Speedweeks

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Social Roundup: NASCAR drivers enjoy day off at beach, Disney World

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After a weekend of practice for the Daytona 500 and the Advance Auto Parts Clash, Cup Series drivers got two days off in their Speedweeks experience before the final push to Sunday’s “Great American Race.”

A number of drivers got out in the Florida sunshine to enjoy their off days.

That includes Danica Patrick, who went for a walk on Daytona Beach — on her hands.

Racing down Daytona beach. 😜

A post shared by Danica Patrick (@danicapatrick) on

Elsewhere, a good chunk of the Cup field made the trek to Walt Disney World in Orlando, which is about an hour southwest of Daytona Beach. Kevin Harvick‘s son, Keelan, even got to experience his first ride on an adult roller coaster.

Here’s a look at all the NASCAR drivers who invaded Disney World.

Kurt Busch and wife Ashley. (Photo courtesy of Joann Mignano)

Disney with the fam 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦

A post shared by Trevor Bayne (@tbayne6) on

This girl is having a ball at Disney World. 👌

A post shared by Clint Bowyer (@clintbowyer) on

Rookie William Byron may have been the only driver who didn’t stay on the ground. The Hendrick Motorsports’ driver went for a ride with the Thunderbirds. Good news, he didn’t throw up.

Ryan Blaney fastest in only practice for Advance Auto Parts Clash at Daytona

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Ryan Blaney was fastest in the only practice session for Sunday’s Advance Auto Parts Clash at Daytona International Speedway.

The Team Penske driver led the 80 minute session with a speed of 199.601 mph in his No. 12 Ford.

He was followed by Joey Logano (199.543), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (199.508), Brad Keselowski (199.490) and Kyle Larson (199.468).

Kyle Busch was the fastest Toyota driver at 198.684 mph. He was eighth on the speed chart.

Stenhouse recorded the most laps in the session with 44.

Keselowski had the best 10-lap average at 197.883 mph.

There were no accidents in the session.

Seventeen drivers are in the field for Sunday’s Clash, which is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1.

There are two Daytona 500 practices scheduled today for 1:05 – 1:55 p.m. ET and 3:05 – 3:55 p.m. ET.

Click here for the full speed chart.

Full Speedweeks schedule for Daytona International Speedway

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The time has come for NASCAR racing to return.

In three days the Cup Series will return to the track to begin Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway with practice for Sunday’s Advance Auto Parts Clash and the Feb. 18 Daytona 500.

That begins a stretch of six in nine days where cars will be on track at the 2.5-mile speedway.

Here’s the complete schedule for Speedweeks, complete with TV and radio information.

SPEEDWEEKS SCHEDULE

*subject to change

All times are Eastern

SATURDAY, Feb. 10

8 a.m. – 7 p.m. — Cup garage open

10:35 – 11:55 a.m. — Practice only for teams in Advance Auto Parts Clash (Fox Sports 1, MRN)

1:05 – 1:55 p.m. — Cup practice (for all teams) (FS1, MRN)

3:05 – 3:55 p.m. — Cup practice (for all teams) (FS1, MRN)

4:45 p.m. — ARCA race (FS1)

SUNDAY, Feb. 11

7 a.m. – 7 p.m. — Cup garage open

10 a.m. – Driver/crew chief meeting

12:15 p.m. — Daytona 500 qualifying; single car/two rounds (FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

2:30 p.m. — Driver introductions

3 p.m. — Advance Auto Parts Clash; 75 laps/187.5 miles (FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

MONDAY, Feb. 12

No track activity

TUESDAY, Feb. 13

No track activity

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 14

No track activity

THURSDAY, Feb. 15

9:30 a.m. – 8 p.m. — Truck Series garage open

11 a.m. – 5 p.m. — Xfinity garage open

11:35 a.m. – 12:55 p.m. — Camping World Truck Series practice (FS1)

2:25 – 3:25 p.m. — Camping World Truck Series practice (FS1)

3:30 p.m. – 11 p.m. — Cup garage open

4:35 – 5:25 p.m. — Final Camping World Truck Series practice (FS1)

5:15 p.m. — Cup driver – crew chief meeting

7 p.m. — Can-Am Duel 1 (FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

9 p.m. — Can-Am Duel 2 (FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

FRIDAY, Feb. 16

9 a.m. – 6 p.m. — Cup garage open

9:30 a.m. — Truck Series garage opens

10:30 a.m. – 8 p.m. — Xfinity garage open

12:05 – 12:55 p.m. — Xfinity practice (FS1)

1:05 – 1:55 p.m. — Cup practice (FS1, MRN)

2:05 – 2:55 p.m. — Final Xfinity practice (FS1)

3:05 – 3:55 p.m. — Cup practice (FS1, MRN)

4:30 p.m. — Camping World Truck Series qualifying; Single truck/two rounds (FS1)

6:15 p.m. — Truck Series driver/crew chief meeting

7 p.m. — Driver introductions

7:30 p.m. — Camping World Truck Series race NextEra Energy Resources 250; 100 laps/250 miles (FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

SATURDAY, Feb. 17

8 a.m. – Xfinity garage opens

9:35 a.m. — Xfinity qualifying; single car/two rounds (FS1)

10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.  — Cup garage open

11:30 a.m. — Xfinity driver/crew chief meeting

12:05 – 12:55 p.m. — Final Cup practice (FS1, MRN)

2 p.m. — Driver introductions

2:30 p.m. — Xfinity race PowerShares QQQ 300; 120 laps/300 miles (FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

SUNDAY, Feb. 18

8 a.m. — Cup garage opens

12:30 p.m. — Driver-crew chief meeting

1:45 p.m. — Driver introductions

2:30 p.m. — Daytona 500; 200 laps/500 miles (FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Goodyear tire info for NASCAR at Daytona International Speedway

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Goodyear has announced the tires that will be used by all three of NASCAR’s national series during Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway.

While all three series will use the same type of tire compounds, only the Cup and Xfinity Series have raced on it before.

They first used the new compounds in July at Daytona. The previous tire compound used at Daytona had been introduced in 2013.

For the Trucks, compared to what was run at Daytona last February, there is a compound change to both the left and right-side tires to give the trucks more grip.

As on all NASCAR ovals greater than 1 mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Daytona. Air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire.

MORE: What’s new in the Cup Series in 2018

Here’s the full tire info from Goodyear.

Set limits: Cup: Clash: Six sets for the event; Daytona 500: eight sets for practice/qualifying/Duels & seven sets (plus one transferred set) for the race.

Xfinity: Four sets for the event.

Camping World Truck: Five sets for the event.

Tire Codes: Left-side — D-4738; Right-side — D-4740

Tire Circumference: Left-side — 2,237 mm (88.07 in.); Right-side — 2,247 mm (88.46 in.)

Minimum Recommended Inflation: Left Front — 27 psi; Left Rear — 27 psi; Right Front — 50 psi; Right Rear — 48 psi

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Bump & Run: Reviewing Daytona, looking ahead to Atlanta

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One down, 35 to go in the Cup Series.

As the series moves from Daytona and to Atlanta, here’s a chance to look back and look ahead.

Dale Jarrett, who will be on NASCAR America, which airs from 5:30 to 6: p.m. ET today on NBCSN, joins Nate Ryan, Jerry Bonkowski and Dustin Long in answering this week’s Bump & Run questions.

— What were your takeaways from Speedweeks at Daytona?

Dale Jarrett: Two things. The aggressive driving that we saw throughout the entire Speedweeks and a lot of that was from the younger drivers. I think it was one of the most aggressive Speedweeks on the race track that I’ve seen in quite a while, which made for very compelling races from the Clash to the Daytona 500.

Also, we talk about perseverance a lot, how you really have to have a thick skin to make it through this business, and I think Kurt Busch is a perfect example of that, how he’d come close so many times in those other 63 starts in restrictor-plate races and finally things went his way at the end of the race.

Nate Ryan: Manufacturer influence in NASCAR’s premier series is as strong as it’s seemed in decades.

Obviously, many took a cue from the way that Toyota controlled the tempo in winning last year’s Daytona 500, and Ford in particular tried to mimic that (and mostly was successful through the strange bedfellows of Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick and the Team Penske cars of Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski).

But the automaker narrative transcends the Daytona draft. There were rumblings of another switch being in the offing, or perhaps the arrival of a new manufacturer that could build around an established team.

While teams are fighting tooth and nail to attract the corporate sponsorship that once seemed plentiful, it seems as if manufacturers have become among the most stable of revenue streams and engineering/technical support for teams. It isn’t the factory-driven competition and funding model of the 1960s, but the landscape slowly is creeping in that direction.

Jerry Bonkowski: Kurt Busch’s determination was one of the best stories of the day. After previously finishing runner-up three times in the Daytona 500, Busch overcame race damage and a dangerously low fuel level with a not-to-be-denied attitude that will go down as one of the most memorable and inspiring rallies in recent Great American Race history.

Dustin Long: With a first-time Daytona 500 winner and last-lap maneuvers throughout Speedweeks, I found it interesting that some among the fan base seemed to be hung up on the five-minute clock. Yes, there were numerous accidents, so this was an issue discussed, but to me this has the feel of talking about how pass interference was called in the Super Bowl instead of the game itself. The rule was put in to help cut costs for teams and for safety. Drivers don’t need to be racing in cars that have had significant damage and risk getting into another incident or causing an accident. End of story. Move on to something else.

— What will you be keeping a close eye on this weekend at Atlanta?

Dale Jarrett: I wasn’t sure how the stages were going to affect Daytona but it was very evident to how they did, as the Toyotas, Fords and Chevrolets took on their different strategies. I’m more interested with Atlanta being a race track that is hard on tires and very difficult to get a grip on, how that is going to play out and with not a lot of downforce in comparison to what they had a couple of years ago – just how hard these cars are going to be driven at this track and who is going to have the best answer for it.

Nate Ryan: Two things:

  1. How drivers will handle driving with a virtually nonexistent spoiler. It should make cars a handful on the weathered pavement that will be replaced after this race.
  2. Rebound stories from the Daytona 500. So many stars sputtered (some through no fault of their own) at Daytona, this could be a statement race for many. Last season, defending series champion Jimmie Johnson (who is coming off a forgettable Speedweeks similar to last year) used a strategy play to snooker Kevin Harvick and send a message that the No. 48 Chevy would have the resilience to win its seventh championship.

Jerry Bonkowski: Ford dominated much of the Daytona 500 but that was on a restrictor-plate track. How will the blue oval fare on one of the fastest mile-and-a-half tracks in the sport? And what will Stewart-Haas Racing do for an encore after its first race with the new manufacturer?

Dustin Long: I’m really intrigued with how inspection will go throughout the weekend. There was a good bit of talk in the garage about how tough NASCAR was in inspection at Daytona. A number of teams had to go through inspection more than once before the race. I want to see how this impacts qualifying. How many cars will be going through inspection when qualifying begins? How will that impact their qualifying if they don’t have as much time on-track? If they start at the rear, how challenging will it be for them to get toward the front by the first stage to score points? What happens in inspection could play a role in what happens to a team throughout the weekend.

Watch Dale Jarrett on NASCAR America today from 5:30 – 6 p.m. ET on NBCSN.