Famous number on pole for Daytona 500

Austin Dillon takes the pole at Daytona

Austin Dillon takes the pole at Daytona

The return of the #3 in NASCAR’s premier Sprint Cup series has been marked with the Coors Light Pole for rookie Austin Dillon at the Daytona 500.

Not since the passing of Dale Earnhardt Sr. at the corresponding race in 2001 has the #3 been seen in Sprint Cup, and plenty of focus has been placed on the number’s return since car owner Richard Childress confirmed that his grandson would carry it in 2014.

“I feel like our engines have been really good since we’ve been here at Daytona,” said Dillon.

“I just had to get my shifts. And I knew that hopefully I could hold the wheel straight for two laps.”

After Dillon took the pole with a speed of 315.462km/h (196.019 mph), the Richard Childress Racing operation now wants the focus to be on the race next weekend.

“I couldn’t be more proud of Austin,” said Childress.

“We wanted to come down here and put on a good show with the #3.”

Dillon and Martin Truex Jr. have set their starting positions in the Daytona 500 as first and second. The rest of the drivers will race in the Budweiser Duel events later in the week to determine their position in the race. With 49 cars fighting for the 43 starting spots, the twin-150 mile (60 lap) races will be run Friday morning Australian time and are sure to provide plenty of action.

Australia’s Marcos Ambrose backed-up his seventh place finish in Saturday night’s Sprint Unlimited pre-season race with 11th place in qualifying for the 500.

“We’ve brought great cars here. Last night we had a competitive race and today we backed that up with good speed on these cars,” said Ambrose.

“We’re up in the stratosphere on qualifying day, which is the highest I’ve really ever been here for a 500 qualifying. We’re gonna get a top-10 speed before the Duel and showed some speed in the car.”

The field for each Duel is determined by assigning the cars that earned odd-numbered positions from qualifying to the first Duel race. The cars that earned even-numbered positions from qualifying will compete in the second Duel race. The starting positions for each Duel race will be based on the driver’s qualifying times.

A combination of results in those races, qualifying speed and provisional points will ultimately set the starting grid for ‘The Great American’ race.

VIDEO: Austin Dillon takes pole at Daytona 500

QUALIFYING TIMES: Daytona 500

Pos No. Driver Team Time Speed
1 3 Austin Dillon # DOW Chevrolet 45.914 196.019
2 78 Martin Truex. Jr. Furniture Row Chevrolet +0.039 195.852
3 16 Greg Biffle 3M Ford +0.047 195.818
4 99 Carl Edwards Fastenal Ford +0.072 195.712
5 31 Ryan Newman Caterpillar Chevrolet +0.073 195.707
6 2 Brad Keselowski Miller Lite Ford +0.170 195.296
7 88 Dale Earnhardt. Jr. National Guard Chevrolet +0.190 195.211
8 24 Jeff Gordon Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet +0.230 195.042
9 17 Ricky Stenhouse. Jr. Nationwide Insurance Ford +0.239 195.004
10 27 Paul Menard Peak/Menards Chevrolet +0.259 194.919
11 9 Marcos Ambrose Stanley Ford +0.265 194.894
12 33 Brian Scott(i) Whitetail Chevrolet +0.293 194.776
13 43 Aric Almirola Smithfield Ford +0.321 194.658
14 48 Jimmie Johnson Lowe’s Chevrolet +0.326 194.637
15 22 Joey Logano Shell Pennzoil Ford +0.339 194.582
16 13 Casey Mears GEICO Chevrolet +0.339 194.582
17 20 Matt Kenseth Dollar General Toyota +0.341 194.574
18 7 Michael Annett # Pilot/Flying J Travel Centers Chevrolet +0.341 194.574
19 5 Kasey Kahne Farmers Insurance Chevrolet +0.348 194.544
20 15 Clint Bowyer 5-hour Energy Toyota +0.353 194.523
21 18 Kyle Busch M&M’s Toyota +0.358 194.502
22 11 Denny Hamlin FedEx Express Toyota +0.364 194.477
23 4 Kevin Harvick Budweiser Chevrolet +0.377 194.422
24 42 Kyle Larson # Target Chevrolet +0.380 194.410
25 10 Danica Patrick GoDaddy Chevrolet +0.387 194.380
26 21 Trevor Bayne(i) Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford +0.398 194.334
27 47 AJ Allmendinger Kroger/USO Chevrolet +0.452 194.108
28 41 Kurt Busch Haas Automation Chevrolet +0.459 194.078
29 36 Reed Sorenson Golden Corral Chevrolet +0.462 194.066
30 51 Justin Allgaier # Brandt Professional Agriculture Chevrolet +0.522 193.815
31 38 David Gilliland Love’s Travel Stops Ford +0.541 193.736
32 40 Landon Cassill(i) Hillman Racing Chevrolet +0.542 193.732
33 30 Parker Kligerman # Swan Energy Toyota +0.575 193.594
34 66 Michael Waltrip BlueDEF/AAA Toyota +0.615 193.428
35 14 Tony Stewart Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet +0.630 193.365
36 35 Eric McClure(i) Hefty Ultimate/Reynolds Wrap Ford +0.741 192.905
37 55 Brian Vickers Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota +0.767 192.798
38 1 Jamie McMurray McDonald’s Chevrolet +0.792 192.695
39 26 Cole Whitt # Speed Stick Gear Toyota +0.830 192.538
40 34 David Ragan CSX – Play It Safe Ford +0.881 192.328
41 95 Michael McDowell K-Love Ford +0.890 192.291
42 32 Terry Labonte C&J Energy Services Ford +0.928 192.135
43 98 Josh Wise Curb Records Ford +0.946 192.061
44 52 Bobby Labonte Phoenix Construction Chevrolet +1.085 191.493
45 87 Joe Nemechek(i) 300 Rise of an Empire Toyota +1.335 190.480
46 83 Ryan Truex # Borla Exhaust Toyota +1.368 190.347
47 23 Alex Bowman # Dr.Pepper Toyota +1.533 189.685
48 93 Morgan Shepherd(i) SupportMilitary.org Toyota +1.569 189.542
49 77 Dave Blaney Plinker Arms Ford +45.914

 

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