DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – For the fourth time in five years, Hendrick Motorsports has swept the front row for the 2023 DAYTONA 500.
Alex Bowman took the pole position with a lap of 181.686 mph in the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 in the final round of qualifying. Kyle Larson will start alongside him in the No. 5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 thanks to a lap of 181.057 mph. That is the reverse of last year’s front row that saw Larson start first and Bowman line up second.
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With the pole for the 2023 DAYTONA 500, Bowman has now qualified for the front row of "The Great American Race" six straight times. That mark extends his record and he now has the most front row starts in the history of the DAYTONA 500 with six. The pole comes on the same day as his three-year contract extension with Hendrick Motorsports was announced and is also his first with new crew chief Blake Harris. The pole is the fourth of Bowman's NASCAR Cup Series career and his third at Daytona.
"This is way more about my team and everybody at Hendrick Motorsports," Bowman said. "Just appreciative for all their hard work, the time and effort, whether it's the engine shop or all the people in the car shop. There's a ton of effort that goes into trying to qualify well here. Most of it's on their end."
Larson will start on the front row for the second straight year after winning the pole last year. The Elk Grove, California, native has four top-10 finishes in the DAYTONA 500.
William Byron was third in single-car qualifying in the No. 24 RaptorTough.com Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. Chase Elliott was 14th in single-car qualifying in the No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro ZL1.
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With Bowman’s pole position, Hendrick Motorsports now has 16 DAYTONA 500 poles (25% of all DAYTONA 500s), which is the most of any organization. The team has won 11 of the last 16 poles for the event. In addition, the Bowman-Larson sweep of the front row is the ninth time the Rick Hendrick-owned squad has earned the top-two starting spots for the crown jewel race. It is also the ninth straight that a Hendrick Motorsports car has started on the front row. The pole is the 11th straight for manufacturer Chevrolet in the DAYTONA 500 and their 31st pole all-time for the event.
"DAYTONA 500 qualifying means a lot to him," Bowman said of team owner Rick Hendrick. "It's something he's very prideful of. Our record speaks for itself on that.
"We've talked about it quite a few times this offseason. It's been a long time since Hendrick Motorsports won the DAYTONA 500. We got to make that change on Sunday, for sure. We're doing all we can to make that happen."
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Hendrick Motorsports poles for the DAYTONA 500:
2015: Jeff Gordon
2011: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2010: Mark Martin
2008: Jimmie Johnson
1990: Ken Schrader
Hendrick Motorsports front row sweeps in qualifying at DAYTONA 500:
2017: Elliott-Earnhardt Jr.
2011: Earnhardt Jr.-Gordon
2010: Martin-Earnhardt Jr.
1989: Schrader-Darrell Waltrip
Hendrick Motorsports' eight wins in the DAYTONA 500 are the second-most all-time among teams. The most recent of those victories came in 2014 by Dale Earnhardt Jr.
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Thursday night’s Daytona Duels will set the remainder of the lineup for the 2023 DAYTONA 500 with Bowman and Larson locked in to the front row. In the first Duel, Bowman will start first and Byron will start second. For the second Duel, Larson will start first and Elliott will line up seventh. The Duel lineups are based on qualifying speeds with odd-finishing drivers placed in Duel 1 and even-finishing drivers placed in Duel 2.
Tune in to watch the Daytona Duels on Thursday starting at 7 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Channel 90) to set the rest of the lineup. The 2023 DAYTONA 500 will get underway on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Channel 90).