By AMANDA VINCENT
The Daytona 500 qualifying process begins Sunday for the 2016 Daytona 500, scheduled for Feb. 21 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. Qualifying for the biggest race of the season and the 2016 official season opener is vastly different from the other 35 points-paying races on the 2016 Sprint Cup Series schedule.
Only the front row will be set by Sunday’s qualifying session, scheduled for 1:30 p.m. ET and shown on FOX. Results from the session will set the starting field for the two Can-Am Duel races, scheduled for Thursday night. The race fields for those two races will be determined by speeds posted during Sunday’s qualifying session, with both charter teams and open teams split evenly between the two race fields.
Aside from the front row, set on Sunday, the Can-Am Duel races will determine the specific starting order of the Daytona 500. The highest finishing open, or non-chartered, car in each race will be awarded a Daytona 500 starting spot. Of the remaining open teams, the fastest two from Sunday’s qualifying session will take the two remaining positions in the 40-car field for the Daytona 500. The 36 chartered teams are guaranteed starting positions.
The first Can-Am Duel race is schedule to take the green flag at approximately 7 p.m. ET Thursday, with the second to start soon after the conclusion of the first. They will be shown live on FOX Sports 1.
The Daytona 500 is scheduled to take the green flag shortly after 1 p.m. ET Feb. 21. It will air live On FOX.
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