Chase Elliott has quickly showed he was the right choice to replace the retired Jeff Gordon by becoming the youngest ever pole winner for the famed Daytona 500.
The son of NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott, the 20-year-old took the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet to the top spot in the second round of qualifying to back-up Gordon’s effort from last year.
Bill Elliott took three pole positions in the Daytona 500, with Chase setting an impressive lap of 315.9367km/h (196.314MPH) around the 2.5-mile superspeedway to share the front row with Matt Kenseth.
“This is a very, very cool day,” said Elliott.
“I don’t know that this opportunity has sunk in yet, much less sitting on the pole for the Daytona 500. I think the big thing is just the team and the Daytona 500 qualifying is about the team guys and the effort they put into these cars and it’s nothing special I did, it’s really what kind of work they did this off-season to make it happen.”
Although today’s qualifying has been run, only the front row is set with a total of 44 cars fighting for the 40 starting spots.
Positions 3-40 will be determined in Thursday night’s Can-Am Duel qualifying races at Daytona.
In the 40-car field, the 36 teams with NASCAR Charters are all guaranteed starting spots. There are eight non-charter teams or “Open” entries.
Among the Open drivers, Ryan Blaney and Matt DiBenedetto were fastest in qualifying on Sunday, which guarantees them starting spots in the Daytona 500.
Blaney is driving for the Wood Brothers; the oldest team in NASCAR. The Wood Brothers were not offered a Charter by NASCAR, as they have not raced fulltime in recent years. Despite a fulltime commitment in 2016 from the team, Blaney will need to qualify on speed throughout the season.
The highest finishing Open team in each Can-Am Duel race will also make the 500 field. In each of the Can-Am Duels, the fields will consist of 18 Charter teams and four Open teams.
Drivers with work to do in those races will be Kevin Harvick, Brian Vickers and Martin Truex Jr. The Stewart-Haas duo of Harvick and Vickers did not have their respective track bars in compliance with the Sprint Cup Series Rule Book, according to NASCAR officials.
The qualifying times for both cars were disallowed, and both will start their respective Can-Am Duel races from the rear of the field.
Additionally, NASCAR ruled that the roof flaps on the No. 78 Toyota of Martin Truex Jr. was not in compliance with the prescribed specifications of the rule book. The No. 78 did not qualify and will also start its duel race from the rear of the field.
VIDEO: Chase Elliott speaks after scoring pole for the Dayton 500
QAULIFYING: Daytona 500 – Daytona International Speedway
|POS.||CAR #||DRIVER||MAKE||SPONSOR||MPH||BEST TIME|
|1||24||Chase Elliott||NAPA Auto Parts||196.314||45.845|
|2||20||Matt Kenseth||Dollar General||196.036||45.910|
|3||88||Dale Earnhardt Jr||Nationwide||195.682||45.993|
|4||18||Kyle Busch||M&M’s 75||195.207||46.105|
|5||17||Ricky Stenhouse Jr||Fastenal||195.118||46.126|
|7||21||Ryan Blaney||Motorcraft / Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center||194.746||46.214|
|10||11||Denny Hamlin||FedEx Express||194.523||46.267|
|11||41||Kurt Busch||Haas Automation / Monster Energy||194.510||46.270|
|12||22||Joey Logano||Shell Pennzoil||194.460||46.282|
|14||5||Kasey Kahne||Farmers Insurance||194.104||46.367|
|16||27||Paul Menard||Peak Antifreeze / Menards||193.936||46.407|
|18||2||Brad Keselowski||Miller Lite||193.878||46.421|
|20||16||Greg Biffle||KFC Nashville Hot||193.665||46.472|
|22||44||Brian Scott||Albertsons Co. / Shore Lodge||193.332||46.552|
|24||93||Matt DiBenedetto||Dustless Blasting||192.686||46.708|
|25||59||Michael McDowell||Thrivent Financial / K-LOVE Radio||192.604||46.728|
|26||7||Regan Smith||Nikko RC / Golden Corral||192.542||46.743|
|27||83||Michael Waltrip||Maxwell House||192.406||46.776|
|28||34||Chris Buescher||Love’s Travel Stops||192.365||46.786|
|29||10||Danica Patrick||Nature’s Bakery||192.291||46.804|
|30||32||Bobby Labonte||Can – Am||191.808||46.922|
|31||47||AJ Allmendinger||Kroger/Scott Products||191.583||46.977|
|33||46||Michael Annett||Pilot Flying J||191.302||47.046|
|34||15||Clint Bowyer||5-Hour Energy||191.249||47.059|
|35||38||Landon Cassill||Florida Lottery||191.192||47.073|
|36||26||Robert Richardson||Stalk It||190.496||47.245|
|39||23||David Ragan||Dr. Pepper||189.068||47.602|
|40||30||Josh Wise||Curtis Key Plumbing Cont. Inc||187.282||48.056|
|41||40||Reed Sorenson||CRC Brakleen||181.163||49.679|
|42||78||Martin Truex Jr||Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats||0.000||0.000|
|43||4||Kevin Harvick||Jimmy John’s||0.000||0.000|
|44||14||Brian Vickers||Bass Pro Shops / Mobil 1||0.000||0.000|
|1.||24||Chase Elliott||Hendrick Motorsports|
|2.||88||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Hendrick Motorsports|
|3.||17||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||Roush Fenway Racing|
|4.||21*||Ryan Blaney*||Wood Brothers Racing|
|5.||3||Austin Dillon||Richard Childress Racing|
|6.||11||Denny Hamlin||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|7.||22||Joey Logano||Team Penske|
|8.||5||Kasey Kahne||Hendrick Motorsports|
|9.||27||Paul Menard||Richard Childress Racing|
|10.||2||Brad Keselowski||Team Penske|
|11.||16||Greg Biffle||Roush Fenway Racing|
|12.||44||Brian Scott||Richard Petty Motorsports|
|13.||59*||Michael McDowell*||Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing|
|14.||7||Regan Smith||Tommy Baldwin Racing|
|15.||34||Chris Buescher||Front Row Motorsports|
|16.||32||Bobby Labonte||Go Green Racing|
|17.||6||Trevor Bayne||Roush Fenway Racing|
|18.||15||Clint Bowyer||HScott Motorsports|
|19.||98*||Cole Whitt*||Premium Motorsports|
|20.||23||David Ragan||BK Racing|
|21.||30*||Josh Wise*||The Motorsports Group|
|22.||4||Kevin Harvick||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|1.||20||Matt Kenseth||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|2.||18||Kyle Busch||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|3.||48||Jimmie Johnson||Hendrick Motorsports|
|4.||19||Carl Edwards||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|5.||41||Kurt Busch||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|6.||13||Casey Mears||Germain Racing|
|7.||31||Ryan Newman||Richard Childress Racing|
|8.||95||Ty Dillon||Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing|
|9.||43||Aric Almirola||Richard Petty Motorsports|
|10.||1||Jamie McMurray||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|11.||42||Kyle Larson||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|12.||93*||Matt DiBenedetto*||BK Racing|
|13.||83||Michael Waltrip||BK Racing|
|14.||10||Danica Patrick||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|15.||47||AJ Allmendinger||JTG Daugherty Racing|
|16.||46||Michael Annett||HScott Motorsports|
|17.||38||Landon Cassill||Front Row Motorsports|
|18.||26*||Robert Richardson Jr.*||BK Racing|
|19.||35*||David Gilliland*||Front Row Motorsports|
|20.||40*||Reed Sorenson*||Hillman Smith Motorsports|
|21.||78||Martin Truex Jr.||Furniture Row Racing|
|22.||14||Brian Vickers||Stewart-Haas Racing|
* Denotes Open, non-Charter teams