Alex Bowman wins Daytona 500 pole in all-Hendrick front row

Alex Bowman rocketed to the Daytona 500 pole as Hendrick Motorsports swept the front row.

Bowman’s average lap speed of 191.261 mph led the way in Wednesday night’s qualifying session as he easily topped his Hendrick teammate William Byron to make his record fourth consecutive front row start in the season opener.

Byron ended up second (190.219 mph), which also locked him into the Sunday’s starting lineup at Daytona International Speedway.

It’s also the seventh consecutive Daytona 500 a team powered by a Hendrick engine started on the pole.

“I mean it doesn’t have a whole lot to do with me, right? It’s a testament to the guys on this team and everybody back at the shop at Hendrick Motorsports,” Bowman said. “They work so hard on these superspeedway cars – they’re beautiful when they get to the race track.

“Our Ally Camaro obviously has been really fast since we unloaded. We focused a lot on trying to win the pole for the 500. It means a lot to us and obviously we were able to achieve that.

“Just really proud of everyone. It feels really good. It’s just awesome to be driving this No. 48 car.”

Aric Almirola (190.178 mph) ended up third and the top Ford, Bubba Wallace was fourth-fastest (189.577 mph) and the top Toyota and Ryan Preece (189.565 mph) ended up fifth.

Rounding out the top 10 were Kevin Harvick, Christopher Bell, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Austin Dillon and Daniel Suarez.

By posting the fastest speeds among the teams without charters, both David Ragan and Preece are guaranteed a starting position in the Daytona 500.

The remainder of the 500 lineup will be set by the results of Thursday night’s qualifying races.

Noah Gragson, who was attempting to make the Daytona 500 with Beard Motorsports in the No. 62 Chevrolet, was unable to make a qualifying attempt as his car failed inspection three times.

He will have to start from the rear of the field of his qualifying race Thursday night and his performance in that event will be the only way he can make the field of the Daytona 500.

Derrike Cope also failed to make a qualifying attempt as his team needed to change batteries but could not complete it within the five-minute clock.

Cla # Driver Manufacturer Laps Time Gap Interval Mph
1 48 United States Alex Bowman Chevrolet 1 47.056     191.261
2 24 United States William Byron Chevrolet 1 47.314 0.258 0.258 190.219
3 10 United States Aric Almirola Ford 1 47.324 0.268 0.010 190.178
4 23 United States Bubba Wallace Toyota 1 47.474 0.418 0.150 189.577
5 47 United States Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Chevrolet 1 47.477 0.421 0.003 189.565
6 4 United States Kevin Harvick Ford 1 47.489 0.433 0.012 189.518
7 20 United States Christopher Bell Toyota 1 47.573 0.517 0.084 189.183
8 37 United States Ryan Preece Chevrolet 1 47.585 0.529 0.012 189.135
9 3 United States Austin Dillon Chevrolet 1 47.631 0.575 0.046 188.953
10 99 Mexico Daniel Suarez Chevrolet 1 47.636 0.580 0.005 188.933
11 11 United States Denny Hamlin Toyota 1 47.695 0.639 0.059 188.699
12 9 United States Chase Elliott Chevrolet 1 47.695 0.639 0.000 188.699
13 36 United States David Ragan Ford 1 47.730 0.674 0.035 188.561
14 1 United States Kurt Busch Chevrolet 1 47.742 0.686 0.012 188.513
15 5 United States Kyle Larson Chevrolet 1 47.752 0.696 0.010 188.474
16 18 United States Kyle Busch Toyota 1 47.780 0.724 0.028 188.363
17 21 United States Matt DiBenedetto Ford 1 47.881 0.825 0.101 187.966
18 12 United States Ryan Blaney Ford 1 47.895 0.839 0.014 187.911
19 33 United States Austin Cindric Ford 1 47.900 0.844 0.005 187.891
20 16 United States Kaz Grala Chevrolet 1 47.925 0.869 0.025 187.793
21 22 United States Joey Logano Ford 1 47.943 0.887 0.018 187.723
22 14 United States Chase Briscoe Ford 1 47.956 0.900 0.013 187.672
23 6 United States Ryan Newman Chevrolet 1 47.960 0.904 0.004 187.656
24 42 United States Ross Chastain Chevrolet 1 47.972 0.916 0.012 187.609
25 41 United States Cole Custer Ford 1 48.060 1.004 0.088 187.266
26 2 United States Brad Keselowski Ford 1 48.072 1.016 0.012 187.219
27 34 United States Michael McDowell Ford 1 48.124 1.068 0.052 187.017
28 19 United States Martin Truex Jr. Toyota 1 48.165 1.109 0.041 186.858
29 43 United States Erik Jones Chevrolet 1 48.189 1.133 0.024 186.765
30 17 United States Chris Buescher Ford 1 48.269 1.213 0.080 186.455
31 8 United States Tyler Reddick Chevrolet 1 48.347 1.291 0.078 186.154
32 38 Anthony Alfredo Ford 1 48.422 1.366 0.075 185.866
33 96 United States Ty Dillon Toyota 1 48.446 1.390 0.024 185.774
34 77 United States Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 1 48.746 1.690 0.300 184.631
35 7 United States Corey Lajoie Chevrolet 1 48.767 1.711 0.021 184.551
36 00 United States Quin Houff Chevrolet 1 49.571 2.515 0.804 181.558
37 13 United States Garrett Smithley Ford 1 49.880 2.824 0.309 180.433
38 78 United States B.J. McLeod Ford 1 49.985 2.929 0.105 180.054
39 66 United States Timmy Hill Ford 1 50.016 2.960 0.031 179.942
40 51 United States Cody Ware Chevrolet 1 50.074 3.018 0.058 179.734
41 53 United States Joey Gase Ford 1 50.630 3.574 0.556 177.760
42 52 United States Josh Bilicki Ford 1 50.926 3.870 0.296 176.727
43 15 United States Derrike Cope Chevrolet          
44 62 United States Noah Gragson Chevrolet        
shares
comments

Related video

2021 Daytona 500 entry list features 44 cars

Previous article

2021 Daytona 500 entry list features 44 cars

Next article

Ragan, Preece lock themselves into Daytona 500 field

Ragan, Preece lock themselves into Daytona 500 field
Load comments

About this article

Series NASCAR Cup
Event Daytona 500
Author Jim Utter
From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview Prime

From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview

The death of Dale Earnhardt in the 2001 Daytona 500 shocked NASCAR to the core. At the Daytona 24 Hours, two weeks before his fatal accident, ‘The Intimidator’ shared his expectations of challenging for an eighth Cup title with JONATHAN INGRAM, in an article first published in the 15 February 2001 issue of Autosport magazine. Little did we know then what tragedy would unfold…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death Prime

The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death

On February 18, 2001, seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Dale Earnhardt – the fearless ‘Intimidator’ – was in his element at Daytona International Speedway. While his own DEI team’s cars ran 1-2 towards the finish line, his famed #3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo was playing rear gunner to block any late runs from the chasing pack. As the cars tore through Turns 3 and 4 on that fateful final lap, Earnhardt maintained the strongarm tactics that encapsulated his persona… but his actions in those moments sadly proved to be his last.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR Prime

Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR

The NASCAR Cup Series is changing. Whether it be the gradual morphing out the seasoned drivers of yesterday as the next generation step up, a radical calendar shake-up featuring more road courses than ever before and the prospect of an all-new car on the horizon, stock car racing’s highest level is nearing the end of a huge facelift.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 16, 2021
The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021 Prime

The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 13, 2021
Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption Prime

Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption

From a disgraced NASCAR exile, Kyle Larson has been given a chance of redemption by the powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports squad. Effectively replacing seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson is no easy billing, but Larson has every intention of repaying the team's faith...

NASCAR Cup
Feb 11, 2021
Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon Prime

Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon

In this exclusive one-on-one interview, Roger Penske reveals the inner drive that has made him not only a hugely successful team owner and businessman but also the owner of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar. He spoke to David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Dec 28, 2020
Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started Prime

Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started

Chase Elliott's late charge to the 2020 NASCAR Cup title defied predictions that it would be a Kevin Harvick versus Denny Hamlin showdown. While the two veterans are showing no signs of slowing down, Elliott's triumph was a window into NASCAR's future…

NASCAR Cup
Nov 18, 2020
Why Kyle Larson deserves his second chance in a cancel culture Prime

Why Kyle Larson deserves his second chance in a cancel culture

“You can’t hear me? Hey n*****” Those fateful words uttered by Kyle Larson, spoken into his esports headset on April 12, were directed at his sim racing spotter – but instead they quickly became amplified around the world via social media, including his own Twitch stream.

NASCAR Cup
Oct 29, 2020