This Sunday will be the running of the 2011 Daytona 500. The action at Daytona International Speedway actually got underway last weekend with the running of the Budweiser Shootout and the front row qualifying runs. Kurt Busch would go on to win the Shootout and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. won the pole for the Daytona 500. He will be joined on the front row by his Hendrick Motor-sports teammate, Jeff Gordon.
This Daytona 500 will be a special one as 2011 marks the tenth anniversary of the death of Dale Earnhardt. It was during the 2001 Daytona 500 that Dale Earnhardt, Sr. crashed on the last lap of the race.
Earnhardt would die hours later from injuries that were sustained in the crash in what would mark one of the worst moments in all of motor sports history.
Earnhardt was in third place at the time, with his son in second, and his own team driver Mike Waltrip winning the race, a celebration that the elder Earnhardt never got a chance to see.
NASCAR has announced that they plan a call of remembrance on the third lap of this year's Daytona 500 in honor of the #3 Mr. Goodwrench Chevrolet that Earnhardt drove.
The rest of the starting field for the Daytona 500 will be determined during the Twin 150 qualifiers that will take place on Thursday. The speeds have been fast this year at Daytona and with the track having been repaved for this year, the 2011 Daytona 500 is one that will be showcasing speeds well over 200 miles per hour.
There are several drivers with new teams and new crew chiefs this year so this 2011 season in NASCAR is certainly building up to be a very memorable one.