Byron captures pole for Daytona 500
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.