When Kyle Busch crossed the finish line at the Homestead-Miami Speedway in mid-November last year, 4.578 seconds before the second-place driver, he moved into rarified air. He won the second NASCAR Cup Series of his career and joined Jimmie Johnson as the only active drivers with multiple championships. And Busch was the highest-paid driver in NASCAR last year with nearly $18 million in earnings, according to Forbes.
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At Daytona 500 media day on Wednesday, Busch was asked who the best driver in NASCAR is. His reply? "You"re looking at him."
For all of Busch"s accomplishments, he"s still chasing one elusive title: Daytona 500 winner. He was nearly as close as he could be last season. He held the lead with just two laps remaining but ultimately came in second to teammate Denny Hamlin. If Busch takes his signature post-victory bow on Sunday, he said it will "check off the last box" in an already illustrious career.
Other storylines include the start of the final season for one of NASCAR"s all-time greats. Jimmie Johnson, 44, announced in the offseason that the 2020 season will be his last. Johnson"s seven NASCAR Cup championships are tied for the most in the history of the sport.
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How long is the Daytona 500?Length: 500 milesTime (approx.): 3.5 hours
The Daytona 500 consists of 200 laps on a 2.5-mile track. A simple math equation would suggest the race should take 2.5 hours of straight driving, but with pitstops, cautions and possible weather conditions, that often varies. If you"re planning to watch from start to finish, it would be smart to set aside about 3 1/2 hours.
How many laps are in the Daytona 500?Number of laps: 200
The name of the Daytona 500 can be deceiving since there aren"t actually 500 laps in the race. Drivers go around the track 200 times, covering 2.5 miles with each lap, before arriving at a grand total of 500 miles.
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What are the Daytona 500 stages?
NASCAR introduced a tweak to the scoring format back in 2017. Points wouldn"t just be awarded for how drivers finished. Additional "stages" were introduced to record points at multiple checkmarks throughout the race.
For the Daytona 500 in 2020, the top 10 drivers after laps 65 and 130, as well as the end of the race, will also be awarded points that are collected toward a push for the playoffs.
Where is the Daytona 500?Location: Daytona International Speedway in Daytona, Florida
Since 1982, the Daytona 500 signals the official start to each new NASCAR season. It"s held at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona, Fla., and is considered the most important and prestigious race in NASCAR.
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"The Great American Race" carries the highest purse in the history of motorsports in 2020 with a total of $23.6 million up for grabs between the 40 drivers. This is the first time since the 2015 season that NASCAR has released the payout, but it"s been projected that winners have taken home over $1.5 million in recent years.
Daytona 500 attendance
NASCAR announced that this year"s race will be a sellout for the fifth consecutive season. Over 100,000 fans will pack Daytona International Speedway on Sunday, with President Donald Trump, the first president to do so, serving as grand marshal.