Daytona 500 Qualifying and Speedweek Schedule

Daytona 500 Qualifying and Speedweek Schedule

The wait is almost over for racing fans. The Daytona 500 is less than two weeks away but the official kickoff to the 2018 racing season starts this weekend. Daytona International Speedway is hosting a series of events including the season-opening ARCA Racing Series Presented by Menards race as well as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Clash.

Practice for the races has already started with the ARCA drivers taking to the high-banked superspeedway on Thursday. Additionally, fans can buy tickets to the Daytona Fanzone where they can take advantage of a weeklong series of events including driver autograph sessions, fan-zones, Hall of Fame tours, and concerts. Kid’s 12 and under get in the Fanzone free with a paying adult.

A Few New Twists

As a preview article, it’s worth noting that a whole bunch of things has changed since last year. There’s no Dale Earnhardt Jr on the track, Danica Patrick is running only two races in the Cup Series this year and Matt Kenseth was replaced at Joe Gibbs racing by Erik Jones. There are too many drivers changing cars to list here.

But, those are not even the big changes. The big thing that may have an instant impact on racing is the new rule regulating the number of the crew over the wall during a pit stop. The number went from six to five which means this weekend may be the first time we see how teams have adjusted.  

Also, the ARCA Racing Series was the leader when it came to spec engines and molded body panels. This Daytona race will be the first year that all grandfathered cars using old metal bodies will be off the track. The move by the series was to cut expenses for the teams. NASCAR has noticed the efforts made by ARCA and is moving the Camping World Truck Series and the Xfinity Series in the same direction.

ARCA Kicks of 2018 Racing 

The Daytona tradition of the ARCA Racing Series kicking off Speedweek and the festivities surrounding the Daytona 500. ARCA drivers will take to the track on Friday for qualifying with the running of the Lucas Oil 200 Driven by General Tire coming on Saturday. The race will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1 (FS1).

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series cars take to the track several times over the weekend for practice rounds and two big events. The Clash, which is a non-points race, is set for Sunday afternoon. Qualifying for the Daytona 500 will take place earlier in the day with cars taking to the track shortly afternoon at 12:15 eastern.

Complete Weekend Schedule

Here’s the complete schedule of all events this weekend. Note that on-track activities are in bold.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 9TH

8:00 am - 6:00 pm USAC National .25 Midgets races located in the infield

9:00 am UNOH Fanzone opens

9:00 am - 4:00 pm Motorsports Hall of Fame open in Daytona Ticket and Tours building

9:30 am - 10:30 am ARCA Practice – Timing and Scoring Arcaracing.com

3:30 pm ARCA Qualifying – Timing and Scoring Arcaracing.com

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 10TH

8:00 am - 5:00 pm Motorsports Hall of Fame open in Daytona Ticket and Tours building

9:00 am - 4:00 pm Motorsports Hall of Fame open in Daytona Ticket and Tours building

10:00 am Midway display area opens

10:00 am Fanatics Trackside merchandise area open in Midway

10:00 am Stadium and UNOH Fanzone Opens

10:00 am - 4:00 pm Harley J. Earl DAYTONA 500 trophy photos in Gatorade Victory Lane inside UNOH Fanzone

10:35 am - 11:55 am (MENCS Cup Series) Practice

11:00 am - 8:00 pm Kids area open inside UNOH Fanzone

11:00 am - 8:00 pm Inspection station activity in UNOH Fanzone

12:30 pm - 2:00 pm ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards All Access & Autograph Session – enter through UNOH Fanzone

1:05 pm - 1:55 pm Cup Series Practice 2

3:05 pm - 3:55 pm Cup Series Practice 3

4:00 pm - 4:20 pm Pre-Race Ceremonies Access

4:15 pm ARCA driver introductions

4:45 pm Lucas Oil 200 Driven by General Tire (80 laps, 200 miles) FOX – FS1

6:30 pm - 7:00 pm Advance Auto Parts Clash at DAYTONA Draw Event on Main Stage in UNOH Fanzone

7:00 pm - 8:00 pm Speedweeks Premiere event in UNOH Fanzone

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 11TH

9:00 am Fanatics Trackside merchandise area open in Midway

9:00 am Midway display area opens

9:00 am - 4:00 pm Motorsports Hall of Fame open in Daytona Ticket and Tours building

9:00 am - 2:30 pm Daytona Rewards open in Midway

11:00 am - 2:00 pm Harley J. Earl DAYTONA 500 trophy photos in Gatorade Victory Lane inside UNOH Fanzone

11:00 am UNOH Fanzone opens

11:00 am - 2:30 pm Daytona Rewards open in UNOH Fanzone

11:00 am - 3:00 pm Kids area open inside UNOH Fanzone

11:00 am - 3:00 pm Inspection station activity in UNOH Fanzone

11:30 am Stadium Gates open

11:30 am - 2:30 pm Daytona Rewards open in Stadium

12:00 pm Harley J’s Fan Hospitality opens in Stadium

12:15 pm DAYTONA 500 Qualifying presented by Kroger

2:00 pm - 2:50 pm Pre-Race Ceremonies Access: UNOH Fanzone/Pre-Race pass required

2:30 pm MENCS Driver Introductions

3:00 pm Advance Auto Parts Clash at DAYTONA (75 Laps, 187.5 Miles) FOX – FS1

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