Kyle Larson (5) and Aric Almirola top left, lead the field to start the second of two qualifying auto races for the NASCAR Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2023, in Daytona Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Terry Renna)

Previewing The 2023 Daytona 500

The 65th annual running of “The Great American Race” takes place this Sunday. 40 drivers will look to etch their name onto the Harley J. Earl trophy, and win the Daytona 500.

Reigning champion Austin Cindric is looking to defend his crown, while drivers like Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski will be looking to win NASCAR’s biggest race for the first time.

Storylines at the Daytona 500

Kevin Harvick will be racing in his final Daytona 500 this Sunday, after he announced that his storied career will be coming to an end following this season. Harvick will be looking to win his second Daytona 500, coming more than 15 years after his thrilling victory over Mark Martin in 2007.

7-Time Champion Jimmie Johnson will be making his return to the sport for the Daytona 500. Johnson, a two-time winner of NASCAR’s biggest race, will be driving the No. 84 car for Legacy Motor Club on Sunday Johnson announced his retirement following the 2020 season, but will be running a part-time schedule this year.

More Team Changes

“The Candy Man” is changing teams for the 2023 season. Kyle Busch will no longer be driving Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 18 machine, but will now be driving the No. 3 car for Richard Childress Racing. Busch had been driving for Gibbs since 2008, and had won two championships with his old team.

Busch’s move comes a year after Brad Keselowski moved from Roger Penske racing to Roush Fenway Keselowski (RFK) Racing. Keselowski had also won a championship with his former team. Busch is replacing Tyler Reddick, who will be moving to 23XI Racing to drive the No. 45 car.

Who To Watch

Two-time winner Denny Hamlin is one of the favorites for Sunday’s race. Reigning series champion and 2015 Daytona 500 winner Joey Logano is another name to watch.

It’s understandable to think Kyle Busch may struggle in his first race with his new team, but before crashing out of his Duel race on Thursday, Busch believed that he had a car capable of winning the race.

The 65th annual Daytona 500 takes place on Sunday, February 19, at 2:30 p.m. on Fox.

About Zack Panariello

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