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Alex Bowman wins pole as Hendrick Motorsports dominates Daytona 500 qualifying

Alex Bowman won the pole for the Daytona 500.
Alex Bowman won the pole for the Daytona 500.
Jeff Owens
ANALYST
Modified 11 Feb 2021
News

Daytona 500 qualifying was dominated by Hendrick Motorsports Wednesday night as Alex Bowman won the pole for the Daytona 500 and teammate William Byron qualified beside him on the front row for NASCAR's biggest race.

The top two qualifiers in Daytona 500 qualifying are locked into the front row for the Daytona 500, while the rest of the starting lineup will be determined in the Daytona Duel qualifying races Thursday night.

Aric Almirola was third in Daytona 500 qualifying, while Bubba Wallace qualified fourth in his first race with Michael Jordan's 23XI Racing. Chevrolets dominated Daytona 500 qualifying, taking six of the top 10 spots. Defending Cup Series champion Chase Elliott qualified 12th.

Daytona 500 Preview: Hendrick Motorsports

Daytona 500 qualifying was held under the lights for the first time at Daytona International Speedway.

Daytona 500 qualifying saw Bowman win his second career Daytona 500 pole, while Hendrick Motorsports won the Daytona 500 pole for the 14th time. A Hendrick car will start on the pole for the sixth time in the past seven years. Hendrick had won five straight Daytona 500 poles in Daytona 500 qualifying until Ricky Stenhouse Jr. snapped the streak last year.

Bowman won the pole in 2019 in Daytona 500 qualifying, while Byron won the pole in 2018. Byron, who drives the No. 24 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports, won the last oval-track track race at Daytona, winning the Coke Zero 400 Aug. 29.

Daytona 500 Winners: Records, upsets, memorable moments

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Bowman finished 24th in last year's Daytona 500, while Byron finished last after being involved in a wreck. Bowman and Byron both won one race each last year and made the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs. Bowman finished sixth in the final standings.

Bubba Wallace during the NASCAR Cup Series 63rd Annual Daytona 500 Qualifying
Bubba Wallace during the NASCAR Cup Series 63rd Annual Daytona 500 Qualifying

“It doesn’t really have a lot to do with me; it’s a testament to these guys and everybody back at the shop at Hendrick Motorsports," Bowman said after Daytona 500 qualifying. "They work so hard on these superspeedway cars. They’re beautiful when they get to the race track. Our Camaro has been really fast since we unloaded and they focused a lot on trying to get the pole for the Daytona 500. It means a lot to us and we were able to achieve that.”

Daytona 500 qualifying results

1 Alex Bowman, 191.261 No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet

2 William Byron, 190.219 No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet

3 Aric Almirola, 190.178 No. 10 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford

4 Bubba Wallace, 189.577 No. 23 23XI Racing Toyota

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5 Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 189.565 No. 47 JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet

6 Kevin Harvick, 189.518 No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford

7 Christopher Bell, 189.183 No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota

8 Ryan Preece, 189.135 No. 37 JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet

9 Austin Dillon, 188.953 No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet

10 Daniel Suarez, 188.93 No. 99 TrackHouse Racing Chevrolet

11 Denny Hamlin, 188.699 No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota

12 Chase Elliott, 188.699 No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet

13 David Ragan, 188.561 No. 136 Front Row Motorsports Ford

14 Kurt Busch, 188.513 No. 1 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet

15 Kyle Larson, 188.474 No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet

16 Kyle Busch, 188.363 No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota

17 Matt DiBenedetto, 187.966 No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford

18 Ryan Blaney, 187.911 No. 12 Penske Racing Ford

19 Austin Cindric, 187.891 No. 33 Penske Racing Ford

20 Kaz Grala, 187.79 No. 16 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet

21 Joey Logano, 187.723 No. 22 Penske Racing Ford

22 Chase Briscoe, 187.672 No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford

23 Ryan Newman, 187.65 No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford

24 Ross Chastain, 187.609 No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet

25 Cole Custer, 187.266 No. 41 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford

26 Brad Keselowski, 187.219 No. 2 Penske Racing Ford

27 Michael McDowell, 187.017 No. 34 Front Row Motorsports Ford

28 Martin Truex Jr., 186.858 No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota

29 Erik Jones, 186.765 No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet

30 Chris Buescher, 186.455 No. 17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford

31 Tyler Reddick, 186.154 No. 8 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet

32 Anthony Alfredo, 185.866 No. 38 Front Row Motorsports Ford

33Ty Dillon, 185.774 No. 96 Gaunt Brothers Racing Toyota

34 Jamie McMurray, 184.631 No. 77 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet

35 Corey Lajoie, 184.551 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet

36 Quin Houff, 181.558 No. 00 StarCom Racing Chevrolet

37 Garret Smithley, 180.433 No. 13 MBM Motorsports Ford

38 BJ McLeod, 180.054 No. 78 Live Fast Motorsports Ford

39 Timmy Hill, 179.942 No. 66 MBM Motorsports Ford

40 Cody Ware, 179.734 No. 51 Petty Ware Racing Chevrolet

41 Joey Gase, 177.76 No. 53 Rick Ware Racing Ford

42 Josh Bilicki, 176.727 No. 52 Rick Ware Racing Ford

*43 Derrick Cope, DNQ No. 15 Rick Ware Racing Chevrolet

**44 Noah Gragson, DNQ No. 62 Beard Motorsports Chevrolet

* Cope did not make a qualifying lap during Daytona 500 qualifying and will have to race his way into the Daytona 500.

** Gragson was disqualified for failing pre-race inspection prior to Daytona 500 qualifying and will have to race his way into the Daytona 500.

Published 11 Feb 2021, 07:52 IST
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