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Tonight’s Cup race at Daytona: Start time, weather, TV/radio info


during the 59th Annual DAYTONA 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 26, 2017 in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Jonathan Ferrey

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series returns to Daytona International Speedway and NBC tonight. There has been a different winner in each of the last four restrictor-plate races, dating back to last season. Those winners were: Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Kurt Busch, Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski. Will there be another new name to the list? Will it be Dale Earnhardt Jr., who is competing in his final Cup race at Daytona as a full-time series driver.

Here are the particulars for today’s race:

(All times are Eastern)

START: General Wesley Clark, U.S. Army (retired), will give the command for drivers to start engines at 7:41 p.m. The green flag is scheduled for 7.55 p.m. After one pace lap, the cars will return to pit road. A caravan of seven trucks carrying U.S. flags and five service flags will travel on the track. Cars will then exit pit road and resume two pace laps.

DISTANCE: The race is scheduled for 160 laps (400 miles) around the 2.5-mile speedway.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 40. Stage 2 ends on Lap 80.

PRERACE SCHEDULE: The Cup garage opens at 3 p.m. The drivers meeting is at 5:45 p.m. Driver introductions are at 7 p.m.

NATIONAL ANTHEM: The Navy Band Southeast will perform the Anthem at 7:31 p.m.

TV/RADIO: NBC will broadcast the race at 7:30 p.m. Coverage begins with at 5 p.m. with NASCAR America on NBCSN. Motor Racing Network will broadcast the race on radio and at MRN’s coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry MRN’s broadcast.

FORECAST: The site predicts 83 degrees at race time with a 4 percent chance of rain at the start of the race.

LAST YEAR: Brad Keselowski led 115 of 161 laps to win. Kyle Busch placed second. Trevor Bayne was third.

LAST TIME: Kurt Busch took the lead from Kyle Larson on the last lap of the Daytona 500 after Larson ran out of fuel. Ryan Blaney was second. AJ Allmendinger placed third.

STARTING LINEUP: Click here for the row-by-row starting lineup for the Coke Zero 400.