Quick guide to Can-Am Duel qualifying races at Daytona

The stage is set for tonight's Can-Am Duel qualifying races in prime time at Daytona International Speedway.

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images for NASCAR

The starting lineup for the Daytona 500 will be set tonight in the two Can-Am Duel races (FS1, 7 p.m. ET). A total of 44 cars are entered for NASCAR race, but only 40 will make it into the biggest NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race of the year.

The front row was determined during single-car qualifying last Sunday, when Chase Elliott put the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet on the pole, while Matt Kenseth qualified second in the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.

New for this year, is what NASCAR calls its Charter system.

The sanctioning body awarded Charters to all 36 teams that ran full seasons from 2013-15. Those Charters can be sold outright or leased to other teams

All 36 Charter teams are guaranteed to start the Daytona 500, with the final four slots going to non-Charter teams, which NASCAR refers to as "Open teams." Four Open teams will make the Daytona 500 field.

The highest-finishing Open team in each Can-Am Duel race earns a starting position, with the final two starting positions awarded to Ryan Blaney and Matt DiBenedetto, who were the fastest Open drivers in last Sunday’s single-car qualifying.

Blaney is in the first Duel, where the Open cars of Michael McDowell, Cole Whitt and Josh Wise will battle for one 500 starting spot.

DiBenedetto will be in the second Duel. In that race, Open drivers Robert Richardson Jr., David Gilliland and Reed Sorenson will fight for the final spot in the 500.

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