Rain at Daytona wiped out scheduled morning practice session for the Nationwide Series, and is keeping Sprint Cup cars in the garage as well. Sprint Cup and Camping World Truck Series practice is scheduled throughout the afternoon ahead of Thursday's Gatorade Duels, the two 150-mile races which will set the field for Sunday's Daytona 500. Fortunately, the weather forecast for Thursday looks more promising, with partly cloudy conditions expected.
Only two drivers – Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon – know where they're starting on Sunday. Earnhardt will start first, Gordon second, as a result of posting the two fastest times in last Sunday's qualifying session. The rest of the positions will be decided after the two Gatorade Duel races.
The top 35 cars in the 2010 owner points are locked into the 500 field, while the top-two finishers in each Duel who are outside the top 35 also will make it. The remaining spots will go to qualifying speeds from Sunday.
Thanks to their speed in qualifying, Bill Elliott, Travis Kvapil and Joe Nemechek are guaranteed a spot in the Daytona 500. Terry Labonte is also guaranteed a spot, with the past champion's provisional.
Former Daytona 500 winner Michael Waltrip, however, needs to race his way into his 25th career 500 start in the race. Yet, even if he fails in his Duel, he can still make the field. If either Elliott, Kvapil, Nemechek or Labonte race their way in, Waltrip will make it on his 25th-fastest qualifying speed.
The current weather forecast for Sunday in the Daytona Beach area calls for mostly sunny conditions with temperatures in the upper 70s.