The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is the top racing series of all NASCAR motor racing events. It is named for the current sponsor, Monster Energy, and is often shortened to simply the Cup Series. The first series was held in 1949, and it holds strong roots in the Southeastern U.S., as half of the 36 races are held in that region. The season is divided into two segments. After the initial 26 races, 16 drivers are selected primarily based on wins during the first 26 and are seeded based on their total number of wins, going on to compete in the final ten races known as the NASCAR playoffs. The Daytona 500 is the most prestigious race of the series.