(Daytona, FL)  The 2016 NASCAR season will begin with the biggest race of the year, the Daytona 500, on Sunday, February 21st.  Two of the sport’s biggest stars will not be racing. Of course, Jeff Gordon retired following last season. And Tony Stewart, racing his final NASCAR season before also retiring, will be sidelined with a broken vertebrae sustained last week in a ATV accident.  There’s no timeline as to when Stewart will be cleared to race this season.  

A major storyline heading into this year’s Daytona 500 is the completion of the massive renovation at the fabled track. The $400 million Daytona Rising project was completed just weeks ago and features state of the art improvements from luxury seating to easy in and out access for fans.   

On the track, Joey Logano is the defending champion at the Daytona 500, while Dale Earnhardt, Jr. won this race two years ago.  A year ago at Speedweeks, Kyle Busch was involved in a violent crash that sidelined him for weeks. Busch would go on to win the Spring Cup Series championship in amazing come from behind fashion.  

For complete coverage of the race, follow Nexstar Broadcasting Sports Reporter John Kucko on twitter at john_kucko. There will be daily photo’s and articles taking race fans inside NASCAR’s biggest spectacle.