Bowman claims pole for 2021 NASCAR season-opener

Bowman claims Daytona 500 pole

Bowman claims Daytona 500 pole

Alex Bowman declared a 2nd Daytona 500 lead in getting approved for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup season-opener, with team-mate William Byron protecting a 2nd Hendrick Motorsports front-row in 3 years.

In a modification from the standard multi-segment format to getting approved for the standard curtain-raiser, each cars and truck on the 44-strong entry list was allowed to run a single timed lap on the oval to choose the order, with the session likewise being performed at night for the very first time.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr had actually set the early benchmark time of 44.477s for JTG Daugherty, prior to Bubba Wallace – driving for the brand-new Michael Jordan-Denny Hamlin-owned 23XI Racing – shaved 0.003 seconds off Stenhouse’s time to slot his Toyota Camry at the head of the timing sheets at the midway mark.

Byron, who took pole in the last Hendrick front-row lockout in 2019, improved Wallace’s effort by simply over a tenth-and-a-half to take leading area as the more recognized Cup runners started to filter out to set their times.

Bowman, now driving the #48 Chevrolet Camaro after Jimmie Johnson left for IndyCar, was the 36th cars and truck to publish a flying lap, with his effort being taped as 47.056s at 191.261mph, some 0.256s quicker than Byron.

It is the 4th year in succession that Bowman will begin on the front-row, and a record extending 14th and 30th pole in case for Hendrick and Chevrolet respectively.

The 2 vehicles on the very first row are the only ones ensured of their beginning position for the race, as the staying 38 slots will be chosen in the Battles, due to happen on Thursday night Eastern Time.

Motorists who completed certifying in odd-numbered positions will race in the very first Battle – 60 laps (150 miles) on the oval, with their ending up positions in that occasion representing how they will form up behind pole-man Bowman on the odd side.

The similarity triple-Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin, the returning Kyle Larson and 2018 Cup champ Joey Logano will complete in the very first Battle.

Bowman claims Daytona 500 pole

Bowman claims Daytona 500 pole

In the 2nd Battle, similar in format, Wallace, who ended the day’s earlier session fastest, will be signed up with by motorists consisting of Kevin Harvick, ruling champ Chase Elliott, both Kurt and Kyle Busch and 2021 Cup novices Chase Briscoe and Anthony Alfredo.

Daniel Suarez, the motorist for the brand-new Pitbull-backed Trackhouse Racing team published a decent time, around half-a-second shy of Bowman in certifying to end up 10th and scheduling himself an area in the second of the Battles.

With 36 of the 40 allocated areas on the beginning grid designated to charter groups, and 44 entries, 8 motorists need to promote a method into the race, either through certifying speed or by winning their particular Battle.

The fastest 2 ‘open’ vehicles, nevertheless, are ensured an area in the 500, with David Ragan of Front Row Motorsports and JTG’s Ryan Preece the motorists who declared the readily available beginning positions.

Preece was the last of the ‘open’ motorists to publish a time, with Ragan currently safe and Group Penske novice Austin Cindric on the bubble.

Cindric’s effort of 47.9s was improved by almost four-tenths by Preece, indicating the ruling Xfinity champ is not yet ensured of making his Cup race launching.

Derrike Cope, the 1990 winner of the 500 was set to publish his lap early in the session, however a battery issue with his chartered Rick Ware Racing maker left him not able to require to the track.

Since Cope is a chartered entry nevertheless, his involvement in the race is not in doubt, with the 62-year-old set to race in Battle 2.

Noah Gragson’s Beard Motorsports Chevrolet stopped working tech 3 times, prior to handing down the 4th, however was likewise not able to set a lap-time, indicating his finest contended making a 500 launching is to win his method.

Daytona 500 certifying outcomes

Pos

Chauffeur

Group

Space

1

Alex Bowman

Hendrick Motorsports

47.056s

2

William Byron

Hendrick Motorsports

0.258s

3

Aric Almirola

Stewart-Haas Racing

0.268s

4

Darrell Wallace Jr.

23XI Racing

0.418s

5

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

JTG Daugherty Racing

0.421s

6

Kevin Harvick

Stewart-Haas Racing

0.433s

7

Christopher Bell

Joe Gibbs Racing

0.517s

8

Ryan Preece

JTG Daugherty Racing

0.529s

9

Austin Dillon

Richard Childress Racing

0.575s

10

Daniel Suarez

TrackHouse Racing

0.580s

11

Denny Hamlin

Joe Gibbs Racing

0.639s

12

Chase Elliott

Hendrick Motorsports

0.639s

13

David Ragan

Front Row Motorsports

0.674s

14

Kurt Busch

Chip Ganassi Racing

0.686s

15

Kyle Larson

Hendrick Motorsports

0.696s

16

Kyle Busch

Joe Gibbs Racing

0.724s

17

Matt DiBenedetto

Wood Brothers Racing

0.825s

18

Ryan Blaney

Group Penske

0.839s

19

Austin Cindric

Group Penske

0.844s

20

Kaz Grala

Kaulig Racing

0.869s

21

Joey Logano

Group Penske

0.887s

22

Chase Briscoe

Stewart-Haas Racing

0.900s

23

Ryan Newman

Roush Fenway Racing

0.904s

24

Ross Chastain

Chip Ganassi Racing

0.916s

25

Cole Custer

Stewart-Haas Racing

1.004s

26

Brad Keselowski

Group Penske

1.016s

27

Michael McDowell

Front Row Motorsports

1.068s

28

Martin Truex Jr.

Joe Gibbs Racing

1.109s

29

Erik Jones

Richard Petty Motorsports

1.133s

30

Chris Buescher

Roush Fenway Racing

1.213s

31

Tyler Reddick

Richard Childress Racing

1.291s

32

Anthony Alfredo

Front Row Motorsports

1.366s

33

Ty Dillon

Marty Gaunt

1.390s

34

Jamie McMurray

Spire Motorsports

1.690s

35

Corey LaJoie

Spire Motorsports

1.711s

36

Quin Houff

StarCom Racing

2.515s

37

Garrett Smithley

Motorsports Organization Management

2.824s

38

B.J. McLeod

Live Quick Motorsports

2.929s

39

Timmy Hill

Motorsports Organization Management

2.960s

40

Cody Ware

Petty Ware Racing

3.018s

41

Joey Gase

Rick Ware Racing

3.574s

42

Josh Bilicki

Rick Ware Racing

3.870s

43

Derrike Cope

Rick Ware Racing

44

Noah Gragson

Beard Motorsports

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Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.