Wolfe enters his eighth season as crew chief for the team as Keselowski starts his ninth full season driving for Team Penske. He has never placed higher than third in the Daytona 500 and will also have the competitive disadvantage of starting 19th on Sunday. The race marks the opening of Speedweeks and is the first chance for teams to show their offseason work. I am enjoying the opportunities and feel privileged to be in this position. "I've said this a number of times, but I feel like he's one of the most important ingredients in what NASCAR racing does going forward, because of his family name. Hopefully, this is our breakthrough".
While Kennington had to race his way into the field past year, with only 40 cars pre-entered, he doesn't have to stress out over making the field so he and his Gaunt Brothers Racing team can focus on getting the vehicle ready for the race.
Danica Patrick will drive this GoDaddy-sponsored Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at the Daytona 500, which is set to be her last NASCAR race. Hamlin won the Daytona 500 in 2016 and has an average finish of 12.4 in the past 10 Daytona races, including the July one, which is best among all active drivers. In his prior appearances in the all-star Clash, Keselowski finished inside the top-nine in four of his five races. While he said Earnhardt will certainly be missed, he said the sport has to go on.
Coming off his last-to-first win at the season kickoff Advance Auto Parts Clash at Daytona, Team Penske driver Brad Keselowski - who is likely to be one of the first people to get behind the wheel of any new vehicle in testing - claimed he didn't know anything about it. Another driver who has been consistent here and will be in a new auto is Michael McDowell who goes from the #95 for Leavine Family Racing to the #34 for Front Row Motorsports.
"It's everybody around you", said driver Clint Bowyer. "The suspense keeps building as you are running single-file: three to go, two to go, here comes the white flag - when do you make the move?"
Following the qualifying race, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Advance Auto Parts Clash (75 laps, 187.5 miles) will begin at 2 p.m. CT and will be televised on FS1 and TSN2. "There will be a lot to learn and I'll have to take it all in as quick as I can and get as comfortable as I can in the vehicle".
Kyle Larson made contact with Jimmie Johnson on the final lap to trigger an accident that allowed Keselowski an easier route to victory lane.
Although it's impossible to predict a victor at the Daytona 500, I expect the winning driver to be seated behind the wheel of a Chevrolet or Toyota. Today (Wednesday) I will be conducting some driver interviews with Austin Dillon, Erik Jones, Kevin Harvick, and Ty Dillon as well as following along with the mainstream media coverage and driver interviews. "I believe in him and he's got the experience to help me and I couldn't be in a better place with a better team to start this year in the Xfinity Series". "So if he [Penske] says it, I would say, go with him". "I probably didn't pull out at a very good time". "I think, at this point, I've been maybe not in the NASCAR world too terribly long, but I've been racing long enough that people know who I am". If we know anything about Virginians, it's that we're always ready for a challenge. "I need to learn from that".