Daytona 500: GM Racing qualifying day report

Team Chevy Drivers Say It's Not Where You Start At Daytona, It's Where You Finish Daytona Beach, Fla. - It's not where you start at Daytona International Speedway, it's where you finish that counts. Team Chevy drivers know they have the Monte...

Team Chevy Drivers Say It's Not Where You Start At Daytona, It's Where You Finish

Daytona Beach, Fla. - It's not where you start at Daytona International Speedway, it's where you finish that counts. Team Chevy drivers know they have the Monte Carlo SS race cars they need to race well in Thursday's Gatorade Duel at Daytona Qualifying Races.

At the end of Bud Pole Qualifying for the Daytona 500 today, Chevrolet has four drivers in the top-10 of the 61 cars that made qualifying runs.

Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Monte Carlo SS, recorded was the fastest Monte Carlo SS speed to land seventh in the qualifying order. He was followed by Sterling Marlin, No. 14 Waste Management Monte Carlo SS in eighth; Johnny Sauter, No. 70 Yellow Transportation Monte Carlo SS in ninth and Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Monte Carlo SS in tenth.

Both Marlin and Sauter, who needed to qualify on time due to the starting provisions in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series rule book, are now locked in the Daytona 500. They will race for their Sunday starting position in one of the two 150-mile races on Thursday.

Five more Chevy drivers scored top-20 qualifying efforts for the Duel at Daytona races, which will give them good starting positions in their respective race. Casey Mears, No. 25 National Guard/GMAC Monte Carlo SS landed in 12th; Kyle Busch, No. 5 Kellogg's/Carquest Monte Carlo SS is 13th; Denny Hamlin, No. 11 FedEx Express Monte Carlo SS captured the 14th spot; J.J. Yeley, No. 18 Interstate Batteries Monte Carlo SS is 17th and Tony Stewart, No. 20 Home Depot Monte Carlo SS captured the 19th position in the final order.

A total of 28 Chevrolet teams were in today's field of qualifiers. Dale Earnhardt, Jr., No. 8 Budweiser Monte Carlo SS landed in the 23rd position while Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Shell/Pennzoil Monte Carlo SS was disappointed with his 31st place effort today.

Veteran Mark Martin in his first run behind the wheel of the No. 01 U.S. Army Monte Carlo SS, came in 35th. Last year's pole sitter Jeff Burton, No. 31 Cingular Wireless Monte Carlo SS took the 52nd spot in the field but is adamant that he has a very solid race car.

Sitting on the front row for the 49th running of the Daytona 500 are Robert Yates Racing teammates David Gilliland and Ricky Rudd.

The field is divided by odd/even. The drivers who qualified in an odd-numbered position will start in the first race while the cars that scored an even number in the order will start in the second one.

The first Gatorade Duel at Daytona Qualifying Races is scheduled to start at 2:00 p.m. EST Thursday, February 15 with live television coverage on SPEED Channel. Live radio coverage will be provided by MRN Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio.

-credit: gm racing

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Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Jeff Burton , Jeff Gordon , Tony Stewart , Kevin Harvick , Sterling Marlin , Casey Mears , Jimmie Johnson , Johnny Sauter , J.J. Yeley , David Gilliland , Robert Yates , Denny Hamlin , Kyle Busch , Mark Martin
Teams Yates Racing