BUSCH: Earnhardt Jr on Daytona Busch pole

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - Dale Earnhardt, Jr. went out dead last, and put the No. 8 Chance2 Motorsports Chevy on the pole at Daytona for Friday's Busch series event with a lap of 186.308 mph. This is Earnhardt's eighth career Busche Series pole. "I ...

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - Dale Earnhardt, Jr. went out dead last, and put the No. 8 Chance2 Motorsports Chevy on the pole at Daytona for Friday's Busch series event with a lap of 186.308 mph. This is Earnhardt's eighth career Busche Series pole.

"I didn't anticipate getting the pole," said Earnhardt. "It got a little bit hotter, and we generally with our car this year in the Busch series haven't picked up as much as most guys do. Kasey (Kahne) and a bunch of those guys will pick up a little bit more than us. I feel like Kasey will be tough to beat."

When Earnhardt makes his 79th start Friday night he will be the competitor to beat. He has raced in two other events this season (Daytona & Talladega) and was victorious at both. Chance2 Motorsports, the team Earnhardt co-owns with stepmother Teresa, has definitely found a winning combination on restrictor plate race tracks.

Earnhardt is attempting to win his fourth consecutive restrictor plate victory; besides his two wins this season, he also won the 2002 spring event at Daytona.

It is the two-time NASCAR Busch series champion's first pole of the season, and first Busch pole at the 2.5-mile superspeedway. He also managed to crack the event qualifying record previously set by Joe Nemechek last year (185.793 mph).

Kasey Kahne appeared to have the top spot wrapped up, until Earnhardt's lap bested him by 0.017 of a second. Kahne will start on the outside pole.

"It's too bad he (Earnhardt) was last and we went out so early and had to wait so long," said Kahne. "But it was close. Our team did an awesome job. I crashed that car at Talladega on lap eight and that was pretty much a brand new car. It was the same chassis, but everything else was new so it was a good team effort. We just missed the pole by one-hundredth or so."

Earnhardt's DEI teammate Michael Waltrip rolls off third.

"I'm starting right behind my buddy," said Waltrip. "So hopefully we can stay upfront all night."

Bobby Hamilton, Jr. was fastest in Busch morning practice posting a speed of 185.143 mph managed to back up his time with a strong qualifying effort. Hamilton charted a speed of 185.736 mph during qualifying; good enough for fourth.

Mike Bliss, the 2002 Craftsman Truck Series champion rounds out the top five.

2002 Busch series champion Greg Biffle makes his return to the series piloting the No. 7 Evans Motorsports Chevy. Evans terminated their contact with Randy LaJoie earlier this week and tapped Biffle to fill in for Friday nights Winn Dixie 250 (as well as other events throughout the remainder of the season). Biffle who drives full time for Roush Racing in the Winston Cup series qualified 14th with a lap of 183.628 mph.

Points leader David Green will take the green flag from the 22nd spot.

Forty-eight cars attempted to make the forty-three car field. Jimmy Kitchens and Jason Hedlesky did not take the flag to qualify, and therefore are not on the grid. Failing to make the show were Jason Schuler, Joe Aramendia, and Dan Pardus.

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Bobby Hamilton , Michael Waltrip , Joe Nemechek , Greg Biffle , David Green , Jason Hedlesky , Kasey Kahne , Mike Bliss , Jason Schuler