Sunday will be single car qualifying to set the front row for next Sunday’s Daytona 500 (2:30 p.m. ET/FOX/MRN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). While it’s nothing glamorous, it’s all about the teamwork back in North Carolina.
The drivers will tell you, qualifying at the Daytona International Speedway doesn’t have much to do about their skillset. It’s all about the teamwork in the offseason and engine department.
That’s why Hendrick Motorsports and Chevrolet in general have felt great about themselves at Daytona in February.
On Sunday (12 p.m. ET/FOX/MRN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) 40+ drivers will take to the high banks of Daytona in efforts to get themselves on the front row for next Sunday’s season opener. While there hasn’t been any on track activity yet, the ones to beat are the HMS camp.
HMS will look to win their fifth straight Daytona 500 pole, as Jeff Gordon started the streak in 2015 and Alex Bowman kept it going last February. In the middle was Chase Elliott winning the pole in 2016 and again in 2017.
Now, can Jimmie Johnson earn his third career Daytona 500 pole (2002, 2008)? Can Elliott earn his third (2016, 2017)? Can Bowman go back-to-back (2018)? Will William Byron earn his first career Cup pole and give the famed No. 24 Chevrolet its fourth Daytona 500 pole in five years?
If they can’t don’t overlook the Chevy teams in general. Chevy, has won six straight poles in the “Great American Race” and 11 of the last 13. The only two races since 2006 that they didn’t earn the Daytona 500 pole was in 2007 (David Gilliland) and 2012 (Carl Edwards).
Toyota, has never won a Daytona 500 pole.