Drivers take the green flag on the start of the first of two qualifying races for the NASCAR Daytona 500 auto race at Daytona International Speedway Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019, in Daytona Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

New-look Daytona 500 has a certain throwback feel

February 17, 2019 - 1:42 am

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — NASCAR's biggest race will have a different look this year.

The front row of Sunday's Daytona 500 is the youngest in the showcase race's history, and there are eight rookies in the field.

The overall look of the nation's top racing series has undergone a transformation the last few seasons and this Daytona 500 truly highlights the dramatic loss of star power from just four years ago. The 2015 race featured Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Tony Stewart, Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards, Bobby Labonte, Michael Waltrip and Danica Patrick. All are now retired.

Some of the big-money sponsors in that race included Lowe's, Target, Dollar General, GoDaddy and 5-Hour Energy. All have since pulled out of NASCAR.

What remains is a new-look NASCAR that nonetheless has a throwback feel.

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