CONCORD, N.C. -- The starting lineup for the Duels on Thursday have been set.
Alex Bowman will start on the pole in the second Duel after he placed second overall in DAYTONA 500 qualifying on Sunday.
"Obviously, we wanted the pole; but just barely missed it there," Bowman said after the qualifier. "Hats off to the Hendrick engine shop, the fab shop, and all the guys that work on these (cars) all winter. This is really all about them. I’m proud of all the guys and we’ve got the best-looking car here with Valvoline on board. It looks awesome, and hopefully we’ll be up front in the 500.”
Chase Elliott will start on the outside pole in the first Duel next to Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who earned his first DAYTONA 500 pole.
“It was a solid lap, just needed a little bit more obviously," Elliott said of his third-place finish. "It’s so early in the week and (I'm) just trying to keep the car in one piece. It’s great for Team Chevy to be one, two, three, four. We’ll try to be good next Sunday, that’s really all that matters.”
Jimmie Johnson will line up next to Bowman and start on the outside pole in the first Duel, after placing fourth in the qualifier, while William Byron will be in the second row of the second Duel after he placed eighth in the qualifying race.
For Johnson, he's not 100 percent focused on how he finishes, but how he absorbs his last DAYTONA 500 as a full-time driver.
“It’s a balancing act. I want to soak it in, but I’m just wired to race," Johnson said. "I want to win races and I want to be a championship threat. I’ll try to figure that out as the year goes on.
"Things are pretty casual this first week here in Daytona. As we get to the 500 and the races that follow, I’m sure I’ll gravitate more toward the work-side and the performance-side of life. But I’m just thankful to be here. It’s been a heck of a run and I’m very excited to start my final full-time season."