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Kenseth Leads the Pack Back to Daytona

Overhead view of Daytona International Speedway during the playing of the National Anthem before last year's race (Getty Images)

The Nascar season reaches its halfway point this weekend, with Sprint Cup and Nationwide drivers heading back to Daytona International Speedway for the second time this season. And with the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship just a few weeks away, points and wins are becoming more important. Race wins decide seeding of the Top 10 and the two wild card positions.

Brad Keselowski is sitting pretty in both groups after winning for the third time this season last Saturday at Kentucky. He currently holds the 10th spot in the standings but has a sizeable 34-point advantage over 11th-place Carl Edwards.

It’ll be hot and humid at Daytona but not as bad as it was at Kentucky last weekend, where air temperatures reached 100 degrees. It should be about 10 degrees cooler in Daytona.

Matt Kenseth heads to Daytona not only as the points leader, but also as the winner of this year’s Daytona 500. If he’s able to win again this weekend, he’ll be the first driver in 30 years to win both Daytona races in the same season. Bobby Allison was the last to do it in 1982. Fireball Roberts, Cale Yarborough and LeeRoy Yarbrough also did it.

Kenseth has been a master on the restrictor-plate tracks so far this season, winning at Daytona back in February and nearly pulling off the victory in May at Talladega. This will be his last season with Roush-Fenway Racing, as the company has told him they won’t invite him back. He’s won 22 career races with the company, plus a Cup championship, and he’s leading the points this season.

The Sprint Cup race is tomorrow night (Saturday, July 7), and the Nationwide race is tonight (Friday, July 6). The IZOD IndyCar Series is in Toronto for the Honda Indy Toronto on the streets of Toronto.

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