Greg Biffle earned the Budweiser pole award for the Daytona 500 with a lap of 188.387 mph. This is Biffle's first career Nextel cup pole, and Jack Roush's first pole in the Daytona 500. Front row for the 2004 Daytona 500: pole award...
Greg Biffle earned the Budweiser pole award for the Daytona 500 with a lap of 188.387 mph. This is Biffle's first career Nextel cup pole, and Jack Roush's first pole in the Daytona 500.
Biffle is beginning to build dominance at Daytona, as he also won the Pepsi 400 last July.
"We're better prepared this year, being a second year team," said Biffle. "I never thought that we'd be hear sitting on the pole for the Daytona 500. It's exciting."
Elliott Sadler scored the outside pole, with a lap of 188.355 mph. It marks Sadler's third top-ten start in eleven events at DIS.
"I think everybody wants to get the pole," said Sadler. "But I am ecstatic with my team. To get a position locked in already for Sunday's 500, it just seems like a load is already off my shoulders."
Only Biffle and Sadler are guaranteed the top two spots, the rest of the field will have to battle for position during the Gatorade Twin 125's on Thursday.
The drivers who earned the odd number spots in Sunday's qualifying session will compete in the first race which will set the inside row of competitors. The even-numbered racers from qualifying will race in the second event and set the outside row.
The highest finisher of the first competition (with Biffle removed) will begin the Daytona 500 in 3rd position, the next in 5th and so on.The highest finisher of the second event (with Sadler removed) will start 4th, the next 6th, etc.
The Gatorade 125's will only set positions 3 thru 30.
Positions 31 thru 38 are set by the fastest eight drivers not already set by the first qualifying session or the Gatorade 125's. Spots 39-42 are determined by the highest drivers in the 2003 season's owner's points that are not already in the race. The last spot is given to a former Winston Cup champion that has not fallen into any of the above prerequisites, or the next eligible driver.
DIS favorite Dale Earnhardt, Jr. posted the third fastest time of 188.210 mph. His time will not hold, and Earnhardt will have to battle it out to remain in a top five starting position. Notably, he was the only Chevy to chart a top five speed.
The fastest of the rookie class was Kasey Kahne who posted the seventh fastest lap at 187.766 mph.
"We went for a different gear and it worked out," said Kahne of his hot lap. "It's exciting. I was a lot more nervous than I thought I would be, but we can look forward to getting ready for the 125 now."