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The Daytona 500 takes place on Valentine's Day this year. Start your engines, check out the lineup, and get ready for a romantic race this Sunday!

See this year’s Daytona 500 lineup: Find out where to watch the race

Got Valentine’s Day plans? Given that this is our first V-Day during a global pandemic, we think there ought to be some latitude when it comes to romantic activities on February 14th. No going to the movies, no going to fancy restaurants . . . how about watching the Daytona 500? How does your significant other feel about fast cars and the popular races they compete in?

“It’s like that Will Ferrell movie where he’s a NASCAR driver, honey. Remember we watched that on one of our first dates?” There you go, that’s your Valentine’s Day connection. You can add that the Daytona 500 lineup has already been set and you’re really excited about it. Throw in some flowers & chocolates for good measure.

Gentlemen, start your engines

This isn’t the first time the Daytona 500 has taken place on Valentine’s Day. Known as “The Great American Race” and the “Super Bowl of Stock Car Racing”, the Daytona 500 has fallen on V-Day eight times before. So anyone who’s been dating or married to a racing enthusiast for a while has to have known this was a possibility.

The Daytona 500 lineup was officially announced Friday morning and there seem to be a few placement hiccups already. Right off the bat, Alex Bowman of Hendrick Motorsports might be forced to forfeit his starting position on the pole and start from the back of the field instead. The reason? Potential engine problems experienced during Duel 1. If Bowman has to replace the engine, he’ll go to the back.

Likewise, Bowman’s teammate William Byron will also be giving up his original starting position. Byron was supposed to be on the outside of Row 1, but he got in a wreck in Duel 2 that tore up his car enough to move him to the back.

In addition to Bowman & Byron, NASCAR confirmed six other drivers will have to go to the rear for the Daytona 500 due to going to backup cars. The updated Daytona 500 lineup has Cole Custer, Ross Chastain, Brad Keselowski, Chase Briscoe, Kaz Grala, and Anthony Alfredo going to the rear.

On the other hand, doing Tampa Bay proud, Aric Amirola of Stewart-Haas Racing won Duel 1. This puts Amirola next to Austin Dillon from Richard Childress Racing – a great performer during Duel 2. Duel 1 sets the inside row of the Daytona 500 starting lineup while Duel 2 does the same for the inside row.

There will also be a few Daytona debuts on Sunday. Austin Cindric & Josh Bilicki join the aforementioned Briscoe, Alfredo, and Grala as drivers making their first Daytona 500 start.

Crowd control

Like pretty much every sporting event in the times of COVID-19, this year’s Daytona 500 has adapted to the new coronavirus pandemic regulations. Instead of the usual hundred thousand fans filling up the Daytona International Speedway, this time we’ll only have thirty thousand (which is still a lot of people), all practicing social distancing and being COVID-conscious.

This year’s Valentine’s Day edition of the Daytona 500 is the 63rd running of the event. 2020’s winner, Denny Hamlin from Joe Gibbs Racing, is competing again and has already gotten serious buzz around him. Hamlin’s position in the 2021 Daytona 500 lineup is #25 and he’s looking at 17-2 odds of winning. Not that we’re into betting or anything.

Boys, have at it!

All right, enough factoids. Where do you watch the Daytona 500? FOX will be covering the race, which starts at 2:30pm ET. In case we haven’t mentioned enough, this is taking place on Sunday, February 14th. 

If you don’t have cable, don’t worry! We live in the age of streaming, friends. FuboTV & SlingTV are popular streaming services that offer a seven-day free trial. That means you can sign up to watch the Daytona 500 and then cancel within a week, free of charge. Or maybe you’ll like the experience enough to stay subscribed. Entirely up to you!

Additionally, if you have access to FOX but will be on a proper date on Sunday, you can always check in on the race using the Fox Sports Go app. Make sure you let your date know you’ll be doing that though. You don’t want them to think you’re texting someone else in the middle of a romantic outing.

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