For Hometown News
Danica Patrick winning the pole for the Daytona 500 on Sunday has created a buzz throughout the world of sports and put Daytona International Speedway in the spotlight more than ever.
The first woman to start out front of the world's most well-known stock car race, even the less than casual fan will be paying attention to see how long she can stay out front.
In the two biggest early races, Kevin Harvick won the Sprint Unlimited to open this year's NASCAR season.
John Wes Townley won the 50th Lucas Oil 200 ARCA race, starting from the pole position for a rare pole-to-pole win.
Leading up to the Sprint Cup series' first race of the year will be several other races and events.
On Friday, highlights include driver appearances throughout the day, NASCAR Nationwide Series DRIVE4COPD 300 qualifying and ending with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series NextEra Energy Resources 250.
On Saturday, highlights include the final practice for the Daytona 500, more driver appearances and ending with the NASCAR Nationwide Series DRIVE4COPD 300.
On Sunday, the events get bigger with the Zac Brown Band, which just won a Grammy Award for Best Country Music Album of the Year, performing a pre-race concert. Band member Clay Cook will perform the National Anthem.
For the fourth time, the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds will perform the fly-over.
Actor James Franco, whose new movie Oz The Great and Powerful comes out March 8, will give the command, "drivers, start your engines."
Then the event race fans have been waiting for since the end of November - the 55th running of the Daytona 500.