Bowman, Hamlin 1-2 in Daytona 500 qualifying

Bowman, Hamlin 1-2 in Daytona 500 qualifying

"I really think there is a lot of young new talent that is coming to the sport", Suarez said. In his prior appearances in the all-star Clash, Keselowski finished inside the top-nine in four of his five races.

Q: What does it take to win the Daytona 500? During his first full season in Legends, he would score 33 wins and the national championship for his division.

"I realistically set my expectations and would have been happy with 18th", Hamlin said. At upcoming races, however, the field strings out, making the new setup problematic as one or two cars would fit into the 4:3 frame at a given time with the standard TV camera angles developed years ago at each venue. Daytona 500 is pretty high on that list and we'd like to do it. "It's Daytona", he said.

The green flag will drop on the 2018 Daytona 500 field of drivers on February 11 without an Earnhardt behind the wheel. On the other hand, plate racing give underdogs a chance at the spotlight and a trip to Victory Lane, with drivers like Trevor Bayne and David Ragan winning their first Cup races at Daytona.

NASCAR had kids draw for the position for the event, which was open to all 2017 pole winners, 2017 playoff drivers and past Daytona 500 pole winners.

Defending NASCAR champion Martin Truex Jr., also a Toyota driver, was 26th and searching for the same speed the Gibbs cars displayed. "We just come here to win", he said. The 2016 Daytona 500 victor will look to pick up his second-career victory in next Sunday's Great American Race.

Just what makes the Daytona defense so tricky? "You need one to break through". "Everything changes so quick".

"That's all that you can think of that would make it smaller, but you hope that you're in contention and that you're there". This place, you have to respect the track.

"You have to respect this track, you have to respect the race itself, and you have to find new things each and every year when you come back here". He took the famed No. 21 Ford to victory at Pocono past year, the team's first win since 2011.

NASCAR's favorite driver officially retired from Monster Energy Sprint Cup Series competition at the end of the 2017 season, but speculation has continued to run rampant ever since about if he could be coaxed out of retirement for another attempt at the Great American Race.

Busch's comments show he does have that respect for Daytona. Entering his third season in the Cup Series, he's still seeking his first victory.

Busch found his own cool factor in front of the camera, filming spots for Discovery's "Fast N' Loud" and he worked as a guest commentator at a Supercross event.

"It's fun to learn more about the TV side of things", he said. "Then as soon as we hit the white flag Blaney was able to go to the bottom, I had to stay on top because I would have gotten passed". He recently celebrated his first anniversary with his wife, Ashley, a competitive polo player.

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