The Daytona 500 will be kicking off the 2019 NASCAR season this weekend! Excited for the new season? Us too. Who will be your favorite driver this year? We have our bets but we’re eager to hear your opinion as well. This article will tell you about all the happenings at the Daytona Speedway today.
The 2019 season will see some changes to the NASCAR schedule. Here’s a short rundown of what you can expect:
- The season opener will now start on Thursday. The previous Friday was the traditional season opener until this year. So, if you want to attend the first race of the season, you will have to wait until next week. This change was made to encourage fans to attend more races and support the teams and drivers they love.
- The season finale will also be held on a Thursday this year.
- The All-Star Race will be on a Saturday night this year.
- The 500 will be on a Sunday this year (the traditional day of rest in the US). The race will start at 1pm ET, so that will make it a relatively late Sunday afternoon start for much of the country.
- The Budweiser Shootout will be on a Friday night this year. The last stand for the Budweiser Clydesdales is a fan-favorite event and one that got the weekend off to an exciting start in years past.
- The Roar before the 500 is on a Wednesday night this year and will be preceded by the traditional Thursday Night Lighting that kicks off the NASCAR season. The lighting ceremony will be on Thursday night but the races themselves will take place on Friday.
- The season will officially kick off with the Budweiser Shootout on Thursday night. The actual racing will take place on Friday. Since the first race is usually a pretty boring one, we recommend you steer clear of that one and go for the second one if you want to be on the edge of your seat all afternoon. Maybe even the all-star race too!
- This year, the NASCAR season will end a few weeks earlier than usual. The last race will be held on October 12th, which is one week earlier than the year before. This will give you plenty of time to catch up on the latest TV shows and movies.
Besides the changes to the schedule, we’d also like to highlight some of the track activity that will happen this year at the Daytona Speedway. Some of these are major changes that will have a significant impact on the 2019 Daytona 500 but others are more subtle. So, let’s take a look at some of these track changes and their potential effect on the coming season: