I’m all set for the race announcer to state “Drivers…start your engines,” where I’ll watch the 2013 Daytona 500 from the comfort of my easy chair pulled up in front of my computer screen. You could be watching in comfort, too, when the 55th running of this event is broadcast from the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona, Fla. on Feb. 24, 2013.
This will be the first racing event scheduled for the 2013 Sprint Cup Championship Series. Participating drivers will test their skills and their car’s performance racing 200 laps on the 2.5 mile asphalt tri-oval track.
NASCAR prepared for this race, the granddaddy of them all, but holding several test sessions on January 10 -12, 2013. Participating teams had the opportunity to basically “track test” the sixth generation of race cars. Each test session began at 9 AM, took a break from noon to 1 PM, and then concluded at 5 PM. Thirty-four drivers participated during the first session on the morning of Jan. 10, 2013. Matt Kenseth, representing the Joe gives racing team, turned in the quickest speed hitting 192.757 mph. During the afternoon session, Denny Hamlin turned in the highest speed at 195.712 mph.
The third session held during the morning of January 11 was led by Jeff Burton. He turned in the highest speed at 194.805 mph.
During the third session was the first incident where multiple drivers were a lot of attractive draft. However, this activity resulted in a huge accident when contact occurred between Dale Earnhardt, Jr, and Marcos Ambrose. This cost 10 teams to leave the track to shortage of car parts. During the fourth session held that afternoon, 32 drivers participated. Trevor Bayne, the 2011 race winner, turned in the quickest speed at 199.650 mph. The fifth session was held on the morning of January 12 where 21 drivers participated. Kenseth again turned in the quickest speed at 194.062 mph. During the final session that afternoon, Greg Biffle turned in the high-speed 194.936 mph.
The 2013 Daytona 500 prerace show will include a concert performed by Grammy-award winning musicians, the Zac Brown Band. The band will perform several songs prior to the start of the race that kicks off the 2013 Sprint Cup season at Daytona International Speedway. Band member Clay Cook will sing the national anthem before the start of the 55th annual event. The band is well known for its energetic live performances making it the perfect complement to ‘The Great American Race” you’ll be sure to enjoy when you watch the 2013 Daytona 500 online.