DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Joey Logano and William Byron won the qualifying races that set the field for the Daytona 500. Logano's victory in the first 150-mile race Thursday night earned him a spot in the second row for the season-opening Daytona 500. Byron will start on the second row. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Alex Bowman are on the front row, which is set in time trials. Five drivers were racing Thursday night for two slots in the Daytona 500, and they went to Reed Sorenson and Timmy Hill. Sorenson was aided in the first race when Daniel Suarez was crashed by Ryan Blaney.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Daniel Suarez needed to race his way into the Daytona 500. He ended up wrecking out. Suarez's No. 96 Toyota got sandwiched between a pair of Fords headed to pit road in the first of two qualifying races. Suarez slid through the infield grass at Daytona International Speedway, tore up his car and ended his chance of making “The Great American Race.” It was the latest setback for the only full-time Mexican driver in any NASCAR national series. Suarez lost his job with top Cup Series teams the last two years. He signed late last month with fledgling Gaunt Brothers Racing.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Survival is the most important skill in the Daytona 500. NASCAR’s season opener is a three-hour thrill ride. It is as much about finding holes and help than having speed and handling. The fastest car rarely wins. Little-known Michael McDowell has nearly as many top-10 finishes at Daytona International Speedway as stars Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick and Jimmie Johnson since 2010. The unpredictable nature of superspeedway racing gives hope to every driver in the 40-car field.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The Daytona 500 is a sellout for the fifth consecutive year. Daytona International Speedway says all reserved grandstand seats have been purchased for the 62nd running of “The Great American Race.” Track president Chip Wile says “we have the most loyal and passionate fans in sports and we are forever grateful for their support.” Some specialty tickets remain, including access to premium hospitality areas, the infield and the pre-race concert featuring country/pop star Darius Rucker. President Donald Trump will serve as grand marshal and give the command for drivers to start their engines.
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — James van Riemsdyk had a goal and two assists and the Philadelphia Flyers beat the Florida Panthers 6-2. Robert Hagg, Sean Couturier, Scott Laughton, Nicolas Aube-Kubel and Tyler Pitlick scored for the Flyers. Carter Hart made 26 saves for his first road win in eight games. Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau scored for Florida. Sergei Bobrovsky allowed three goals on nine shots and was relieved by Sam Montembeault at the start of the second period.
JUPITER, Fla. (AP) — Right-hander Brad Boxberger and utilityman Sean Rodriguez have agreed to terms on minor league deals with the Miami Marlins that include invitations to spring training. Boxberger went 1-3 with a 5.40 ERA for the Royals last year. He is an eight-year veteran with a 3.59 career ERA for four teams. Rodriguez, a 12-year veteran, batted .223 in 76 games for the Phillies last year. He has a career .226 average with five teams.
NORTH PORT, Fla. (AP) — Felix Hernandez’s presence is one of the early sub plots for the Atlanta Braves. Free-agent acquisition Cole Hamels, pegged No. 4 in the defending National League East Division champions’ rotation, may miss three weeks of camp with shoulder soreness. There already had been an expected duel for the No. 5 spot between Hernandez, Sean Newcomb, Kyle Wright and recently signed Josh Tomlin. Hernandez said Thursday as the Braves worked out their pitchers and catchers that he feels really good and has no complaints.