By­ron cap­tures pole for Day­tona 500

Houston Chronicle - - FOR THE RECORD | ETC. -

NASCAR sanc­tioned the car chiefs for El­liott, Ty Dil­lon and Austin Dil­lon through the Day­tona 500 for re­peated in­spec­tion fail­ures be­fore qual­i­fy­ing for the race.

The driv­ers also were docked 15 min­utes from the fi­nal Cup prac­tice be­fore next Sun­day’s race. Greg Ebert for Austin Dil­lon,

Billy Plourde for Ty Dil­lon and Josh Kirk for El­liott will not be al­lowed to re­turn to the garage un­til the next race at At­lanta Mo­tor Speed­way. DAY­TONA BEACH, Fla. —

Wil­liam By­ron put Hen­drick Mo­tor­sports in a fa­mil­iar po­si­tion — on the pole for the Day­tona 500.

The 21-year-old By­ron and 25-year-old team­mate Alex Bow­man locked in the front row for “The Great Amer­i­can Race” dur­ing qual­i­fy­ing laps Sun­day at Day­tona In­ter­na­tional Speed­way. They com­prise the youngest front row in Day­tona 500 his­tory.

The cov­eted start­ing spot hasn’t meant much for NASCAR’s sea­son opener over the last two decades, though. The last Day­tona 500 pole-sit­ter to win the race was Dale Jar­rett in 2000.

The last four — Hen­drick’s Jeff Gor­don, Chase

El­liott (twice) and Bow­man — have failed to notch a top-10 fin­ish.

By­ron and Bow­man edged the other two Hen­drick driv­ers — seven-time Cup Se­ries cham­pion Jim­mie John­son and El­liott. By­ron reached a top speed of 194.304 mph in the fi­nal round of qual­i­fy­ing, nearly two-tenths of a se­cond faster than Bow­man (194.153).

The rest of the 40-car lineup will be set by two qual­i­fy­ing races Thurs­day. Thirty-six of those spots are al­ready filled be­cause of NASCAR’s char­ter sys­tem.

Ear­lier in the day,

Wil­liam By­ron is the on the Day­tona 500 pole for the se­cond time.

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