The Latest on the Daytona 500 (all times local):
Hendrick Motorsports used teamwork to help Chase Elliott settle into the Daytona 500.
Elliott started on the pole but struggled to hold the lead during the first stage of the race. During a caution period, veteran Dale Earnhardt Jr. was asked by his crew if he could relay any advice to how Elliott was attacking the race.
Earnhardt said Elliott needed to understand when to side draft and when to jump into a gap to deliberately slow a line of traffic.
Earnhardt is a two-time Daytona 500 winner and started on the front row next to Elliott.
— Jenna Fryer
Corey LaJoie created the first caution of the Daytona 500.
LaJoie seemingly made a late call to try to get on pit road, locked up his brakes and then slid across the track and slammed into the outside wall. LaJoie’s No. 83 Toyota sustained damaged to its front-ride fender, but managed to stay in the race.
“What the hell was he doing?” fellow driver Clint Bowyer said over his radio. “Glad he went the other way.”
Former NASCAR champion Kurt Busch was penalized during the caution flag for speeding on pit road.
— Mark Long
Rookie Daniel Suarez made a rare mistake in his first Daytona 500.
Suarez was caught speeding on pit road as the Toyota drivers all made their first pit stops at the same time. The idea was to keep the Toyota drivers together, but the speeding penalty forced the rookie back to pit road.
The mistake cost Suarez a lap, and he was running last in the 40-car field.
Suarez is the only foreign-born, full-time driver in NASCAR’s Cup Series. The Mexican won the Xfinity Series championship last year and got an unexpected promotion to NASCAR’s top level when Carl Edwards decided not to return to Joe Gibbs Racing.
Suarez is a rookie in the Daytona 500, which is the longest race of his career.
— Jenna Fryer
The 59th running of the Daytona 500 is underway, with…