Here is the latest North and South Carolina sports news from The Associated Press

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Andrei Svechnikov scored on a perfectly executed rush in the second period to help the Carolina Hurricanes beat the New Jersey Devils 5-2. Nino Niederreiter and Warren Foegele scored first-period goals for the Hurricanes. Martin Necas and Joel Edmundson added third-period goals to help Carolina take a 5-1 lead. Petr Mrazek had 35 saves for Carolina. The Hurricanes entered the game four points back of the second wild card in the Eastern Conference playoff chase. Mirco Mueller and Joey Anderson scored for New Jersey. Louis Domingue finished with 26 saves for the Devils.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Denny Hamlin will try to become the first driver in 25 years to win consecutive Daytona 500's this weekend. But the race is full  unknowns. No clear favorite has emerge and events this week have featured different winnerst. Teams have yet to show if they will make manufacturer alliance.d President Donald Trump is scheduled to give the command to start engines at the start ofSunday'se race. The 62nd running of “The Great American Race” is up for grab to kick off NASCAR's season.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla (AP) — Joe Gibbs is at the top of NASCAR as the sports heads into the Daytona 500. He boasts Daytona 500 champion Denny Hamlin, reigning Cup Series champion Kyle Busch, former champion Martin Truex Jr. and rising star Erik Jones. Gibbs was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame the same weekend he was honored at the Super Bowl as part of the NFL's 100 All-Time Team.  Gibbs won three Super Bowls coaching the Washington Redskins and five more Cup titles at Joe Gibbs Racing.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Timmy Hill and Reed Sorenson are the latest underdogs to try and win the Daytona 500. Hill will make his Daytona 500 debut driving for MBM Motorsports, a team that failed to qualify for the race last season.  Sorenson beat out Chad Finchum and caught a break when former Xfinity Series champion Daniel Suarez wrecked in the 150-mile race to claim a spot in Sunday's big race. Sorenson finished fifth in the 2008 Daytona 500. Hill starts 32nd and Sorenson is last.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — NASCAR will dole out a record $23.6 million to the 40 drivers racing in the Daytona 500. The sanctioning body released the total purse for the first time since the 2015 season. The Daytona 500 purse grew steadily since the race's inception in 1959. Lee Petty took home nearly $20,000 for winning the inaugural “Great American Race.” This year's winner will receive an undisclosed amount. The purse topped $1 million in 1985 and rose to a little more than $18 million in 2015. That's last year the figures were released publicly. The race Sunday is a sellout for the fifth consecutive season. President Donald Trump will give the command for drivers to start their engines.

CHICAGO (AP) — Michael Jordan and Dominique Wilkins have never talked to one another about the 1988 dunk contest.They might be the only ones. It is still the dunk contest by which all other dunk contests are measured: Two All-Stars, at the peak of their powers, the players who finished first and second in that season’s scoring standings, going head-to-head to decide a winner. Jordan left the old Chicago Stadium that night with the trophy. To this day, many believe Wilkins was the rightful winner. Either way, it was a never-to-be-forgotten show — and this weekend the dunk contest is returning to Chicago.