Hendrick Motorsports drivers Kyle Larson and Alex Bowman will start the Daytona 500 from the front on Sunday after finishing on top in qualifying.
Kyle Larson has claimed pole position for the 64th Daytona 500. Larson’s Hendrick teammate Alex Bowman will start alongside him in the front row for the start of the race on Sunday.
The qualifying session of Daytona 500 took place on Wednesday night, with 42 cars making an entry for the event with the goal of securing their spot in Sunday’s race. Only ten drivers proceeded to the second round of qualifying in the hopes of securing a position on the front row.
Kyle Larson, the reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion, will start on the pole for the 2022 NASCAR season opening after edging out last year’s pole winner and teammate Alex Bowman.
“It’s really neat. You’re always really proud of your team anytime you win a pole here because it has the littlest to do with us drivers,” Larson said.
“Just a huge thank you to the engine shop at Hendrick Motorsports; everybody who’s played a part in touching these vehicles, whether it be on the computer or hands-on.”
“It’s awesome, the speed in our Chevy. I believe it’s the beginning of a really good weekend.”
Larson’s average lap speed in the final round was 181.159 mph, which was the quickest of the two rounds. Bowman hit 181.046 mph and will start the season’s biggest race on the front row for the fifth time in a row, making a NASCAR record.
Hendrick driver William Byron, who was fastest in the first round, finished third, as Ford driver Aric Almirola, who was making his final 500 start, finished fourth, and Hendrick driver Chase Elliott finished fifth.
Martin Truex Jr., Ross Chastain, Denny Hamlin, Daniel Suarez, and rookie Harrison Burton rounded out the top ten. Thursday’s two Duel races will determine the starting lineup for the remaining 38 slots.
In order of finish, the first Duel’s finishers will line up on the inside row. The drivers on the outside row will be drawn from the second Duel results. The fastest open team in each Duel race will qualify for the Daytona 500, while the remaining two spots in the 40-car field will be filled by the two open teams with the quickest single-car qualifying speeds who did not qualify through the duels.
In each Duel race, drivers who finish in the top 10 earn points toward the regular-season title. The winner gets ten points, the runner-up gets nine, and so on until the tenth place finisher gets one point.
Six open cars have entered the race, with two of them securing a qualifying slot. Jacques Villeneuve and Noah Gragson both qualified on time and will compete on Sunday. In addition to the 1995 Indianapolis 500 and the 1997 Formula One World Championship, the Canadian is attempting to add the Daytona 500 to his stellar CV. Two drivers will leave after tomorrow’s Duel races, missing out on the historic race.