Hendrick Motorsports collected its fourth straight Daytona 500 pole on Sunday when Alex Bowman steered the Number-88 Chevrolet to the top of the speed chart as the front row for next weekend’s race was locked in. Bowman, who’s replacing the retired Dale Earnhardt Junior, had a lap of 195.644 miles per hour. He’ll share the front row with Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin, who was second-quick at 195.092 miles per hour. Lap times for the remaining thirty-eight drivers set the starting lineups for Thursday night’s qualifying races, with Bowman and Hamlin starting from the pole in their respective 150-mile events. Hendrick Motorsports’ Daytona pole streak began in 2015 with Jeff Gordon and continued the next two years when Chase Elliott went back-to-back.
Bowman and Hamlin are locked into their starting positions for the Daytona 500 regardless of where they finish Thursday. The remainder of the forty-car field for next weekend’s race will be set in the Can-Am Duel twin qualifying races … Other qualifying results of note … Brad Keselowski, Sunday’s Advance Auto Parts Clash winner, qualified nineteenth among forty drivers … seven-time Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson qualified third … Hendrick Motorsports’ William Byron is the highest-qualified rookie, fifth … defending Daytona 500 winner Kurt Busch was seventeenth … 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Martin Truex Junior qualified twenty-sixth … Danica Patrick was twenty-eighth for her final NASCAR race. She’s stepping away from the sport after Speedweeks.