Chase Elliott claims second straight Daytona 500 pole

Photo by Jerry Jordan/ Kickin' The Tires

By Aaron Bearden, Motorsports Editor

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – For a fleeting moment, it looked like the streak of feel-good pole storylines would continue as Dale Earnhardt, Jr., topped the charts.

Then Chase Elliott crossed the line.

Elliott’s 46.665-second lap knocked Earnhardt off the top spot to give the sophomore his second Daytona 500 pole in as many tries.

The result gives the No. 24 team its third-consecutive pole — two with Elliott, and one with Jeff Gordon in his final Daytona 500 in 2015.

“I’m just happy for our NAPA team and it’s great to have Napa on board this weekend; and a big thanks to the Hendrick engine shop and Chevrolet,” Elliott said. “Everybody at Hendrick Motorsports has done a lot of work this off-season. This team definitely has a knack for these plate tracks as they showed with Jeff Gordon and then last year with here and Talladega.”

Earnhardt (46.665) followed in second to give HMS the front row for ‘The Great American Race.’ The rest of the starting grid will be determined in Thursday’s Can-Am Duels.

Brad Keselowski (46.707) led the way for Ford in third, with Clint Bowyer (46.736) and 2016 runner-up Martin Truex, Jr. (46.800), completing the top five. Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Kasey Kahne, Matt Kenseth and Ryan Newman rounded out the top 10. Kyle Busch and Ty Dillon finished out the final round.

After placing seven cars in the top 10 in Saturday’s four-hour Daytona 500 qualifying practice, Ford Performance found disappointment in qualifications. The manufacturer managed to place just three cars in the final round of qualifying — Keselowski, Bowyer and Harvick.

The Roush Fenway duo of Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., and Trevor Bayne fell just short of the final round in 13th and 19th, respectively, while Team Penske’s Joey Logano and Wood Brothers Racing’s Ryan Blaney managed results of 17th and 18th, respectively.

Brendan Gaughan (33rd) and Elliott Sadler (36th) topped all open teams to clinch a starting position in the Daytona 500.

Timmy Hill, Corey LaJoie, DJ Kennington and Reed Sorenson will compete for the final two positions in the Duels.

A few teams found issue with pre-qualifying inspection. With new rules requiring teams that fail to restart the entire inspection process, a group of teams including JTG Daugherty Racing’s duo in the Nos. 37 and 47, Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 18, Team Penske’s No. 2 and Furniture Row Racing’s No. 77 found themselves scrambling to get to pit road for qualifying.

In the end, no teams missed their attempts.

The Can-Am Duels will be held on Thursday, Feb. 23 at 7 p.m. ET.

Results

  1. Chase Elliott
  2. Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
  3. Brad Keselowski
  4. Clint Bowyer
  5. Martin Truex, Jr.
  6. Denny Hamlin
  7. Kevin Harvick
  8. Kasey Kahne
  9. Matt Kenseth
  10. Ryan Newman
  11. Kyle Busch
  12. Ty Dillon
  13. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.
  14. Jimmie Johnson
  15. Carl Edwards
  16. Kyle Larson
  17. Joey Logano
  18. Ryan Blaney
  19. Trevor Bayne
  20. Erik Jones
  21. Paul Menard
  22. Kurt Busch
  23. Jamie McMurray
  24. Danica PAtrick
  25. Aric Almirola
  26. Austin Dillon
  27. Landon Cassill
  28. AJ Allmendinger
  29. Matt DiBenedetto
  30. Michael McDowell
  31. Chris Buescher
  32. David Ragan
  33. Brendan Gaughan
  34. Cole Whitt
  35. Michael Waltrip
  36. Elliott Sadler
  37. Reed Sorenson
  38. DJ Kennington
  39. Joey Gase
  40. Corey LaJoie
  41. Jeffrey Earnhardt
  42. Timmy Hill

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