DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The starting grid for Sunday’s Daytona 500 is set.
And Hendrick Motorsports has sole possession of the front row.
Chase Elliott sits on the pole for “The Great American Race” for the second consecutive season, and in his return to the driver’s seat following a full recovery from a concussion, Dale Earnhardt Jr. will start on the outside pole.
Both drivers held onto those positions after Thursday night’s Duels, with Elliott even coming away with a victory in the first Duel.
“I definitely think we have a shot at it,” Elliott said of the Daytona 500. “You love to get that qualifying spot on Sunday, but we really earned it tonight, to start on the front row, which is even better. Just a great way to start the season. Cool for our team.”
After their finishes in the second Duel, Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne are slotted 26th and 28th, respectively, in the Daytona 500 starting grid.
Johnson, however, will move to a backup No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS and therefore will go to the rear of the field for the start of the Daytona 500.
Kahne said he was happy with his No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet SS, as he was running second late in his Duel before a big run by the eventual race-winner caused him to fall back in the pack.
“I had a really strong car. I was really happy with it and everything out there,” Kahne said, explaining that down the stretch he tried to protect the left lane and the leader went right. “That put me behind and I was trying to work back up there and lost again towards the end. But, I felt really good with my Farmers Insurance Chevy.”
The Daytona 500 is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Sunday and will be broadcast on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
“We're excited for Sunday and getting the season going,” Elliott said.