Nascar

5 things you need to know for the Can-Am Duel at Daytona

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 13: Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 SKF Ford, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway on February 13, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 13: Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 SKF Ford, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway on February 13, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

The final grid for the Daytona 500 will be set tonight following the Can-Am Duel qualifying races at Daytona International Speedway (7 p.m. ET, FOX).

Here are five things you need to know about tonight's races.

THE FORMAT -- Each of the Duel races is 60 laps, which equals 150 miles. There are 22 cars in each Duel: 18 Charter cars, which are guaranteed to start the Daytona 500, and four Open cars, which are not guaranteed spots in the 500. Two Open cars in each Duel will make the 40-car Daytona 500 starting field and two won't.

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POLE QUALIFYING -- Sunday's single-lap qualifying locked in the Daytona 500 front row, with Chase Elliott on the pole in his No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet and Matt Kenseth on the outside of Row 1 in the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. The 38 other starting positions in the 500 will be determined tonight.

Ryan Blaney and Matt DiBenedetto were the two fastest Open cars in qualifying on Sunday, so they are guaranteed to start the 500. Blaney is in the first Duel, where the Open cars of Michael McDowell, Cole Whitt and Josh Wise will battle for a 500 starting spot.

DiBenedetto will be in the second Duel. In that race, Open drivers Robert Richardson Jr., David Gilliland and Reed Sorenson will fight for the final spot in the 500.

PENALTIES -- Seven cars will start the Can-Am Duels from the rear of the field for a variety of reasons: Martin Truex Jr. did not make a qualifying attempt; Stewart-Haas Racing drivers Kevin Harvick and Brian Vickers had their qualifying times disallowed for track-bar violations; Trevor Bayne and Greg Biffle had rear-end gear changes; and Michael Waltrip and Kyle Larson went to back-up cars.

THE GOAL -- Obviously every driver wants to win every race, and that will be the case tonight. But the big priority, especially for the frontrunners, is to not get caught in a crash. Teams put an extraordinary amount of effort into their Daytona 500 primary cars, and no one wants to have to go to their backup cars, which generally speaking aren't as fast.

THE FAVORITES -- In the first Duel, Dale Earnhardt Jr. will start from the pole. His No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, nicknamed "Amelia," had two victories and four finishes of third or better in four restrictor-plate points races last year. He will have stout competition from Denny Hamlin, who won Saturday night's Sprint Unlimited, and defending Daytona 500 winner Joey Logano.

The top three starters in Duel No. 2 all have very fast cars: Kenseth is on the pole, with his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch on the outside of Row 1. Jimmie Johnson will roll off third in his Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. Among those three alone, that's eight championships and four Daytona 500 victories.