2024 Daytona 500: Schedule, How to Watch, Top Drivers

2024 Daytona 500: Schedule, How to Watch, Top Drivers

The Great American Race. The “Super Bowl of Stock Car Racing.” The legendary Daytona 500. NASCAR’s biggest annual race – and undoubtedly one of the most famous motor sports events of all time – is back. Here’s your guide to catching every high-speed, heart-pumping, flag-waving moment. Find out how to watch or stream the Daytona 500 at home live and when to tune in right here.

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Daytona 500 Race Information

Racetrack: Daytona International Speedway
Location: Daytona Beach, Florida
Date & Time: Sunday, Feb. 18, 2:30 p.m. ET
Laps/Distance: 200 laps/500 miles
How to watch: FOX (check local listings for channel number)

What is the Daytona 500?

The Daytona 500 is the capstone event of NASCAR Speedweeks and marks the official kickoff of the NASCAR season. Of course, let’s not forget about the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum, the unofficial start to the season.

Winning the Daytona 500 is considered one of the highest honors in the sport. It’s the most-watched race of the year and boasts the highest payout of the season.

How much, exactly, does the winning driver earn? NASCAR stopped releasing that figure publicly, but it’s believed to be somewhere in the ballpark of $1-2 million. The winner’s car is also put on display at the racetrack’s museum for one year.

It’s also one of the longer NASCAR races of the season, coming in at 500 miles around the 2.5-mile track.

Daytona 500 & Speedweeks Schedule

The Daytona 500 is the marquee event of the Speedweeks schedule, but there’s plenty more rubber-to-road action to enjoy before the green flag drops. Here’s the full Daytona 500 and Speedweeks schedule.

Wednesday, Feb. 14

Thursday, Feb. 15

  • ARC Menards Series Practice – 4:05 p.m. ET
  • Craftsman Truck Series Practice – 5:05 p.m. ET
  • Bluegreens Vacations Duel #1 (60 laps) – 7 p.m. ET (Watch on FS1, channel 219)
  • Bluegreens Vacations Duel #2 (60 laps) – 8:45 p.m. ET (Watch on FS1)

Friday, Feb. 16

  • ARCA Menards Series Qualifying – 1:30 p.m. ET
  • Craftsman Truck Series Qualifying – 3 p.m. ET
  • Xfinity Series Practice – 4:35 p.m. ET
  • NASCAR Cup Series Practice – 5:35 p.m. ET
  • Fresh from Florida 250 Truck Series (100 laps) – 7:30 p.m. (Watch on FS1)

Saturday, Feb. 17

  • NASCAR Cup Series Final Practice – 10:30 a.m. ET
  • Xfinity Series Qualifying – 11:30 a.m. ET
  • Daytona ARCA 200 (80 laps) – 1:30 p.m. ET (Watch on FS1)
  • United Rentals 300 Xfinity Series (120 laps) – 5 p.m. ET (Watch on FS1) 

Sunday, Feb. 18

  • NASCAR Cup Series Daytona 500 (200 laps) – 2:30 p.m. ET

How does qualifying for the Daytona 500 work?

The first two spots off the starting line will go to the fastest racers in the single car qualifying on Feb. 14. Each participating racer gets one shot to whip around the 2.5-mile racetrack as fast as possible.

The initial positions of the other 38 drivers in the starting lineup are determined by the two Bluegreen Vacations Duel races on Feb. 15. Each 60-lap race will determine the order of the inside and outside rows, respectively.

Thirty-six of those remaining spots are guaranteed to chartered teams, while any drivers from non-chartered teams will compete for one of the last two. That means one unlucky driver will head home before a single flag is waved at the main event.

Who is favored to win the Daytona 500 this year?

NASCAR can be an unpredictable sport, but the odds can shed some light on which drivers are expected to perform in the Daytona 500 this year. Here are some of the top picks:

  1. Ryan Blaney
  2. Joey Logano
  3. Brad Keselowski
  4. Denny Hamlin
  5. Chris Buescher
  6. Chase Elliott

And by the 2024 NASCAR season power rankings:

  1. Denny Hamlin
  2. Kyle Larson
  3. Ryan Blaney
  4. Christopher Bell
  5. William Byron
  6. Ross Chastain

Watch the Daytona 500 on DIRECTV

Don’t miss a single checkered flag or smoking celebratory spinout. Sign up for DIRECTV to tune into every NASCAR race, all season long.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the race called the Daytona 500?

Like most NASCAR races, the name is based on the race’s location, Daytona International Speedway and length, 500 miles.

How long does it take to complete the Daytona 500?

Typically, between two and four hours. The longest total race time was four hours and 30 seconds in 1960.

Who won the last Daytona 500?

Ricky Stenhouse Jr., driving under JTG Daugherty Racing.

Who has won the most Daytona 500s?

Richard Petty, one of the sport’s most iconic figures, claims the most Daytona 500 wins. He won seven times throughout his career, in 1964, 1966, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1979, and 1981. Petty’s family racing team, Petty Enterprises, also holds the record for most team wins with nine.

Who will perform at the Daytona 500?

The pre-race concert will feature Pitbull, who is also part owner of a NASCAR team, Trackhouse Racing.

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