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5 things to know about Sunday’s Daytona 500

We here at Inside Tailgating are about more than just recipes and grill suggestions. We want you to be prepared for your tailgates and watch parties, whether it’s about what you’re serving or what the hot topics of the day will be. So on the cusp of Sunday’s race at Daytona, what better way to get you ready than to map out five things you should know about the 61st running of the Super Bowl of racing.

  1. This is the first and last restrictor plate race of the year. After this weekend, NASCAR will be dropping the use of restrictor plates, which have been a fixture at superspeedways for the past 32 years. NASCAR plans to use modified tapered spaces to control speeds instead in a change that will allow drivers better throttle response and therefore for more passing.
  2. William Byron (pictured right) won the pole for Hendrick Motorsports but that doesn’t mean you can count on seeing the 21-year-old in victory lane come Sunday. The last pole-sitters to win Daytona were Dale Jarrett in 2000 and before that Jeff Gordon in 1999.
  3. Only twice in the 60-year history of the Daytona 500 has a driver won while leading for only the final lap and both times were in the past two years – in 2017 Kurt Busch and in 2018 Austin Dillon.
  4. Jul 24, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Brad Keselowski during practice for the Crown Royal 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports ORG XMIT: USATSI-230468 ORIG FILE ID: 20150724_pjc_bv1_008.JPG

    According to the oddsmakers, there are two favorites to win this year’s Daytona 500: Brad Keselowski (pictured right), who finished third in 2014, and Joey Logano, who won in 2015 on a green-white-checkered overtime restart.

  5. For you New England Patriot fans, Super Bowl MVP receiver Julian Edelman will be honorary starter for Sunday’s race, getting a chance to wave the green flag.
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