Based on Friday’s two practices for tonight’s Budweiser Shootout season-opening non-points race at Daytona International Speedway, the dance could go any of three ways.
The 75-lap race could resemble a mosh pit, a line dance or a tango on the new surface that is as smooth as, well, a dance floor.
And the driver who best figures things out will get to perform the most desired dance of all — the Victory Lane celebration where sponsor hat after sponsor hat is donned for photographs.
That’s something Kevin Harvick has done for the past two Shootouts. Tonight, he’ll seek to be the first driver ever to win three straight.
“The Bud Shootout this year, I think everybody is anticipating it just for the fact you have the all new fueling system,” Harvick told reporters. “I think there’s questions there how fast the fuel goes in and what you do for strategy and things like that.
“But, obviously, we’re not going to approach the Bud Shootout just because Budweiser is our sponsor any different than what we did in the past. We’re gonna come here and try to win the race and know that there’s no points on the line and do everything we can to win. Nothing has changed there.”
Things could get wild or be relatively mild, at least until the end when the $203,000 winner’s paycheck is in sight.
Friday’s incident-free first practice session, paced by Shootout pole-sitter Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s fast lap of 199.862 mph, started out with one pack of cars drafting but soon broke down into the two-car draft that became the phenomenon after the 2006 repaving at Daytona’s sister track Talladega.
The second session was highlighted — or more correctly low-lighted — by the lights ringing the speedway from Turn 1 around the backstretch going out 24 minutes into the session with drivers on the track at speed doing what else but two-car drafts.
The lights came back on about nine minutes later and practice resumed. Joey Logano had the session’s best lap — 203.087 mph.
Dillon leads today’s ARCA field.
Ty Dillon, grandson of NASCAR Sprint Cup team owner Richard Childress, won the pole for today’s ARCA racing series season opener at Daytona.
Dillon, 18, a series rookie making his Daytona debut and driving a Chevy prepared by his grandfather’s team, turned a top lap of 185.533 mph.
“Our car was not as good in practice as it showed up to be in qualifying, it kind of surprised me,” said Dillon whose older brother Austin races in NASCAR’s Camping World Truck Series.
“I believe we can definitely win this race.”
The 80-lap, 200-mile race goes green at 4:30 p.m.
The pole was the second of Dillon’s career, the first coming in his series debut at Iowa Speedway last July. He will be making his fourth career start and shooting for his third consecutive series victory after winning last season’s final two races at Kansas and Rockingham.
Kyle Fowler, 18, also making his Daytona debut, starts second in his Venturini Motorsports Chevy thanks to a lap of 184.995. Fowler’s teammate, Steve Arpin, starts third thanks to his lap of 184.57.
Annett on probation.
NASCAR announced Friday it has placed Michael Annett, driver of the No. 62 car in the Nationwide Series, on probation until Dec. 31 for actions detrimental to stock car racing.
Annett was charged with driving while intoxicated following a Feb. 6 traffic accident in Mooresville, N.C.
Police said he was found to have a blood alcohol level of .32 or four times the legal limit.
In addition to the steps already under way by Annett’s Rusty Wallace Racing team, the driver will be evaluated by a certified substance abuse professional at NASCAR’s discretion and will be subject to random alcohol and drug testing.
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