Start time, TV info and lineup for NASCAR Sprint Unlimited at Daytona

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season effectively kicks off tonight with the Sprint Unlimited exhibition race at Daytona International Speedway. Here are the particulars:

START: Robert Burton, a longtime Daytona ticketholder from nearby Altamonte Springs, Fla., will give the command for drivers to start their engines at 8:23 p.m. The green flag is scheduled for 8:35 p.m.

DISTANCE: The Sprint Unlimited is scheduled for 75 laps (187.5 miles) around the 2.5-mile oval. It’s broken into two segments: 25 laps followed by 50 laps.

NATIONAL ANTHEM: It will be performed by Tiffany Thomas of Palm Coast, Fla., at 8:16 p.m.

TV/RADIO: Fox will broadcast tonight’s race. Motor Racing Network will broadcast the race on radio and MRN.com.

FORECAST: The wunderground.com site predicts 52 degrees at race time with no chance of rain.

LAST TIME: After winning the 2013 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Denny Hamlin opened 2014 with his first victory in the event in eight years and first at Daytona since 2008.

STARTING LINEUP: Paul Menard won the pole position in a random draw. The starting lineup:

1. Paul Menard

2. Kasey Kahne

3. Joey Logano

4. Brad Keselowski

5. Kyle Busch

6. Austin Dillon

7. Greg Biffle

8. Kevin Harvick

9. Denny Hamlin

10. Martin Truex Jr.

11. Jeff Gordon

12. Ryan Newman

13. Kurt Busch

14. Carl Edwards

15. Danica Patrick

16. Matt Kenseth

17. Jimmie Johnson

18. Clint Bowyer

19. Aric Almirola

20. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

21. Jamie McMurray

22. Tony Stewart

23. Casey Mears

24. Dale Earnhardt Jr.

25. Kyle Larson