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Daytona 500: Bowman snags pole position over Hamlin

There will be no avoiding “The Showman” nickname for Alex Bowman now.

Daytona 500: Bowman snags pole position over Hamlin
Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports, Nationwide Chevrolet Camaro
Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports, Nationwide Chevrolet Camaro
Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports, Nationwide Chevrolet Camaro
Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports, Nationwide Chevrolet Camaro
Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports, Nationwide Chevrolet Camaro
Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing, FedEx Express Toyota Camry
Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing, FedEx Express Toyota Camry
Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing, FedEx Express Toyota Camry
Daniel Suarez, Joe Gibbs Racing, ARRIS Toyota Camry
Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports, Lowe's for Pros Chevrolet Camaro
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing, M&M's Toyota Camry
William Byron, Hendrick Motorsports, AXALTA Chevrolet Camaro
William Byron, Hendrick Motorsports, AXALTA Chevrolet Camaro
Erik Jones, Joe Gibbs Racing, DEWALT Toyota Camry
Darrell Wallace Jr., Richard Petty Motorsports, Click n' Close Ford Fusion
Kurt Busch, Stewart-Haas Racing, Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford Fusion
Kurt Busch, Stewart-Haas Racing, Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford Fusion
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing, Bass Pro Shops/5-hour ENERGY Toyota Camry
Joey Logano, Team Penske, Shell Pennzoil Ford Fusion

Bowman captured the pole for next Sunday’s Daytona 500 after knocking off Denny Hamlin from the top spot in the final round of Sunday’s knockout qualifying at Daytona International Speedway.

Bowman, in his first full season replacing Dale Earnhardt Jr. in Hendrick Motorsports’ No. 88 Chevrolet, earned the second pole of his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career.

Bowman and Hamlin have locked in the front row for next weekend’s Daytona 500. The lineup for the remainder of the field will be determined in Thursday night’s 150-mile qualifying races.

“It was a little nerve-wracking. You know, our Nationwide Camaro ZL1 has been great since we unloaded,” Bowman said. “All the guys back at the chassis shop, the body shop, the Hendrick engine shop – they all work so hard.

“We knew were going for the pole. That’s what we were here to do.”

Asked what it felt like to be in this position, Bowman called it "a little surreal."

"It’s a dream come true to get to drive for Hendrick Motorsports. I never thought it would have happened after the path my career took. I’m so thankful to be able to do this," he said. "I’m very blessed to be able to call driving a race car my job, and now to get to drive what I think is the best race car in the business.

"It’s a dream come true.”

Said Hamlin about his front row start: “Great teamwork. This is a testament to everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing to give us a race car that is very fast.”

Jimmie Johnson ended up third-fastest, Kyle Busch fourth and rookie William Byron completed the top-five.

The remainder of the top 12: Daniel Suarez, Kevin Harvick, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Chase Elliott, Joey Logano and Paul Menard.

Hendrick Motorsports has now won four consecutive Daytona 500 poles and six of the past nine.

Cla#DriverManufacturerLapsTimeGapIntervalMph
1 88 united_states Alex Bowman  Chevrolet 1 46.002     195.644
2 11 united_states Denny Hamlin  Toyota 1 46.132 0.130 0.130 195.092
3 48 united_states Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 1 46.217 0.215 0.085 194.734
4 18 united_states Kyle Busch  Toyota 1 46.224 0.222 0.007 194.704
5 24 united_states William Byron  Chevrolet 1 46.261 0.259 0.037 194.548
6 20 united_states Erik Jones  Toyota 1 46.279 0.277 0.018 194.473
7 19 mexico Daniel Suarez  Toyota 1 46.280 0.278 0.001 194.468
8 4 united_states Kevin Harvick  Ford 1 46.281 0.279 0.001 194.464
9 17 united_states Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 1 46.381 0.379 0.100 194.045
10 9 united_states Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 1 46.413 0.411 0.032 193.911
11 22 united_states Joey Logano  Ford 1 46.437 0.435 0.024 193.811
12 21 united_states Paul Menard  Ford 1 46.584 0.582 0.147 193.199

Round 1

Hendrick Motorsports dominated the first round of qualifying as all four of its drivers advanced to the final round.

Bomwan led the way with an average lap speed of 194.885 mph, just holding off a late-session run by Hamlin (194.801 mph).

Stenhouse was third-fastest, Byron fourth and Kyle Busch completed the top-five.

“We’ve been really happy with our Nationwide Camaro ZL1. It was fast off the track,” Bowman said after his first round qualifying run. “I’m very thankful for this opportunity. The Hendrick engine shop is the best in the business.

“I’m having a blast.”

Also advancing to the final round were Suarez, Harvick, Johnson, Logano, Menard, Jones and Elliott.

“I feel like we could possibly get on the front row,” Menard said. “We got a shot – that’s all you can ask for.”

Aric Almirola, who moved from Richard Petty Motorsports to Stewart-Haas Racing this season, just missed the cut, posting the 13th-fastest lap.

“It’s a lot more fun coming to the race track when you know you have a shot to win every week,” he said. “Our car was OK in drafting – it was a little more dicey than I’ve been used to. I’m ready to go race.”

Among those who also failed to advance to the final round were Austin Dillon, Ryan Blaney, last year’s 500 winner Kurt Busch, Kyle Larson and reigning Cup series champion Martin Truex Jr.

“It was actually a little slower than we ran in practice. I don’t know, speed-wise we’ve been off a bit here, especially single car runs,” Truex said. “I don’t know, new rules package and all, we’re just trying to figure that out.

“Looking forward to racing today just to see what these things will do in the draft.”

Danica Patrick, planning to make her final start in the Cup Series in next Sunday’s 500, qualified 28th-fastest and failed to advance to the final round.

David Ragan failed to take a speed in the first round as he developed a problem just as he was taking the green-flag and pulled off the track. Ragan said he believed his brakes were dragging and there was some indication of a possible engine problem.

Before the first round began only two cars had not yet cleared inspection – those of Jamie McMurray and Gray Gaulding.

Gaulding’s No. 23 BK Racing Toyota failed to make a qualifying attempt and will start Thursday night’s qualifying races from the rear of the field.

13 10 united_states Aric Almirola  Ford 1 46.539 0.358 0.005 193.386
14 3 united_states Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 1 46.546 0.365 0.007 193.357
15 12 united_states Ryan Blaney  Ford 1 46.577 0.396 0.031 193.228
16 14 united_states Clint Bowyer  Ford 1 46.658 0.477 0.081 192.893
17 41 united_states Kurt Busch  Ford 1 46.678 0.497 0.020 192.810
18 95 united_states Kasey Kahne  Chevrolet 1 46.694 0.513 0.016 192.744
19 2 united_states Brad Keselowski  Ford 1 46.698 0.517 0.004 192.728
20 6 united_states Trevor Bayne  Ford 1 46.781 0.600 0.083 192.386
21 31 united_states Ryan Newman  Chevrolet 1 46.816 0.635 0.035 192.242
22 42 united_states Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 1 46.817 0.636 0.001 192.238
23 1 united_states Jamie McMurray  Chevrolet 1 46.836 0.655 0.019 192.160
24 34 united_states Michael McDowell  Ford 1 46.899 0.718 0.063 191.902
25 43 united_states Darrell Wallace Jr.  Chevrolet 1 46.938 0.757 0.039 191.742
26 78 united_states Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 1 47.002 0.821 0.064 191.481
27 13 united_states Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 1 47.074 0.893 0.072 191.188
28 7 united_states Danica Patrick  Chevrolet 1 47.081 0.900 0.007 191.160
29 37 united_states Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 1 47.095 0.914 0.014 191.103
30 47 united_states A.J. Allmendinger  Chevrolet 1 47.144 0.963 0.049 190.904
31 62 united_states Brendan Gaughan  Chevrolet 1 47.398 1.217 0.254 189.881
32 51 united_states Justin Marks  Chevrolet 1 47.464 1.283 0.066 189.617
33 32 united_states Matt DiBenedetto  Ford 1 47.675 1.494 0.211 188.778
34 96 canada D.J. Kennington  Toyota 1 47.848 1.667 0.173 188.096
35 00 united_states Jeffrey Earnhardt  Chevrolet 1 47.866 1.685 0.018 188.025
36 92 united_states David Gilliland  Ford 1 47.884 1.703 0.018 187.954
37 66 united_states Mark Thompson  Ford 1 48.267 2.086 0.383 186.463
38 72 united_states Corey Lajoie  Chevrolet 1 48.372 2.191 0.105 186.058
39 23 united_states Gray Gaulding  Toyota   0.000     0.000
40 38 united_states David Ragan  Ford   0.000     0.000

 

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