DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- The race is on to get to halfway -- the point where NASCAR declares the race official -- as the Daytona 500 has resumed with ferocity featuring drivers regularly running two- and three-wide.
Although the lead is continually changing, the Toyotas of Joe Gibbs Racing have asserted themselves at the front of the field. Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin have not fallen outside the top 10 since the Daytona 500 was restarted following a six-hour delay for rain.
Not everyone, however, is in a rush as many drivers have elected to drop toward the back in anticipation of a big wreck that is a byproduct of cars running in a large pack at speeds close to 200 mph. Among those utilizing this strategy is pole-sitter Austin Dillon; Tony Stewart, who is seeking his first Daytona 500 victory in 16 attempts; Ryan Newman and Carl Edwards.
Defending Sprint Cup and Daytona 500 champion Jimmie Johnson runs fourth, but still needs to make a pit stop.