DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- It's finally race day as the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season kicks off Sunday with the 60th running of the Daytona 500. Alex Bowman will start from the pole in the No. 88 Chevrolet that used to be driven by star Dale Earnhardt Jr., who is missing "The Great American Race" for the first time since 1999. Earnhardt will serve as grand marshal.
Other storylines to watch for the 60th running of NASCAR's premier event:
- Danica Patrick makes her final NASCAR start. Patrick reunited with GoDaddy for a one-off event and will conclude her racing career at the Indianapolis 500 in May.
- It would be the youngest field in terms of average age in Daytona 500 history if not for 66-year-old Mark Thompson, a Vietnam veteran making his second career Cup Series start.
- Darrell "Bubba" Wallace Jr. will become the first black driver since 1969 to start the Daytona 500. Wallace is driving the iconic No. 43 car for Richard Petty Motorsports.
- Defending race winner Kurt Busch is trying to become the first to win consecutive Daytona 500s since Sterling Marlin in 1995.
How to watch the Daytona 500
- Location: Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, Florida
- Date: Sunday, Feb. 18
- Time: 2:30 p.m. ET
- Length: 200 laps/500 miles
- Stage 1: Ends on lap 60
- Stage 2: Ends on lap 120
- Final stage: Scheduled for lap 200
- TV: Fox
- Live stream: fuboTV
Fox Sports will again use a lineup of NASCAR drivers as analysts for a race.
Working the April 28 Xfinity Series race at Talladega Superspeedway will be: Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer, Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney, Erik Jones, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Brad Keselowski and Darrell "Bubba" Wallace Jr.
All but Keselowski and Wallace were part of the driver crew that called last year's Xfinity race at Pocono Raceway.
Keselowski won and Blaney interviewed him in victory lane. The next day, when Fox returned to its traditional crew, Blaney scored his first Cup victory and Keselowski rushed to interview Blaney in victory lane.
Harvick will call the Talladega race alongside analysts Bowyer and Logano. Blaney Jones and Wallace will work pit road while Keselowski and Stenhouse Jr. will host coverage from the network's "Hollywood Hotel."
President Trump tweeted about the race on Sunday.