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Daytona 500 Lineup Finalized

Kurt Busch (Getty Images)

The field is now set for Sunday’s Daytona 500 after Thursday’s qualifying Twin 150’s.

Kurt Busch went two for two at Daytona.  After winning last Saturday’s Bud Shootout he won the first 150 mile race, then in the second race Jeff Burton beat teammate Clint Bowyer to the finish line to set the field for NASCAR’s biggest race. 

Earning transfer spots were Bill Elliott and J-J Yeley in the first race with Michael Waltrip and Brian Keselowski – the older brother of Brad Keselowski filling out the field from the second race.  Brad provided the big push from behind to allow his big brother to qualify for his first Sprint Cup race in the series’ biggest event.

So because Dale Earnhardt, Junior will have to start at the back of the field on Sunday because of his crash in practice on Wednesday – Kurt Busch takes over the pole position with Jeff Gordon lined up next to him on the outside of the front row.

In row two it’ll be Regan Smith and Jeff Burton with Clint Bowyer and Kevin Harvick in row three.

Completing the top five rows are Michael Waltrip and Matt Kenseth followed by Kyle Busch and Kasey Kahne.

Five-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmy Johnson will start 23rd.  Terry Labonte used a past champion provisional to take a spot in the field.

Among those not making the field were Todd Bodine, Casey Mears and Derrick Cope.

Sunday’s race will mark the 10th anniversary of the death of Dale Earnhardt.  Race officials are planning a silent memorial to Earnhardt during the race.  They’re asking broadcasters and fans to go silent on the third lap of the race and for fans to stand and raise 3 fingers in tribute.  The number 3 will also be painted into the infield grass prior to the race.

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