Front Row For Daytona 500 Set

Posted: February 12, 2008 in Other Sports News

Jimmie Johnson is picking up right from where he left off in 2006 with a pole at Daytona for the 50th running of the Daytona 500. Michael Waltrip, who had a disappointing 2006 to say the least, started 2007 off right, qualifying second behind Johnson on the front row. Normally, everyone qualifies to determine the 43 starting positions for the race, but for the Daytona 500, it’s different. Only the top two qualifiers (Johnson and Waltrip) start the race in those positions. For everyone else, their qualifying positions only determine where they will start in the twin 125 races on Thursday which will determine the rest of the starting positions of the Daytona 500.

After just over a year and a half, going all the way back to May of 2006, Dale Earnhardt Jr. finally gets a win of any kind in the Sprint (former Nextel) Cup. He won the Budweiser Shootout event Saturday Night, the race held for all drivers who won at least one pole (top qualifier) during the previous year. No the race didn’t count, but it had to be a big lift for Jr. especially being at a superspeedway, tracks he used to “own”. Since his reign over these tracks however, Hendrick took over the Superspeedway with Jeff Gordon winning nearly all of the events since then. That’s why it is no surprise that Jr., in his new ride this year for Hendrick Motorsports took this race; and, by the way, right behind him were Hendrick teammates Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon who finished third and forth behind Tony Stewart.

The Great American Race is Race 1 of 36 in a season that lasts from February to November. Just like every sport except football, it is very long.

Jimmie Johnson won the title last year, used a late season explosion to steal the championship away from Gordon, much to my disliking, and will be looking to have another great run in ’08. Jeff, meanwhile says he’s even more driven this year to win that elusive fifth title falling just short of it last season to his teammate. With Dale Jr. now on board, it should be interesting to see how Jimmie, Jeff, and Dale will work together through ’08. Sure looks like things got off to a good start Saturday Night.


Wednesday February 13th
12:00 Noon – 12:55 PM– NSCS Practice
2:05 – 2:55 PM – NSCS (final practice before Gatorade Duels)
3:00 PM – 4:20 PM – NNS Practice
4:30 PM – 5:30PM – NCTS Practice
Thursday February 14th
9:15 AM – 10:45 AM – NNS Final Practice
11:15 AM – 1:15 PM – NCTS Final Practice
1:30 PM – NSCS Driver Introductions for the Gatorade Duels
2:00 PM – NSCS Gatorade Duels 150 Mile Qualifying Races (60 laps – 150 miles, each race)
7:10 PM – NCTS Qualifying (All Positions)
Friday February 15th
1:40 PM – 2:40 PM – NSCS Practice
3:10 PM – NNS Qualifying (All Positions)
7:30 PM – NCTS Driver Introductions for the Chevy Silverado 250
8:00 PM – NCTS Chevy Silverado 250 race (100 laps, 250 miles)
Saturday February 16th
10:35 AM – 11:55 AM – NSCS Final Practice for the 50th Running of the Daytona 500
12:45 PM – NNS Driver Introductions for the Camping World 300 presented by Chevy
1:15 PM – NNS 50th annual Camping World 300 presented by Chevy race (120 laps, 300 miles)
Sunday February 17th
2:30 PM – NSCS Driver Introductions for the 50th Running of the Daytona 500
3:30 PM – NSCS 50th Running of the Daytona 500

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