Earnhardt Jnr on pole for Daytona 500

Earnhardt Jnr finishes his pole run at Daytona

Earnhardt Jnr finishes his pole run at Daytona

Dale Earnhardt Jnr has taken pole position for next Sunday’s Daytona 500.

The #88 Amp Energy Chevrolet will start alongside the fellow Hendrick Motorsports entry of Jeff Gordon.

The 2004 race winner’s lap of 186.089mph in the one-at-a-time qualifying session pipped Gordon by less than 0.1mph.

While Earnhardt and Gordon locked in their starting spots, the rest of the field will fight for their grid positions in the Gatorade Duels later this week.

“The main thing (that pole) does for me is take the pressure off Thursday’s race,” said Earnhardt.

“I can go out and have fun and not worry about where I finish or getting a good starting spot for the Daytona 500.”

The result marks Hendrick’s third ever front-row lockout for ‘The Great American Race’, with Mark Martin and Dale Earnhardt having combined to achieve the feat just 12 months ago.

Daytona 500 rookie Trevor Bayne surprised with third fastest in the #21 Wood Brothers Ford.

The Richard Childress Racing Chevrolets of Paul Mernard, Clint Bowyer, and Jeff Burton were next quickest, while Ryan Newman (Stewart Haas Chevrolet), Mark Martin (Hendrick Chevrolet), Tony Stewart (Stewart Haas Chevrolet) and Greg Biffle (Roush Fenway Ford) rounded out the top ten.

Bud Shootout winner Kurt Busch was 11th in his Penske Dodge, while Australian Marcos Ambrose clocked the 13th fastest time in the #9 Richard Petty Ford.

Last year’s championship contender Denny Hamlin (Joe Gibbs Toyota) set the 44th fastest time after his initial run was thwarted when he lost his steering wheel coming out of pit lane.

Bill Elliott (Phoenix Chevrolet), Travis Kvapil (Front Row Motorsports Ford) and Joe Nemechek (NEMCO Motorsports Toyota) all earned their place in the 500 as the three fastest drivers among those required to qualify on speed.

Terry Labonte (FAS Lane Racing) is guaranteed a start due to the past champion’s provisional, while two starting positions will be awarded from each of Thursday’s Duel races.

See below for the full qualifying result

1 Dale Earnhardt Jr Chevrolet 186.089
2 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 185.966
3 Trevor Bayne Ford 185.445
4 Paul Menard Chevrolet 185.422
5 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet 185.223
6 Jeff Burton Chevrolet 185.071
7 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 185.003
8 Mark Martin Chevrolet 184.991
9 Tony Stewart Chevrolet 184.911
10 Greg Biffle Ford 184.911
11 Kurt Busch Dodge 184.896
12 Juan Pablo Montoya Chevrolet 184.763
13 Marcos Ambrose Ford 184.748
14 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 184.74
15 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 184.687
16 David Ragan Ford 184.612
17 Bill Elliott Chevrolet 184.532
18 Carl Edwards Ford 184.475
19 AJ Allmendinger Ford 184.29
20 Travis Kvapil Ford 184.271
21 Joe Nemechek Toyota 184.222
22 Matt Kenseth Ford 184.102
23 David Reutimann Toyota 184.019
24 Brad Keselowski Dodge 184.008
25 Michael Waltrip Toyota 183.966
26 Dave Blaney Chevrolet 183.794
27 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 183.685
28 Regan Smith Chevrolet 183.681
29 Kasey Kahne Toyota 183.602
30 Kyle Busch Toyota 183.595
31 Bobby Labonte Toyota 183.576
32 Brian Vickers Toyota 183.557
33 Martin Truex Jr Toyota 183.456
34 Joey Logano Toyota 183.206
35 Todd Bodine Toyota 183.057
36 Kevin Conway Toyota 182.949
37 Casey Mears Toyota 182.867
38 David Gilliland Ford 182.697
39 Steve Wallace Toyota 182.574
40 Michael McDowell Toyota 182.434
41 Robby Gordon Dodge 182.12
42 Terry Labonte Ford 181.492
43 Robert Richardson Jr Ford 181.466
44 Denny Hamlin Toyota 181.316
45 JJ Yeley Chevrolet 180.977
46 Andy Lally Chevrolet 180.828
47 Derrike Cope Toyota 177.894
48 Brian Keselowski Dodge 177.581

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