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Daytona is NASCAR's biggest prize

Updated: February 15, 2004, 6:30 AM ET
By Jonathan Baum | ESPN.com

Ask drivers about the importance of the Daytona 500 and you'll hear two different answers.

"It's the one everyone wants to win."

Or ...

"It's big, but there are 35 other races, too."

Winning the Daytona 500 can more or less make a career. Just ask Derrike Cope, who might as well have his name legally changed to "1990 Daytona 500 winner Derrike Cope."

But for many of Sunday's race favorites -- drivers such as Earnhardt Jr., Waltrip, Gordon, Stewart, Harvick, among ...

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