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NASCAR 2014 101: Daytona 500 qualifying

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It’s known as the “Super Bowl of Stock Car Racing,” so why should qualifying for the Daytona 500 being anything less than epic? Find out what it takes to qualifying for the season-opening race in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series.

· Drivers have two chances to qualifying for the 500: Coors Light Pole Qualifying Day, held the Sunday before the race (in 2014, February 16th), which actually sets the front row for the 500; and the Duel at Daytona, held the Thursday before the race (in 2014, February 20th) and consisting of two 150-mile qualifying races.

· Each driver will run two consecutive laps, with the fastest lap being used as the qualifying speed/time. From these qualifying sessions, only the front row (positions No. 1 and No. 2) are locked in for the Daytona 500. The remainder of the qualifying session speeds/times will be used to fill the fields for the Duel at Daytona.

· Drivers earning odd-number positions through qualifying will be assigned to the first Duel race, while those earning even-number qualifying positions will be assigned to the second Duel race.

· The top 15 drivers in each Duel, excluding the drivers already locked in on the front row, will fill spots Nos. 3 through 32 in the Daytona 500 grid, with drivers from race No. 1 in odd-numbered starting positions and drivers from race No. 2 in even-numbered starting positions. Position Nos. 33 through 36 go to the four fastest cars that did not qualify through the Duel races. Position Nos. 37 through 42 go to the top six unqualified drivers based on 2013 owner’s points, while position No. 43 goes to either the most recent unqualified Cup Series champion or the seventh unqualified driver in owner’s points from 2013.

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