On TargetBullseye, the Target mascot, is in Daytona Beach to give the driver of the Target-sponsored No. 42 Chevrolet, Juan Pablo Montoya, some luck.He has a pretty good record.“Dario took him last year to the 500 and won,” Montoya said, remembering Dario Franchitti’s win in the Target racer at the Indianapolis 500.Bullseye brought his fire suit and everything.“A cool dog and obedient as hell,” Montoya said. “Not like me.”That’s hipTrucks racer Parker Kligerman is 22, so he has a qualified opinion for NASCAR on music that the kids like. If NASCAR wants to tap into hip-hop and rap, that’d be fine with him.“Any sport, and any TV entity, right now is fighting to find itself a portion of the 18-to-24-year-old market,” he said. “Obviously the urban market is something that NASCAR has struggled to expand into.”The rapper Game was scheduled to perform at Daytona on Saturday.“Having those guys come out and expose themselves to NASCAR and maybe talk about it in one of their songs would be cool,” Kligerman said.Race facesSuper Bowl winner Ray Lewis, a Central Florida native, will serve as the honorary starter and wave the green flag.Clay Cook of the Zac Brown Band will perform the national anthem. That’s after the band performs in a pre-race concert.Actor James Franco will serve as the grand marshal and give the start command.The U.S. Air Force “Thunderbirds” will perform the flyover.Ugh, what day is it?Jimmie Johnson remembers winning the Daytona 500 in 2006. Well, he thinks he remembers.“I may have celebrated a bit too much,” he said, smiling at the memory of a long night of celebrating before beginning a day of interviews bright and early the next morning.“As much as I love that day, that was one of the most painful days in Jimmie Johnson’s history,” he said. “Being asked the same question over and over and trying to look awake, alert and happy. Man, I was having a lot of pain.“But it was worth it."They said it“When I was a little kid, my dad watched Letterman all the time. I’d always wanted to sit on the couch, or the chair — or whatever it was –— and be on there.” — Matt Kenseth, on one of the perks of winning the Daytona 500 in 2009.By the numbers17Years since a driver has won back-to-back Daytona 500s, when Sterling Marlin repeated in 1995.
Carlos Mendez, 817-390-7407 Twitter: @calexmendez