Gatorade Duel 2012: Start Time, TV Schedule And More

It's Gatorade Duels day at Daytona International Speedway. We've got the actual race start time and some other facts about today's Daytona 500 qualifying races for you below.

What time do the Duels start? The first Duel race begins at 2:19 p.m. EST (engines will be fired at 2:07 with a command by Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte), followed by the second Duel at approximately 4:01 p.m. The second Duel start time is approximate because NASCAR officials can't be sure how long the first Duel will last.

Race name/distance: The Gatorade Duels are a pair of 150-mile qualifying races (60 laps around the 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway) which set the field for the Daytona 500. The starting lineup for every other race in the NASCAR season is determined by a time trial, but the Daytona 500 is unique and uses the twin qualifying races. After today's short races -- which each include half the Daytona 500 entrants -- the starting grid for Sunday's main event will be set.

TV and radio: Today's races can be seen on SPEED. If you're stuck at work and aren't near a TV, the radio broadcast can be found on your local Motor Racing Network affiliate. Click here to see a list of stations where you can listen. You can also listen online for free here.

National anthem: Singer Catina Mack of nearby Orlando, Fla., will do the honors today.

Tickets: Wide open. You'll have no problem getting tickets if you want to make a quick trip to Daytona for the Duels. In fact, the Daytona 500 itself has yet to sell out this year.

Weather: The National Weather Service is predicting mostly sunny skies with a high near 85. It will be a bit breezy, however, with wind gusts as high as 25 mph.

Last year: Kurt Busch claimed the first Gatorade Duel race last year by holding off drafting partner Regan Smith, and Jeff Burton edged then-teammate Clint Bowyer to win Duel No. 2.

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