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CUP: Friday Daytona Notebook

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Other Speedweeks 2013 Notebooks

THURSDAY, FEB. 14

[FRIDAY 7:57 am ET]

The four most beautiful words every race fan wants to hear are: Cars on track today. And so it is at Daytona International Speedway, where the 2013 NASCAR season officially opens this afternoon.

There are two rounds of practice for Saturday night’s Sprint Unlimited (8 p.m. ET, FOX and FOX Deportes). The first session is from 5-5:45 p.m., with the second taking place from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Both of today’s practices will be televised live on SPEED.

The weather forecast is cloudy and cold with no rain this evening. But temperatures in the mid-40s mean speeds will be wicked fast on the famed Daytona 2.5-mile trioval.

Nineteen drivers are entered in the Sprint Unlimited, a 75-lap, non-points race. They are all drivers who either won a pole last year or are past event winners.

The race format, which was determined by fan vote, will consist of three segments: 30, 25 and 20 laps, respectively.

Fans have until the green flag drops at the start of the race to vote for the type of pit stop each team must make after the 30-lap first segment. The three choices are a required four-tire pit stop, a required two-tire pit stop or no stop at all. Fans also have until the start of the second segment to vote for the number of cars that will be eliminated after the 25-lap second segment. The four choices are none, two, four or six.

Votes for the remaining two categories can be cast on NASCAR’s new official mobile app – NASCAR Mobile ’13 – or at NASCAR.com/SprintUnlimited. All votes made through the NASCAR Mobile ’13 app will count twice.

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.