It was a wreck-filled start of the year for NASCAR at the Daytona 500

Enlarge (credit: Jonathan Ferrey|Getty Images) Although we make every effort to cover our own travel costs, in this case NASCAR flew us to Orlando and provided two nights in a hotel.

The Daytona 500 is NASCAR’s season-opener, and also the series’ biggest race. Held at the track just a little way from the beach in Florida where the series got its start, it’s a 200-lap, 500-mile test of endurance for car, driver, and team. (And depending when they started partying, for the fans.) I’ve been to quite a few endurance races at this point, and although there are some differences between a NASCAR race and your average long-distance sportscar event I figured the basics would still apply. Like driver preparation, for example.
“It’s a tough challenge, especially because it’s the first race of the year; it’s easy not to be in the best shape coming off the holidays. Being a race car driver on an easy day, when it’s not too hot, when the tires work, when everything is smooth—it’s not over the top challenging. But there are very few easy days,” explained Brad Keselowski, who races for Team Penske in the #2 car. “Daytona is a long race, usually in weather that’s much warmer than anywhere else so you’re not acclimated. And it’s a restrictor plate race so the cars are grouped up, you can’t just drive off into the distance. And there’s a lot of anxiety because it’s like the first day of school.”
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Source: Car news one

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