NASCAR's Daytona 500

Date: February 18, 2007

Daytona 500
- the first event of the NASCAR season
- at the Daytona International Speedway
- 200 laps, 500 miles
- carries the largest purse


[update: results]

DAYTONA 500
the Great American Race
the Super Bowl of stock-car racing

Daytona Beach, Florida

*Ford, Chevrolet, Dodge (and this year Toyota)

the first Daytona 500 was in 1959



TV SCHEDULE

Sunday, February 18
3:15 PM ET

Cal Ripken Jr. to drive the pace car

Nicolas Cage to say "Gentlemen, start your engines."




TOPICS & ISSUES

* Toyota the first foreign manufacturer to compete in the Cup series since Jaguar in the 1950s (lots of anti-Japanese sentiment brewing)

* Formula One driver Juan Pablo Montoya of Colombia brings a Latino flavor to the Nextel Cup this year

* five crew chiefs and a team vice president were suspended

* five drivers and teams were assessed fines and subtracted race points


RACE-CAR DRIVERS


JIMMIE JOHNSON
#48
- won the Daytona 500 and captured his first Next Cup championship last year
- crew chief Chad Knaus


TONY STEWART
#20
two-time Cup champion


KASEY KAHNE
#9
age 26
crew chief Kenny Francis was suspended


MATT KENSETH
#17
- crew chief Robbie Reiser was suspended


DALE EARNHARDT JR.
#8
"Junior"
- crew chief is cousin Tony Eury Jr.


- - -

stock-car racing
- a sport that began with moonshiners
- Southeastern roots

National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing
- television deal with Fox and ABC/ESPN
- TV ratings second only to professional football
- second-tier Busch Series racing in Mexico City and Montreal
- president Mike Helton