The Backstretch Blog's Race Day: Where the Wild Things Are


DAYTONA BEACH, Florida - If the previous two races this weekend are any indication, today's Daytona 500 will be straight crazy. Wild doesn't even start to describe those races.

The good news is the drivers in today's race are, on the whole, better than drivers in Friday or Saturday's race. That being said, you can still end up in someone else's mess, or create one yourself.

" The reality is sometimes you get caught up in someone else's mess and sometimes you create the mess," said Jamie McMurray. "If you're here long enough you get to be on both ends of it."

And that's the thing about plate racing, it's as much luck as it is skill.

"Y ou have to have a really fast car, you have to be good at decision-making and you also have to be lucky," said Kyle Larson.

There are 11 former Daytona 500 champions in today's field, with the most recent winner being Denny Hamlin. But this race has a way of choosing you, not the other way around.

"I t's funny how these restrictor plate races work," said DJ Kennington. "Anything can happen and you've just got to be at the right place at the right time."

The green flag is set to drop on the 59th running of the Daytona 500 at 2:31 p.m. Chase Elliott is on the pole and his teammate, Dale Earnhardt Jr., is also on the front row. Tennessee native Trevor Bayne, the 2011 Daytona 500 Champ, rolls off 11th. You can watch the race on our sister station, FOX TriCities.