NASCAR fans start your engines! There are several ways that racing fans can tune in to this weekend’s broadcasts of the 55th running of the Daytona 500, live from Daytona International Speedway on Sunday at 1:05 p.m. ET.
Each year the Daytona 500 – “The Great American Race” – kicks off the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. It’s the sport’s biggest and richest race of the year.
Fans in South Florida can tune in to flag-to-flag coverage via local FOX television affiliates. On radio, fans can listen in via Motor Racing Network (MRN) radio affiliates – including WINZ 940-AM, by way of online live streaming, and a host of mobile applications.
For the first time ever FOX Deportes, the No. 1 sports network in Spanish, will broadcast the race live – the first of 15 races the Spanish-language network will telecast. South Florida resident Jorge Koechlin will call the on-track action, along with Tony Rivera.
Television (FOX and FOX Deportes)
Miami and Ft. Lauderdale markets – WSVN, Comcast Channel 41, DirecTV Channel 425 or Dish Network 855
Cape Coral and Naples – WFTX
West Palm Beach – WFLX
Miami and Ft. Lauderdale markets – WINZ, 940 AM
West Palm Beach and Ft. Pierce – WOKC FX, 100.9 FM
SiriusXM – Channel 90
motorracingnetwork.com (streaming starting at noon ET)
• Danica Patrick became the first female in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series history to win a pole position start for the Daytona 500 after posting a speed of 196.434 mph. Janet Guthrie previously held the record for top starting position by a female NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver, twice starting ninth in 1977. Nine Daytona 500 races have been won from the pole. The last to accomplish this feat was Dale Jarrett in 2000.
• Michael Waltrip and NASCAR will pay tribute to the Newtown, Conn., community. Waltrip’s car will bear the No. 26 to recognize the 26 victims of December’s tragedy. Michael Waltrip Racing cars will prominently feature a call-to-action decal encouraging the NASCAR community to make $10 donations by texting NEWTOWN to 80888. NASCAR Chairman Brian France and his wife Amy donated $50,000 to Sandy Hook victims, which was matched by The NASCAR Foundation.
• Florida “bookends” the NASCAR season – the longest in major American sports – with the first race in Daytona and the season wrapping up with the NASCAR Championship Ford 400 (Nov 17) at Homestead-Miami Speedway. This fall’s Ford Championship Weekend will mark the 12th consecutive year that South Florida has hosted NASCAR’s championships.
• The Gen-6 Sprint Cup Series car is still turning heads and the talk of the NASCAR world. The changes include a design and shape that matches its production counterparts and the respective manufacturers’ brand identity.
• Five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson will be making his 400th start in Sunday’s race.
• Three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart has never won the Daytona 500 despite running well on Daytona’s famed 2.5-mile superspeedway. The 2011 Ford 400 winner at Homestead-Miami Speedway is second behind Dale Earnhardt on the all-time wins list at Daytona with 18 victories. “Smoke” previously has a pair of pole-position starts for the Daytona 500 and has won two July races at Daytona. However, he is still chasing his first Harley J. Earl trophy and first win in the track’s most fabled race.
• 2007 Ford 400 winner, Matt Kenseth, will attempt to become the first driver to win back-to-back Daytona 500s since Sterling Marlin in 1994-95. This is the second time in five years that the defending Daytona 500 champion is returning to Daytona with a new team – Joe Gibbs Racing. In 2009, Ryan Newman switched from Penske Racing to Stewart-Haas Racing as he attempted to defend his Daytona 500 title.