Larson, Bowman front row for Daytona 500
Chevrolet admittedly didn’t have much to say in Tuesday’s first two practice sessions for Sunday’s 64th Daytona 500, as Ford dominated both sessions.
But when it really mattered, Chevrolet delivered the first qualifying line for the Great American Race on Wednesday night.
Defending NASCAR Cup champion Kyle Larson took pole with a speed of 181.159 mph, while Hendrick Motorsports teammate Alex Bowman will start Sunday’s race next to him on the front row, qualifying with a speed of 181.046 mph.
“Anytime you’re really proud of your team for getting a pole here because that’s the least it has to do with us drivers; qualifying on the superspeedways,” Larson said. Hendrick Motorsports engine shop.
“Anyone who has had a hand in handling these vehicles; whether it’s on the computer, engineering, or just in the field. It’s really neat; the speed of our Chevy HendrickCars.com is nothing short of awe-inspiring Hope this is the start of a really good weekend.”
The front-row feat enshrines Bowman’s name in the NASCAR history books as the only driver in series history to sit in the front row of the Daytona 500 for five consecutive seasons (2018-2022). . The Bowtie brand has now swept the front row of the Daytona 500 20 times in the event’s history, including 10 in the past 12 years.
“That says a lot about Hendrick Motorsports and all those guys,” Bowman said. “Congratulations to 5 for getting the pole. It’s cool to have the record but I feel like Greg Ives (crew manager) and my race team should be the ones getting the credit for this record.
“The driver doesn’t really have much to do with it, but I’m glad I didn’t ruin it for them and really happy for Ally and Chevrolet. Cool to be a part of it.”
While the rest of the 40-car field will be determined at Thursday’s Twin Dual 150 at Daytona International Speedway, Chevrolet was left with six drivers in the top 10 qualifiers on Wednesday.
Hendrick Motorsports drivers William Byron (180.850mph) and 2020 Cup champion Chase Elliott (180.314mph) had the third and fifth fastest qualifying efforts, while Aric Almirola was the fastest Ford driver with the fourth fastest speed (180.527 mph).
Rounding out the top 10 drivers and their speeds, Martin Truex Jr. was the fastest Toyota driver, finishing sixth at 180.040 mph, followed by Chevy driver Ross Chastain in seventh (179.845 mph), Denny Hamlin (179.723 mph), Daniel Suarez (179.619 mph) and Harrison Burton was the fastest rookie at 179.508 mph.
As for Thursday’s Twin Dual 150s, here are the starting lineups: