DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The starting grid is set for Sunday’s 60th annual running of the Daytona 500.
Leading the field will be Alex Bowman, who captured the pole last Sunday and cemented that position Thursday evening by finishing the first Duel at Daytona International Speedway without damage.
The next Hendrick Motorsports teammate to take the green flag in “The Great American Race” will be Chase Elliott, who will roll off the grid fourth.
He earned that position by winning the second Duel Thursday evening.
William Byron and Jimmie Johnson are slated to line up 33rd and 35th, respectively. However, both drivers were involved in incidents during the first Duel that caused enough damage to force them to backup Chevrolet Camaro ZL1s for the Daytona 500.
Both drivers will now start Sunday’s race from the rear of the field.
“I’m devastated for the work and effort that goes into these cars and more on the crew side,” said Johnson, who has started from the rear of the field in three of his last four wins. “I know the next car is going to be fast. I know all three cars we have built are really good and strong. I just hate that we have been through three cars down here a lot of different Speedweeks. That part bothers me. But, I do feel very confident in the car we are going to roll out and what the team will be able to put under me.”
A backup car has won the Daytona 500 on four occasions, most recently by Matt Kenseth in 2009.
The Daytona 500 is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. ET Sunday on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
“We’re excited to get to Sunday,” Elliott said.