No cars will fail to qualify for the Daytona 500

The Can-Am Duel qualifying races won’t eliminate any drivers from the Daytona 500 in 2018. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
The Can-Am Duel qualifying races won’t eliminate any drivers from the Daytona 500 in 2018. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

The Thursday qualifying races for the Daytona 500 aren’t going to have much drama.

Only 40 cars are entered for NASCAR’s most famous race on Feb. 18. With 40 starting spots available, that means everyone entered in the race will have the chance to start.

Thanks to NASCAR’s charter system, which guarantees starting spots to the 36 cars that have charters, only four spots would have been up for grabs. But not even those spots will have any question marks surrounding them.

The 150-mile Duel qualifying races for the Daytona 500 are one of the most fun traditions in motorsports. No other Cup Series race has qualifying races and with — typically — more cars entered for the race than spots available, they’ve provided some serious tension throughout the 500’s history.

But that’s the state of NASCAR and entering 2018. It costs more than ever to go fast and try to win races in the Cup Series. And with dwindling television ratings, companies aren’t finding their NASCAR investments to be as worthy as they once were.

Here’s the entry list for the 2018 Daytona 500. Below it is the entire schedule for Speedweeks, beginning with practice sessions for the Daytona 500 on Feb. 10. You’ll notice there’s far less track time than normal in 2018 thanks to NASCAR’s new engine rules aimed at reducing costs for teams. There is no practice between front-row qualifying and the Duel qualifying races Thursday night, meaning drivers may not take to the track and draft with other cars until the qualifying races begin.

No. 00 Jeffrey Earnhardt
No. 1 Jamie McMurray
No. 2 Brad Keselowski
No. 3 Austin Dillon
No. 4 Kevin Harvick
No. 6 Trevor Bayne
No. 7 Danica Patrick
No. 9 Chase Elliott
No. 10 Aric Almirola
No. 11 Denny Hamlin
No. 12 Ryan Blaney
No. 13 Ty Dillon
No. 14 Clint Bowyer
No. 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
No. 18 Kyle Busch
No. 19 Daniel Suarez
No. 20 Erik Jones
No. 21 Paul Menard
No. 22 Joey Logano
No. 23 Driver TBA
No. 24 William Byron
No. 31 Ryan Newman
No. 32 Matt DiBenedetto
No. 34 Michael McDowell
No. 37 Chris Buescher
No. 38 David Ragan
No. 41 Kurt Busch
No. 42 Kyle Larson
No. 43 Darrell Wallace
No. 47 AJ Allmendinger
No. 48 Jimmie Johnson
No. 51 Justin Marks
No. 62 Brendan Gaughan
No. 66 Mark Thompson
No. 72 Corey LaJoie
No. 78 Martin Truex Jr.
No. 88 Alex Bowman
No. 92 David Gilliland
No. 95 Kasey Kahne
No. 96 D.J. Kennington

All times Eastern:

Saturday, Feb. 10
10:35 a.m.: Advance Auto Parts Clash practice
1:05 p.m.: Daytona 500 practice
3:05 p.m.: Daytona 500 practice
4:00 p.m.: ARCA 200

Sunday, Feb. 11
12:15 p.m.: Daytona 500 front row qualifying
3:00 p.m.: Advance Auto Parts Clash exhibition race

Thursday, Feb. 15
11:35 a.m.: Truck Series practice
2:25 p.m.: Truck Series practice
4:35 p.m.: Truck Series practice
7 p.m.: First Duel qualifying race
9 p.m.: Second Duel qualifying race

Friday, Feb. 16
12:05 p.m.: Xfinity Series practice
1:05 p.m.: Daytona 500 practice
2:05 p.m.: Xfinity Series practice
3:05 p.m.: Daytona 500 practice
4:30 p.m.: Truck Series qualifying
7:30 p.m.: Truck Series race

Saturday, Feb. 17
9:35 a.m.: Xfinity Series qualifying
12:05 p.m.: Daytona 500 practice
2:30 p.m.: Xfinity Series race

Sunday, Feb. 18
2:30 p.m.: Daytona 500

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!