Front Row for Daytona 500 Is Set
William Byron in the number 24 Chevy will start from the pole in next Sunday's Daytona 500. Byron turned in the top speed of 194.305 mph in the final round of qualifying to claim his first career Cup pole. Lining up next to him in the front row next week will be last year's pole winner Alex Bowman who finished with a speed of 194.154 mph.
40 drivers are entered into next week's 61st running of NASCAR's premier race. Sunday's qualifying came in two sessions with the 12 fastest cars in the first round all advancing to the second round. The top five finishers were all Chevys and the top four were all Hendricks Chevys. Here are Sunday's Top-12 qualifiers:
- William Byron
- Alex Bowman
- Jimmy Johnson
- Chase Elliott
- Daniel Hemric
- Joey Logano
- Martin Truex, Jr.
- Clint Bowyer
- Brad Keselowski
- Austin Dillon
- Paul Menard
- Denny Hamlin
Outside of Byron and Bowman who are locked into the front row, the rest of the field will be determined in Thursday's Twin 150's.
The cars of Chase Elliott, Austin Dillon and Ty Dillon failed pre-qualifying inspection twice and under new rules this year they lose a team member. And for them their crew chiefs have been ejected for the rest of the week, including any practices, the Twin 150's and Sunday's Daytona 500.
In the warm-up for next weekend's race, Jimmie Johnson was declared the winner of The Clash, a non-points exhibition race. Johnson cam in contact with the car of leader Paul Menard and it set off a chain reaction that damaged 17 of the 20 cars in the field. A short time later a rain storm hit the track cutting the race short by 16 laps.
Kurt Busch finished second with Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney and Alex Bowman completing the Top 5.