway subsequent weekend and then Aug. 30 at World Wide Technology Raceway in Gateway. Need to a driver retract two of those races, he earns a $150,000 paycheck. Need to he retract all three, he would fabricate a $500,000 bonus

Indubitably the Daytona Aspect dual carriageway Route half of the inducement creates a huge-open field of favorites. Among NASCAR’s three premier sequence, the trucks yearly streak the least on dual carriageway programs so this weekend’s challenge at a first-ever venue will no doubt be a wildcard because the sequence has 5 races final to location its 10-driver 2020 Playoff field.

Brett Moffitt, the 2018 sequence champion, won final yr’s truck sequence dual carriageway course at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park main a dominating 44 of the 64 laps. None of the diversified historical Bowmanville winners are entered this week.

Younger talent Zane Smith turned doubtlessly the most most as a lot as date fulltime sequence driver to manufacture a victory, hoisting his first trophy final week in Michigan – an fulfillment that has guaranteed the 21-yr aged Californian Playoff eligibility. Championship parts chief Austin Hill, Smith, Sheldon Creed and Matt Crafton all gather wins assuring their design within the Playoff field as successfully. Grant Enfinger has two victories.

That leaves 5 Playoff positions currently determined by parts – unless a fresh driver wins within the subsequent 5 races. Among those on the Playoff bubble, ninth design Derek Kraus holds a 1-level edge on 10th design Todd Gilliland. Tyler Ankrum, ranked 11th, is barely 29 parts within the wait on of Gilliland.

A pair of peculiar championship contenders – 2016 sequence champion Johnny Sauter and final yr’s Championship Four contender Stewart Friesen – sits farther outside the Playoff cutoff in what has been an uncharacteristic season for them. Sauter is 13th within the standings, 72 within the wait on of 10th design Gilliland. Friesen is ranked 15th, 103 parts within the wait on of the Playoff cutoff.

“I’m mad to streak the dual carriageway course,” stated Austin Hill, whose No. 16 Hattori Racing Enterprises Toyota will feature a paint contrivance honoring P.J. Jones’ necessary No. 98 IMSA GTP automobile that won the Rolex 24 in 1993. “I know hundreds of parents will most likely be apprehensive about it, nonetheless I’m in level of truth expecting it. I’ve frequently enjoyed dual carriageway course racing.

“It’ll be a enormous challenge to retract the fairway flag with no discover and to be taught your marks for the length of the streak. We ought to have out of nervousness, toddle as a lot because it and be succesful within the first stage and make particular we’re around within the final stage.

“Most most likely we can set this TRD throwback contrivance wait on in Victory Lane like PJ Jones did in 1993 at the 24 Hours.”

NASCAR Cup Series

Subsequent Speed: Lag Bowling 235


The Situation: Daytona International Speedway Aspect dual carriageway Route


The Date: Sunday, August 16


The Time: 3 p.m. ET


TV: NBC, 2: 30 p.m. ET


Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio


Distance: 234.65 miles (65 laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 15), Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 30), Closing Stage (Ends on Lap 65)

NASCAR Xfinity Series

Subsequent Speed: UNOH 188


The Situation: Daytona International Speedway Aspect dual carriageway Route


The Date: Saturday, August 15


The Time: 3 p.m. ET


TV: NBCSN, 2: 30 p.m. ET


Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio


Distance: 187.72 miles (52 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 15), Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 30), Closing Stage (Ends on Lap 52)

NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series

Subsequent Speed: Sunoco 159


The Situation: Daytona International Speedway Aspect dual carriageway Route


The Date: Sunday, August 16


The Time: 12 p.m. ET


TV: FS1, 11 a.m. ET


Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio


Distance: 158.85 miles (44 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 12), Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 25), Closing Stage (Ends on Lap 44)

— NASCAR Wire Service —


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