Waltrip reflects on last NASCAR start at 'emotional' Daytona

Waltrip reflects on last NASCAR start at 'emotional' Daytona

Earnhardt's career has seen many highs and lows. His quest for an eighth begins with Sunday's Daytona 500, an event he has won twice before. "But it's also a distraction, and racing a vehicle, you need so much focus, [so] if it's a distraction, you go ahead and get rid of that distraction".

Here's what's scary for Johnson's competitors: The 41-year-old believes he still has plenty of room to grow.

"It makes you pay attention to yourself, and there's nothing better than having somebody like Dale Jr. going as far as getting out of the vehicle as long as he did, saying, 'Hey, I have a problem, ' because it makes it more available to everyone else". As he puts it: "I've faced the range of emotions that humans probably aren't created to face". Beyond just the 10 points for winning each one, they will decide how the vast majority of drivers will line up come race day Sunday. "I don't know why else I would come back to race other than for the fans".

"Of course I'm human and I'm going to be concerned", says Earnhardt, who sat out much of last season trying to overcome serious concussion issues.

"Yes, it's my 30th (Daytona 500) and final one, and I just thought it was a cool place to run my last race", he said.

The biggest challenge we faced last week was clearing the NASCAR inspection stations, most notably the template stop.

Although we know the front row of the Daytona 500 starting grid, we won't know the rest of the lineup until the duel races are complete. Since 2015, Keselowski and Logano have combined to win four of the last eight points-paying plate races, including a Daytona 500 victory for Logano in 2015.

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On Sunday, 53-year-old Michael Waltrip closes the book on one of auto racing's strangest chapters when he takes one last ride in the Daytona 500 before returning to the safety of his broadcasting perch. He also earned an invite to the multinational Race of Champions earlier this year in Miami. "I feel like it really was something good for me".

Dale Earnhardt Sr. made NASCAR safer when he died; Dale Jr.is making it safer while he lives. Needless to say, Elliott is likely to get out of harm's way if the racing gets too wild.

Bayless is a Daytona 500 blimp veteran. "It enables me to talk to a lot of different organizations and raise awareness, to help and inspire others to live a generous life, whether it be with their time or finances, hopefully both".

Indeed, this was technically just an exhibition race.

"I hate to miss the race if I get taken out like that".

Why the change? With points not carrying over during the playoffs, drivers weren't rewarded for doing well in previous races and stages.

"It's rare that it happens, but sometimes it does and if you think you can hold it, hold it", he told For The Win.