The start of the NASCAR Speedweek is the non-points Sprint Unlimited race at Daytona International Speedway.
NASCAR announced January 11, 2016 the 25 eligible drivers and the format for the season-opening 75-lap Sprint Unlimited at the new Daytona International Speedway motorsports stadium on Saturday, Feb. 13.
Credit: 316709 Daytona International Speedway Daytona International Speedway – Supersign
The event, which will be broadcast live on FOX, Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, marks the first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race following the completion of DAYTONA Rising, the $400 million frontstretch redevelopment project that has transformed Daytona International Speedway into the first motorsports stadium in the world.
“We’re ready to go,” said NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O’Donnell. “The anticipation for this season, this event and this venue is unprecedented. We are excited how the new stadium will provide a state-of-the-art showcase for the brightest stars of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.”
Once again, the non-points event will be split into two segments with a competition caution at lap 25 separating the segments. A popular element introduced before the 2015 event returns this year: select fans will be paired with each crew chief for a random drawing to determine starting and pit road positions. The drawings will take place on Friday, Feb. 12 at the Alert Today Florida Stage inside the Sprint FANZONE beginning at 3:30 p.m.
The 25 eligible NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers include the 2015 Coors Light Pole Award winners, former Sprint Unlimited race winners and former Daytona 500 pole winners who competed full time in 2015. All 16 drivers from the 2015 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup are also eligible for the race, and any remaining open positions are filled based on 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship driver points.
Credit: 316713 Daytona International Speedway Daytona International Speedway – Tower
Eligible drivers are:
2015 Coors Light Pole Awards winners
AJ Allmendinger, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin, Kevin harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, Jeff Gordon, Joey Logano
Former Sprint Unlimited Race Winners
Dale Earnhardt Jr., Tony Stewart
Former DAYTONA 500 Coors Light Pole Award winners
Greg Biffle, Austin Dillon, David Gilliland, Danica Patrick, Martin Truex Jr.
2015 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers:
Clint Bowyer, Jamie McMurray, Paul Menard, Ryan Newman
2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship driver points:
Aric Almirola, Kyle Larson.
If an eligible driver does not enter the race, the open position will be filled based on 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship driver points. The first five provisional drivers are Casey Mears, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Sam Hornish Jr., David Ragan and Trevor Bayne.
The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc. (NASCAR) is the sanctioning body for the No. 1 form of motorsports in the United States. NASCAR consists of three national series (the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series™, NASCAR XFINITY Series™, and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series™), four regional series, one local grassroots series and three international series. The International Motor Sports Association™ (IMSA®) governs the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship™, the premier U.S. sports car series. Based in Daytona Beach, Fla., with offices in eight cities across North America, NASCAR sanctions more than 1,200 races in more than 30 U.S. states, Canada, Mexico and Europe. For more information visit http://www.NASCAR.com and http://www.IMSA.com, and follow NASCAR at www.Facebook.com/NASCAR and Twitter: @NASCAR.
Graphics & Photos Courtesy of NASCAR