Chase Elliott tops Hendrick teammate Bowman for Daytona pole

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Chase Elliott tops Hendrick teammate Bowman for Daytona pole
Jim Utter
By: Jim Utter
Jul 6, 2018, 11:05 PM

Chase Elliott will lead the field to the green at a superspeedway race … again.

Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Hooters
Lightning strikes near Daytona International Speedway
Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Hooters
Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Hooters
Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Axalta
Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Axalta

Elliott earned his fourth career pole in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series – all on superspeedways – by outdueling his Hendrick Motorsports teammates on Friday night.

Elliott’s average lap speed of 194.045 mph was enough to claim the top starting position for Saturday night’s Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway, his first pole of the 2018 season.

“I hope that translates into a lot of speed tomorrow night,” Elliott said. “We put a lot of effort into our superspeedway program at Hendrick Motorsports – the engine shop, the chassis shop, the body shop. They take a lot of pride when we come to these races.

“They pay the same amount of points as the rest of them, so it matters. Our team treats them that way and their hard work paid off.”

Asked what the pole does for the team in general, Elliott said, “I think it gives everybody confidence. The best pit stall is certainly nice. That can matter at the end of these races.

“Sharing the front row with a teammate is nice, too. We’ll just have to see. The race is a little bit different ballgame but having speed is nice.”

Alex Bowman, who won the pole for the Daytona 500, ended up second (193.046 mph). Brad Keselowski was third (192.802 mph), Jimmie Johnson fourth (192.361 mph) and Kevin Harvick completed the top-five (192.345 mph).

Completing the Top 12 were Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ryan Newman, Michael McDowell, Clint Bowyer, Austin Dillon, Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney.

Round 1

Elliott led a HMS sweep of the top three positions in the first round of qualifying, which was delayed for almost an hour-and-a-half by thunderstorms.

Elliott’s average lap speed was 193.991 mph.

“Good job, bud, take care of your ride there,” Elliott’s crew chief, Alan Gustafson, told him when he completed his lap.

Bowman, who won the pole for the Daytona 500, ended up second (192.938 mph) and Johnson was third (192.686 mph). Harvick and Keselowski completed the top-five.

“It was really good, a little better than we expected,” Elliott said of his first round performance. “That’s always nice. We’ll see. Speed in our Chevy has been good and we’ll have a good starting spot tomorrow night.”

Also advancing to the final round were Stenhouse, Newman, McDowell, Bowyer, Blaney, Logano and Austin Dillon.

“Nice work everybody, good job, that’s what I’m talking about, execution,” McDowell said over his radio and completing his lap.

His crew chief, Derrick Finley, replied, “Let’s cool it down, do what the big boys do.”

Among those failing to advance were Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Larson, last week’s winner Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Ty Dillon and Darrell Wallace Jr.

“That sucks,” Wallace said after his run. “All right, we’ll go race.”

Said Truex: “You never know what you’re going to get here. Not much practice yesterday, just kind of winged it, but 13th will be an okay spot.”

Timothy Peters was the only driver who failed to make the field. He was slowest among the five drivers who were not locked in the field and attempting to claim one of four “open” positions.

Cla#DriverManufacturerTimeGapMph
1 9 united_states Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 46.381   194.045
2 88 united_states Alex Bowman  Chevrolet 46.621 0.240 193.046
3 2 united_states Brad Keselowski  Ford 46.680 0.299 192.802
4 48 united_states Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 46.787 0.406 192.361
5 4 united_states Kevin Harvick  Ford 46.791 0.410 192.345
6 17 united_states Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 46.835 0.454 192.164
7 31 united_states Ryan Newman  Chevrolet 46.921 0.540 191.812
8 34 united_states Michael McDowell  Ford 46.956 0.575 191.669
9 14 united_states Clint Bowyer  Ford 47.011 0.630 191.445
10 3 united_states Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 47.047 0.666 191.298
11 22 united_states Joey Logano  Ford 47.083 0.702 191.152
12 12 united_states Ryan Blaney  Ford 47.125 0.744 190.981
13 78 united_states Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 47.069 0.688 191.209
14 42 united_states Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 47.086 0.705 191.140
15 18 united_states Kyle Busch  Toyota 47.142 0.761 190.913
16 62 united_states Brendan Gaughan  Chevrolet 47.145 0.764 190.900
17 11 united_states Denny Hamlin  Toyota 47.151 0.770 190.876
18 24 united_states William Byron  Chevrolet 47.153 0.772 190.868
19 13 united_states Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 47.162 0.781 190.832
20 6 united_states Trevor Bayne  Ford 47.165 0.784 190.819
21 38 united_states David Ragan  Ford 47.211 0.830 190.634
22 43 united_states Darrell Wallace Jr.  Chevrolet 47.228 0.847 190.565
23 41 united_states Kurt Busch  Ford 47.270 0.889 190.396
24 47 united_states A.J. Allmendinger  Chevrolet 47.284 0.903 190.339
25 37 united_states Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 47.358 0.977 190.042
26 10 united_states Aric Almirola  Ford 47.360 0.979 190.034
27 1 united_states Jamie McMurray  Chevrolet 47.424 1.043 189.777
28 95 united_states Kasey Kahne  Chevrolet 47.456 1.075 189.649
29 20 united_states Erik Jones  Toyota 47.510 1.129 189.434
30 21 united_states Paul Menard  Ford 47.568 1.187 189.203
31 32 united_states Matt DiBenedetto  Ford 47.787 1.406 188.336
32 19 mexico Daniel Suarez  Toyota 47.872 1.491 188.001
33 15 united_states Ross Chastain  Chevrolet 48.033 1.652 187.371
34 7 united_states Jeffrey Earnhardt  Chevrolet 48.045 1.664 187.324
35 96 canada D.J. Kennington  Toyota 48.306 1.925 186.312
36 00 united_states Joey Gase  Chevrolet 48.554 2.173 185.361
37 99 united_states Landon Cassill  Chevrolet 48.640 2.259 185.033
38 72 united_states Corey Lajoie  Chevrolet 48.655 2.274 184.976
39 51 united_states Ray Black Jr.  Chevrolet 49.141 2.760 183.146
40 23 united_states J.J. Yeley  Toyota 49.253 2.872 182.730

 

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About this article

Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Alex Bowman , Chase Elliott
Teams Hendrick Motorsports
Author Jim Utter
Article type Qualifying report