Welcome to 2013! For the next three days, SPEED and SPEED.com will be covering live NASCAR Sprint Cup testing at Daytona International Speedway.
Daytona Preseason Thunder will be streamed live on SPEED.com from 9 a.m.-noon ET today, tomorrow and Saturday, while SPEED’s live television coverage will run from 1-5 p.m. ET each day.
Please check back here for frequent updates.
Brad Keselowski Interview:
NOTES — Danica Patrick, who will run the full NASCAR Sprint Cup season for the first time in 2013, is fighting off a cold at Daytona. During Thursday morning testing, Patrick also battled a driveline vibration in her No. 10 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet SS. That said, Patrick was impressed with her new car.
“I think they look really, really good,” said Patrick. “… I think people are going to really like it, especially given the fact that they look so much more like what you can buy at the dealership. I’m sure we’ll sell a lot of Chevys.”
As for her two upcoming GoDaddy.com Super Bowl commercials, Patrick said she plays an airline pilot in one and appears with supermodel Bar Refaeli in the other. “I’m sure she steals the show,” Patrick said of Refaeli. “I’m kind of a little narrator in it. We’re redefining sexy and explaining a little bit more about what that means in relation to GoDaddy.com.”
• Roush Fenway Racing driver Carl Edwards said the new suspension geometry of the G6 Sprint Cup cars could make the Daytona 500 very unpredictable.
“The rear end of the car is really unhooked when you go into the corner,” Edwards said Thursday morning after a run in his No. 99 RFR Ford Fusion. “… When I turn into the corner, I can kind of feel the rear of the car moving a little bit more, so I think it’s going to be a pretty wild race. If we get the cars sliding around like that, a hot, sunny day, it’s going to be crazy.”
• Denny Hamlin will only be at practice today, because girlfriend Jordan Fish is expecting the couple’s first child soon. Hamlin will head back to Charlotte after the first day of testing to be with Fish.
• Two-time Daytona 500 champion, Michael Waltrip will pilot Swan Racing's No. 30 Toyota in the Daytona 500. Tony Eury Jr. will serve as his crew chief, with Steve Hmiel as competition director.
"I am thrilled to drive the No. 30 Toyota for Swan Racing and the chance to win a third Daytona 500," Waltrip said in a statement. "Reuniting with Tony Jr. and Steve Hmiel brings back a lot of good memories and is going to create new ones."
Tom Jensen is the Editor in Chief of SPEED.com, Senior NASCAR Editor at RACER and a contributing Editor for TruckSeries.com. You can follow him online at twitter.com/tomjensen100.