The field is set for Sunday’s Daytona 500. And this year, it could be a winning ride by one of NASCAR’s young stars.
Two young drivers finished their respective duel races Thursday night with the confidence of long time veterans. In a sport driven by experience and wisdom, duel race one driver Ryan Blaney is 24 years old. Duel 2 winner is 22-year-old Chase Elliott.
“I think our car is good, plenty good to compete for a win on Sunday,” Elliot said. “A lot of things have to go your way. You have to make things go your way too, so we’ll try.”
“It’s a good way to start off the weekend and kind of get the ball rolling,” Blaney said. “Our car is still in one piece, which is a good thing. And we can at least see the front. Hopefully we can stay there.”
Elliott saw victory lane last year in the duels and was closing in on a win in the Daytona 500 until he ran out of gas. Blaney won a cup race in 2017, validation for all the young drivers who simply want to win.
“Obviously it really doesn’t mean much. Sunday is what you want,” Blaney said.
“Circumstances have to be for you and they were for him tonight and they were for us. So we’ll try one up him on Sunday., Elliott said.
Elliott and Blaney will start on row two on Sunday. The guy in the pole position, Alex Bowman? He is a whopping 24-years-old.