By Reid Spencer
NASCAR Wire Service
Distributed by The Sports Xchange
There are 45 days remaining before the 2014 Daytona 500. Hence, the number for Thursday is:
45: The number of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Daytona International Speedway for veteran driver Ken Schrader, who announced last season that 2013 would be his final year in NASCAR Sprint Cup racing. Schrader never won a points event at Daytona, but, after parting with owner Junie Donlavey in 1987, he made a statement in his first race for Rick Hendrick with a pole-winning run in 1988 Daytona 500 qualifying.
In fact, that was the first of three straight Daytona 500 poles for the Fenton, Mo., legend. Schrader's best finish at the 2.5-mile superspeedway was second in the 1989 edition of the Great American Race, where he finished runner-up to Hendrick Motorsports teammate Darrell Waltrip.