Season Officially Starts Sunday, But For Some Thursday’s Duels Equally Important

By Toby Christie (Originally appeared on

The big show, our Super Bowl the Daytona 500 will get our season going finally this Sunday, however for some drivers their season rests in the balance of Thursdays results.

Drivers such as Casey Mears, Dave Blaney, and Terry Cook a great finish in Thursdays Gatorade Duels may lead to a full season of racing. These drivers and many more are not locked in the Nascar Sprint Cup Series season opener by virtue of not being in the top-35 in Sprint Cup Owner points. Some aren’t planning on making the full commitment of races for 2010, but if they make it into the great American race, and do well those plans could very well change.

The Gatorade Duels are always very dramatic as it is the final chance for anyone to squeeze into the biggest race in the world.

This season it may become even more frantic towards the finish as you will have 15 drivers fighting for the four spots currently open in the field. The Gatorade Duels will also sort out the starting field for the actual Daytona 500 itself. Of the 43 starters the only two that know where they will be lining up are Mark Martin and Dale Earnhardt Jr., who were locked in on pole day, by capturing the first two spots in the field.

The first Duel race is scheduled for a 2pm Eastern Time start.

Author: Toby Christie

Toby is the Editor of and Social Media Director of all things @TheFinalLap. He is the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly radio show and podcast, and he is the writer and co-host of the Racing Legends podcast. Additionally, Toby is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award winning writer, and has followed the sport as a fan since 1993.

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