We dove head first into DAYTONA 500 prep today, starting bright and early at NASCAR Media Day. Check out the video above, and read up on the Top 5 best moments of the day below, but you can check us out on Snapchat to get all of the behind-the-scenes moments.

1. Dale Jr. Can’t Wait for Heat Racing at Richmond 
It’s no secret Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be driving the no. 88 Hellman’s Chevy at the ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond in April – nor is he keeping his thoughts about the Dash 4 Cash heat racing setup under wraps. He likened the heat races to local track races – and said he knew fans would jump on board immediately. “In fact, I haven’t heard anyone who isn’t excited about heat races.” Same, Junior, same!  

2. Kurt Busch Autographed A Dog
Weirdest thing Kurt Busch has ever autographed? “They shaved the side of the dog, actually, and made me autograph it,” said Kurt. No word on if the dog has been bathed since. 

3. Richmond Day Racing is the Way to Hendricks’ Hearts
Winner of one of the only Sunday afternoon races at Richmond in the 2000s, Jimmie Johnson was excited to hear at the shift back to day racing in April. Said Johnson, “Our team always jokes that our performance is far better on a rained out day race on a Sunday than the night races, so when I heard the shift, me personally, and my team, all got excited. We thought, ‘Cool, we’ll really have a shot to win at Richmond now.’” Everyone else, you’ve been warned!  

4. Matt Kenseth is a Not-So-Secret Swiftie
Being dropped off at school by a NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion might seem like a dream to most kids, but Matt Kenseth’s girls really only focus on one thing. “When I drive the kids to school every morning I’m listening to Taylor Swift,” he said, laughing. That qualifies him for Dad of the Year in our book.  

5. Brad Keselowski’s Karaoke Song of Choice is “Tom Sawyer” by Rush
“There’s no other beat than that – it’s not even hard to sing along to. There’s not even that much singing,” said Brad Keselowski, after being asked what his karaoke song of choice is. We also learned he would like to learn to play the drums for this song, but this song only.

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Here's an inside look at whats going on at the World Center of Racing up to and including Media Day:

2016 Daytona Media Day

Want more NASCAR? For checking us out, we're extending you a special offer for the TOYOTA OWNERS 400 on Sunday, April 24! Click here for more details.  
RIR braves the weather and the inordinate amount of time together to make the trip to Daytona

We're family at RIR, so you could say our trip down to the World Center of Racing for the start of the 2016 NASCAR season is a bit of a "family vacation." While fighting like brothers and sisters all 10+ hours down I-95 South, we hit some pretty impressive numbers, like...


Miles traveled. And considering we caravanned with five cars, it's almost like we traveled 3,475 miles across...


States. Yup. We cruised from Virginia to North Carolina, crossed South of the Border in South Carolina, scoured the horizon for the Gaffney, Georgia Peach (only to realize it was several hours away), and finally crossed the Florida-Georgia Line into the Sunshine State. Throughout it all, we only made...


Pit stops. Well, three, if you count stopping at Daytona when we arrived. Even more impressive is that the pace car was able to make this incredible journey/feat of industry dedication on just...


Gallons of gas! Which is great, but almost as impressive was the...


Ounces of juice, coffee, Gatorade, Bojangles sweet tea and water consumed by the two individuals lucky enough to Snapchat along the East Coast in the RIR Pace Car. (Check out the story by adding us before it disappears!) In the end, enduring the countless Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift anthems was worth it because of the...


 Degree change in weather. It's 72 and breezy in Central Florida, guys - much warmer than the 22 degree snow storm we departed at 7:00 am this morning.

Want more NASCAR? For checking us out, we're extending you a special offer for the TOYOTA OWNERS 400 on Sunday, April 24! Click here for more details. 
RIR finally finds itself down in Daytona for Speedweeks

After almost 700 miles and 10 hours driving down the East Coast, RIR finally finds itself in Daytona for Speedweeks. To celebrate this truly momentous occasion, we're posting our daily five at five (albeit a bit behind schedule) and taking a look at some of the top storylines heading into Speedweeks.

Like Father Like Son
It's a tall order taking on the legacy of the 24, but Chase Elliott passed his first test with flying colors. With a lap speed of 45.845 seconds, the Sprint Series rookie became the youngest-ever winner of the Daytona 500 pole award. His father, Awesome Bill from Dawsonville, was a four time winner of the award (last won in 2001), making Chase and Bill the fourth father/son duo to win poles for the 500 (Richard and Kyle Petty, Bobby and Davey Allison, Dale Earnhardt and Dale Earnhardt Jr).

Fans all over the country can share their race day moments with one another thanks to NASCAR's new partnership with Snapchat. Starting with the Daytona 500 this Sunday, Snapchat will cover several races throughout the 2016 season. From the early morning tailgate to the champagne in Victory Lane, users can get an inside look at everything race day through the collective Live Story. For even more of a fix, add us on Snapchat too @ririnsider. 

Vickers Causes "The Big One"
While a back injury keeps Tony Stewart sidelined to start the 2016 season- fan-favorite Brian Vickers will take his place at the wheel of the No. 14. But after missing all but two races last season with blood clot issues, his initial return to a Sprint Cup Series ride was short-lived. A cut tire on lap 23 led to the Daytona "Big One," ending his night early. With plenty of track-time before the 500 on Sunday, there's still opportunity for Vickers to round into form.

In the first Sprint Cup action of 2016, Denny Hamlin took home his third Sprint Unlimited trophy, and second in three years. Only four cars in the field of 25 made it through the race unscathed- luckily for Denny he got his out of the way quickly. After some early race rubbing with Ricky Stenhouse Jr on lap 12, the Chester, VA native managed to race his way to an overtime win over Joey Logano (second), Paul Menard (third) and Kyle Larson (fourth). 

Fanatics Makes Daytona Debut
With over 100,000 square feet of retail space across 33 locations at the track, Fanatics...

Sorry about that. Unexpected John Cena insisted we mention him being the honorary pace car driver for the 500 on Sunday. 

Want more NASCAR? For checking us out, we're extending you a special offer for the TOYOTA OWNERS 400 on Sunday, April 24! Click here for more details.
Join us throughout the week for exclusive content on and off the track.

Check out the week's schedule below to see whats happening on-track, and where we'll be when it is.

5:00 PM       NSCS Sprint Unlimited Practice            FoxSports 1
6:30 PM     NSCS Sprint Unlimited Final Practice FoxSports 1

10:30 AM NSCS Practice FoxSports 1
1:30 AM NSCS Practice FoxSports 1
8:15 PM NSCS Sprint Unlimited (LAPS, MILES) FOX

SPRINT UNLIMITED: A non-points paying race, the Sprint Unlimited is unique in its own way. With an eclectic field of former Sprint Unlimited champions,  2015 Chase drivers, Daytona 500 pole award winners and more- it'll be a wild ride. The format is 75 laps with a caution at lap 25, breaking the race into two segments.

1:15 PM NSCS Daytona 500 Pole Qualifying FOX

DAYTONA 500 QUALIFYING: Qualifying sets and locks in the front row. It also determines the lineup for the Can-Am Duels. Drivers qualifying in odd number positions will compete in the first duel and drivers qualifying in the even number positions will compete in the second duel.

We'll be hitting the road to Daytona. Add us on Snapchat @ririnsider and you can follow along our East Coast road trip and see the how RIR gets when we spend just a little too much time in the car together.

DAYTONA 500 MEDIA DAY: Join us as we go inside Daytona 500 Media Day. We'll have our ear to the ground to fill you in on the buzz surrounding the start of Speedweeks.

5:00 & 6:10 PM NSCS Practice FoxSports 1

We'll be taking a closer look at everything that has gone into the incredible Daytona Rising project, and show you how it's going to change the game for everyone (including your favorite Short Track).

Noon NSCS Duels Final Practice FoxSports 1

What do fans think about the new Daytona? Are they excited for the 2016 NASCAR season? The RIR team will be out and about talking with fans prior to the Duels later that evening.

7:00 PM NSCS Can-Am Duels (Two races, 60 laps apiece) FoxSports 1

CAN-AM DUELS: Get an early look at some heat-racing action! The Can-Am Duels lock in the rest of the field for the Daytona 500 with each race running 60 laps. The winner of the first Duel will start in third position and the winner of second Duel will start in fourth position. Drivers from the first duel will start in the odd number positions and drivers from the second duel will start in even numbers position.

10:30 AM - 3:55 PM NXS & NSCS Practice FoxSports 1

We'll be in the pits and roaming the garages throughout the day. Be sure to follow us on social media and check out our blog for the complete RIR Insider experience.
4:30 PM NCWTS Pole Qualifying FoxSports 1
7:30 PM NCWTS NextEra Energy Resources 250 (100 laps) FoxSports 1

10:00 AM NXS Pole Qualifying FoxSports 1
12:15 PM NSCS Final Practice FoxSports 1
3:30 PM NXS PowerShares QQQ 300 (120 laps) FoxSports 1

POWERSHARES QQQ 300: Get your first glimpse of the 2016 XFINITY Series field. Rookie of the Year candidate Erik Jones, budding star Darrell Wallace and more will duke it out with Sprint Cup regulars in the first race of the XFINITY Series season - names are made here.

1:00 PM Daytona 500 (200 laps) FOX

DAYTONA 500: The countdown is over. The 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup season launches with the Daytona 500 - and we'll be front and center sharing the view.
2016 Season Kicks Off with Sprint Unlimited on Saturday Night

Richmond, it's been three long months since the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series put rubber to the pavement. But one international cycling tournament, four federal holidays, a snowstorm and several craft beer festivals later- the wait is finally over. Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway kicks off this weekend with the Sprint Unlimited on Saturday.

As all eyes turn to central Florida for the season's start, questions surrounding the 2016 season begin to surface. Will Rowdy Nation celebrate a Championship for the second year in a row? Is 2016 the year Junior brings home his first Sprint Cup trophy? And how the heck will the 24 look without Gordon behind the wheel? Who'll be breathing easy when they return to Richmond this September, and who'll feel the pressure of potentially missing the Chase cut?

No, Saturday won't answer many questions, but it will provide some damned good racing. With an eclectic field of former Sprint Unlimited champions,  2015 Chase drivers, Daytona 500 pole award winners and more - it's sure to be a wild ride. Here are a few to keep an eye on Saturday night:
  • Kyle Busch: Best driver rating at Daytona among active drivers. Won the race back in 2012. Oh yeah- and he's the defending champ.
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Daytona's pied-piper. Junior's one of the best restrictor plate racers out there, and with four points-paying wins at Daytona, four Can-Am Duels wins, and two Sprint Unlimited wins, he's always an odds-on Speedweeks favorite.
  • Joey Logano: Finding recent success on restrictor plate tracks, Logano is one to keep an eye on Saturday night. His one win at Daytona comes in the 2015 Daytona 500, but Logano has proven that he has what it takes to make moves in the draft.
Be on the lookout for these drivers and the rest of the field on Saturday, February 13 during the Sprint Unlimited. Tune into FOX at 8 p.m. to catch all the action!
Join us as we head to Daytona for Speedweeks

We're heading down to the Daytona for the exciting kick-off to the 2016 NASCAR season, and we're giving you an insider's look at everything going on at the World Center of Racing.

We'll cover all the Speedweeks story-lines, give a unique look at the Daytona Rising project, offer up fresh perspectives on the NASCAR season launch, showcase exclusive content from your favorite drivers and much, much more.

So bookmark our blog, follow us here and here, add us on Snapchat (@ririnsider) and check in regularly for content you won't get anywhere else!