DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — For the second year in a row, race fans will have a significant voice in choosing the format and important competition elements for the Feb. 15 Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway.
In voting that opened Thursday, fans will choose 1) the breakdown of lap segments in the 75-lap event, 2) the format for determining the starting order of the race and 3) the method for determining the running order for the start of the final segment.
Votes can be cast through the official NASCAR app, NASCAR MOBILE or at NASCAR.com/Sprint Unlimited. Choices for the lap breakdown are: 30-35-10; 30-30-15; or 30-25-20. Fans also will decide whether the starting order is set by most career poles (Jeff Gordon is the active leader with 74); by 2013 driver points standings, which would give the top starting spot to reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, or by top speed in final Sprint Unlimited practice.
At a Thursday announcement in the Daytona Fan Zone, FOX lead broadcaster Mike Joy revealed the final set of choices, whether to restart the final segment according to fastest lap during the race, most laps led to that point or the order leaving pit road after a mandatory two-tire pit stop.
Both Gordon and Johnson argued for the pit stop, but Denny Hamlin was adamant that the lead for the final segment should go to the driver who has led the most laps.
“If people know that their starting position is going to rely on leading laps, everyone’s going to try to charge to the front for the first two segments,” Hamlin said. “I think that gives the fans the biggest opportunity for the greatest racing from one segment all the way to three.”
Voting results will be announced during the FOX Sports 1 race broadcast.