It's that time again: After almost three months of waiting the new NASCAR season traditionally begins with the Speedweeks in Daytona! This weekend is the first Budweiser Shootout in the night from Saturday to Sunday, followed by pole qualifying for the Daytona 500 on Sunday evening.

This year a written season previews of the teams and their drivers must unfortunately omitted due to time constraints. A replacement but we still offer in our podcast: The spending yesterday we first talked about Hendrick Motorsports, Stewart-Haas Racing and Joe Gibbs Racing and Penske Racing and the changes (such as Fuel injection) demonstrated compared to 2011. In the next few weeks then available to other ideas, should be short so none of Racing blog readers and podcast listeners come! Who the three-quarter hour of this week is too long: listen, can also look directly at the Team Chart 2012 at . This preview should therefore explicitly address the first part of the upcoming Speedweeks:

At the Daytona International Speedway NASCAR starts namely this weekend with the traditional Budweiser Shootout and the Pole Qualifying for the Daytona 500 in their new season. The invitation race has been held since 1979 under an ever-changing rules and brings the winner's currently a whopping $ 200,000. By the end of 2008, the Shootout was an unofficial competition all last year's pole position-holder, but then the sponsorship deal was for the Pole Award on the competitors Coors Light. Budweiser would therefore solve the race concept of the top ranking in qualifying and then the shootout was declared in 2009 a power struggle of six (plus 1 each wildcard) top ranked car manufacturer per the previous-owner standings.

This qualification rule could be maintained by the majority exit from Dodge only one year, so that the starting positions had to be awarded from 2010 again for a new system. This time moved the Daytona International Speedway themselves in the spotlight, because in addition to the past winners of the invitation race all former race winner of the Daytona points race were first admitted. These were joined in one - despite generous participation restrictions - relatively small field is (24) also all previous Cup Champions, the Chase drivers in the preseason and all drivers who ever rookie-of-the-Year honors first in the league come are (2010 only the best rookie year).

This season, it was decided to simplify the conditions and the pitch slightly to increase again. From 2012 the Top25 of the drivers' standings are at the Budweiser Shootout now set and also still as before all former winners of the invitations and the points race. The mode in which the event is held, has not changed, however great since the introduction of the currently valid name in 2001. Back then the shootout lasted 70 rounds, there are 75 rounds since 2009, and these are divided into two segments since 2003.

Segment 1 runs over 25 rounds (until 2009 only 20 rounds) and can be seen as a foretaste of the long final. There are the teams enough time on the track to get the setup of the car under control, before it over 50 rounds is about the sausage or prize money in segment 2. The two sections are interrupted by a ten-minute break, in which the teams in the pit lane or optionally the garage may perform all work on the vehicle to which they are entitled, even during a normal pit stop in the race. Major changes such. Example of the change of springs, shock absorbers or rear sections are prohibited.

The Budweiser Shootout is usually quite a spectacle, since the scope of the prize money falls in chasing the winner pretty quickly: "Win or bust!", As the Americans say. In recent years, however, it is become more quiet, as you calculated for the entire Speedweeks only two cars per driver. The best car of a team is doing just rolled usually for Great-American-Race from the Hauler to nothing to risk. So should the B variant, which is one of, if possible invitation race in one piece off after the shootout also by the pole qualifying and Gatorade Duels must be returned to the garage! Otherwise, the donning the gloves off for the rest of Speedweeks in the actual race car is just announced ...

What we in the night from Saturday to Sunday at 2 Clock (Yes, it goes directly to a beloved night race starts!) But definitely will see is an interesting view on the bump-draft mode for the big Daytona 500 . The NASCAR has already vastly played around with the pre-season tests with the cooling system of cars to bring the cockpit instruments previously illuminated. For if the engine overheats faster, the driver of a Two-Car Drafts must frequently swap the positions, since the newer form of restrictor-plate Racings by many fans, drivers and officials is not welcome. The vexing issue was supposed to belong to the past in January after the Daytona test session, but so very successful was not there.

The tango wanted to simply not be resolved, and that although they had the air intake for the radiator offset almost directly to the contact point for the Bump-Drafting. Under certain circumstances, ie the engine now gets no cooling wind more at a Afterwards drive. In addition, the capacity of the cooling circuit was decreased and prescribed a pressure valve which has less steam a boiling fountain can shoot into the sky. Numbers I quote here for reasons of clarity not aware of, because the officials have yet experimented much in miniature. A magnification of the holes in the restrictor plate brought no improvement, a maximum in the sense that the connection between the two cars was difficult to produce.

What NASCAR has achieved so ultimately, is a shortening of the maximum period of implementation of a Two-Car Drafts per unique sequence in the formation of the two cars. Could earlier ride more than ten rounds together, so this period is now fallen to less than ten rounds. However, the tandem are still faster by up to five miles per hour, namely. The only drawback is the loss of time in internal position change and as long as NASCAR makes the not least each second round required - as it used to be - I do not see any changes. The test as driving in large package has not been proven in January anyway. Perhaps officials should there something creative and rigorous be.

Before we ever get to the Daytona 500, the first subscriber must be determined in a rather complex mode of qualification. The first step of a long series takes place on Sunday evening from 19 clock in the so-called pole qualifying and that involves as the name suggests, actually only for the pole position (on both sides). After the session, namely, the two top-ranked pilots on these same grid positions determined in the biggest race of the year. All other results from qualifying then just define the start order of the two Gatorade Duels-in which the exact order in the grid for the Daytona 500 is determined; with one exception:

It is very important to the three (possibly four if not a Champions Provisional is claimed) to watch top-ranked and not yet qualified teams. These are then eligible to computational reasons after the pole qualifying for the Daytona 500. You can check in their Gatorade Duel-but still go once more into the big race and thus any substitutes on doing a big favor. But I'll get to in the next week in time for the talk yet Duels on Thursday. To shorten the possible scenarios something, there is therefore being only so much. Those who really want to have a full shot on a beat that can be like last years look to my articles in this regard, which I have linked here .

Well, one more thing, not some readers vain to worry about their favorite: Who has landed last season in the Top35 of the Owner Points or has subsequently managed to get such sufficient points at this year's haggling, which is in any event at the Daytona 500 here. The relatively fresh entry tricked offers, this I have also linked . All permanent qualified drivers are NOT marked in red. There are of course also the entry list for the Budweiser Shootout and a timetable to next article:

Broadcast data

Friday, 17.02.
23:00 clock, Sprint Cup Series Budweiser Shootout Practice, SPEED
00:30 clock, Sprint Cup Series Budweiser Shootout Final Practice SPEED

Saturday, 18.02.
17:00 clock, Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 Practice, SPEED
20:00 clock, Sprint Cup Daytona 500 Practice Series, SPEED
22:30 clock, ARCA Series race (Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200) SPEED
02:00 clock, Sprint Cup Series races (Budweiser Shootout), FOX

Sunday, 02.19.
19:00 clock, Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 pole qualifying, FOX

Monday, 02.20. & Tuesday, 21.02.
- FREE -

Wednesday, 02.22.
18:00 clock, Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 Practice, SPEED
20:30 clock, Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 Practice, SPEED

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