CONCORD, N.C. – The 75th season of NASCAR Cup Series racing is right around the corner.

The regular season opens with stock car racing’s biggest event on Sunday, Feb. 19, with the 65th running of the DAYTONA 500. The race will serve as the first points-paying competition for the full field in 2023.

RELATED: Examining Hendrick Motorsports' DAYTONA 500 qualifying success

Few tracks on the Cup Series schedule have racing roots as deep as Daytona International Speedway. The 2.5-mile oval was built by NASCAR founder Bill France Sr. and opened in 1959 with the first running of the DAYTONA 500. With 31 degrees of banking in the corners, the track quickly gained a reputation for the fastest circuit visited by stock car racing. The Cup Series has also raced on the road course configuration three separate times, twice during the regular season ('20 and '21) and once with the Clash ('21). 

As far as the ionic oval layout goes, the track has always been a fan favorite. Through the years, the facility has maintained this iconic and steep banking, producing door-to-door action as the cars run inches from each other at high speeds. 

SEASON PREVIEWS: Alex Bowman | William Byron | Chase Elliott | Kyle Larson

Chase Elliott led the quartet of Hendrick Motorsports drivers in 2022’s running of the event. The driver of the No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 battled back from a slide through the grass to avoid an accident in the final stage. Elliott would cross the line in the 10th position, his second consecutive top-10 finish in the DAYTONA 500. In 2021, he was the runner-up finisher in the event. He is one of five active drivers with a runner-up finish that has yet to win the DAYTONA 500. The Dawsonville, Georgia, native has four top-10 finishes in his last five starts at Daytona. As far as superspeedway racing goes, Elliott has two wins at Talladega Superspeedway and also has a win on the reconfigured Atlanta Motor Speedway, which is now a drafting track. 

Alex Bowman is the only driver to start on the front row in five consecutive DAYTONA 500s. He has earned two poles during that span of time (2018 and 2021). He is also tied with five notable NASCAR legends - Buddy Baker, Bill Elliott, Richard Petty, Cale Yarborough and Hendrick Motorsports vice chairman Jeff Gordon for the most front row starts in the DAYTONA 500. He has three career top-10 finishes at Daytona, but those all came in the summer race. The 29-year-old driver's best superspeedway result came at Talladega when he finished second to Elliott in April 2019. 

Kyle Larson earned the pole position for last year's race to become the fifth driver to follow up his championship season with the DAYTONA 500 pole in the following year. Yarborough in 1978, Gordon in 1999, Dale Jarrett in 2000 and Jimmie Johnson in 2008 were the others. Four of Larson's five top-10 finishes at Daytona have come in the 500-miler with three of those coming in the last four years. He led this race coming to the white flag in 2017 but ran out of fuel before finishing 12th. The Elk Grove, California, native's fourth-place run at Talladega last spring stands as his best superspeedway result to date. 

Daytona is the sight of William Byron's first win in the Cup Series at Daytona. He won the 2020 summer race and his 82 laps led since 2019 at the 2.5-mile track are the sixth-most among all drivers. In last season's six races at drafting tracks (Daytona, Atlanta and Talladega), Byron led 193 laps, which was the most among all drivers. He was the first driver to win on the reconfigured Atlanta track in March. The driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 is looking to build off reaching the Round of 8 for the first time and finishing a career-best sixth in points. 

Hendrick Motorsports has claimed eight victories in the DAYTONA 500. Gordon and Johnson are the only drivers in the organization’s history to have multiple wins with Gordon earning three and Johnson two. Geoff Bodine, Darrell Waltrip, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. each accounted for a single victory during their time with Rick Hendrick’s team. All four current drivers for Hendrick Motorsports will look to add to capture the Harley J. Earl Trophy on Sunday. 

RELATED: See every DAYTONA 500 win in the history of Hendrick Motorsports 

Here is what you need to know to catch this weekend’s action.


This weekend’s schedule will feature a different format than most Cup Series weekends in 2023. All cars will take to the track beginning at 8:15 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Feb. 15, for single-car, two-round qualifying. Coverage will be available on FS1.

Qualifying times will set the front row for the DAYTONA 500 as well as the lineups for the Daytona Duels. The first of two Duel races will start at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, Feb. 16, followed by the second Duel race at approximately 8:45 p.m. ET. This will solidify the starting lineup for “The Great American Race." Coverage of these races can also be found on FS1.

Following the Duels, practice sessions are scheduled for Friday and Saturday, Feb. 17-18. Friday's session will begin at 5:30 p.m. ET on FS1. Saturday's action will start at 10:30 a.m. ET on FS2. and shift to FS1 beginning at 11 a.m. ET. Both practice runs are 50 minutes in length.


The 500-mile Cup Series main event is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, Feb. 5, and will be broadcast on FOX.


The race will be on MRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Channel 90). Both outlets will broadcast all the Cup Series action from Daytona. 


Yes. Download the FOX Sports Live app for online coverage. Fans can also keep up with the action on Twitter by following @TeamHendrick.  


It varies by location, but this link allows viewers to find the channels by entering their zip code and selecting their television provider.  

Data provided by Racing Insights

4: Hendrick Motorsports has won the DAYTONA 500 in four different decades - 80s, 90s, 00s, and 10s. A win on Sunday would see the Rick Hendrick-owned team become the first organization to win the DAYTONA 500 in five different decades. 

5: Five different drivers have won the DAYTONA 500 for Hendrick Motorsports. That mark is tied with for the most among all teams.

19: Both Waltrip (’89) and Johnson (’06) won "The Great American Race" when the event was run on the 19th of February. All four Hendrick Motorsports drivers can win their first DAYTONA 500 on the same date this season.

42: Entering this week, this is the number of wins for Hendrick Motorsports on the Daytona oval. The organization has 16 Duel wins, eight DAYTONA 500 wins, seven wins each in the Clash and the Daytona summer race and four NASCAR Xfinity Series wins. 

1,302: Hendrick Motorsports has led this many laps in the DAYTONA 500. The team is just 14 laps led behind the top spot on the board.