Hendrick Motorsports Goes 1-2-3-4 In Daytona 500 Qualifying With Byron/Bowman Front Row, 2 Open Cars
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla – Hendrick Motorsports are the kings of speed at Daytona. For the fifth straight year, an HMS driver will start on the front row for the season opening Daytona 500.
This year though, well they made a statement.
HMS had 1-2-3-4 in not just the first round of Busch Pole qualifying on Sunday afternoon, but they also went 1-2-3-4 in the final round too. It was a fight amongst themselves for the pole.
In the end, William Byron won his first career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series pole with a blazing hot lap of 194.305 mph in his No. 24 Chevrolet. He becomes the second youngest Daytona 500 pole winner ever and also gives Chevy not just their seventh consecutive Daytona 500 pole, but their 11th in the last 12 years as well. Not only that, Chevy has now won 700 poles in the Cup Series too.
Furthermore, the No. 24 Chevy has now won four of the last five Daytona 500 poles. Jeff Gordon did so in that car in 2015 and Chase Elliott in 2016 and again in 2017.
Alex Bowman will join Byron on the front row as last year’s Daytona 500 pole winner circled the 2.5-mile track with a speed of 194.154 mph in his No. 88 Chevrolet.
The third and fourth fastest speeds came via their teammates too. Jimmie Johnson (193.807 mph) and Chase Elliott (193.782 mph) were third and fourth respectively on an overcast afternoon.
These guys were so strong, no one was even close to them. Daniel Hemric was fifth quickest, or best in the next class, with a speed of 192.460 mph. That more than a full mph slower than the slowest of the four Hendrick drivers.
The Hendrick speed wasn’t the only thing that mattered on Sunday too. The six open cars do too. Two of the six would be locked into the Daytona 500 on speed alone. After qualifying, Tyler Reddick and Casey Mears were the top two. They’ll race on speed.
That leaves the final two spots between four drivers. Two are in Duel 1 (Ryan Truex and Brendan Gaughan) and the other two in Duel 2 (Parker Kligerman and Joey Gase).