CONCORD, N.C. – Hendrick Motorsports’ success in DAYTONA 500 qualifying is on another level. 

The organization's 16 poles for "The Great American Race" are the most of all teams in the series. In a fun statistical twist in its 40th anniversary season, they have accounted for 40% of DAYTONA 500 poles since their debut in 1984. Half of those pole positions have come in the last nine years. Since 2015, the engine department has provided the power for the last nine pole winners – eight by drivers for Hendrick Motorsports and one for technical partner JTG Daugherty Racing.

Qualifying on the pole for what is considered to be NASCAR’s Super Bowl carries great importance to team owner Rick Hendrick. It is also a major source of pride for the engine shop, which celebrated its 500th national series win last September (at Darlington Raceway with Kyle Larson’s victory to open the playoffs). 

RELATED: Dorton's legacy stands tall as engine shop earns 500th win

"For all of us in the engine department, we have put a lot of collective effort to continue to refine and develop the most efficient and the best engine that we could produce," Scott Maxim, director of powertrain, said. "That has all culminated in the building of our engines for the DAYTONA 500. We are excited to get on track to be able to compete to start the season.

"For the DAYTONA 500 and for qualifying, it is always all about the details. Our entire shop and all our efforts go into trying to be our very best and paying attention to every little detail. We’re excited about having an opportunity where the details matter to that degree."

All four active drivers have earned at least one pole. In total, nine drivers from the team have accounted for the top starting spots earned for the DAYTONA 500. 
Alex Bowman: 2023, 2021, 2018
Larson: 2022
William Byron: 2019
Chase Elliott: 2017, 2016
Jeff Gordon: 2015, 1999
Dale Earnhardt Jr.: 2011
Mark Martin: 2010
Jimmie Johnson: 2008, 2002
Ken Schrader: 1990, 1989, 1988

RELATED: Gordon discusses big impact the engine shop had on his career

"It’s always been an important thing to the boss, and an opportunity, too, for the engine shop to shine," Elliott said. "It’s a huge piece of Hendrick Motorsports and they do a really good job. It’s a big weekend for our sport. It’s a good look for our company to go down there and fire off well." 

Bowman, in particular, has led the charge with a record six consecutive front-row starting spots for the DAYTONA 500. He is the only driver in Cup Series history to accomplish that. Last season, Bowman became the first polesitter since 2001 to earn a top-five finish in the event. 

"It shows the hard work of everybody at Hendrick Motorsports, whether it’s the engine shop or the car shop," Bowman said. "Everybody works really hard. DAYTONA 500 qualifying means a lot to Mr. H and we do our best to help it. Hopefully, we can do it again."

2024 PREVIEWS: Alex Bowman | William Byron | Chase Elliott | Kyle Larson

Additionally, Bowman has been part of three straight front-row sweeps by Hendrick Motorsports. The team has nine of those on its ledger. 

Hendrick Motorsports front row sweeps in qualifying at DAYTONA 500:
2023: Bowman-Larson
2022: Larson-Bowman
2021: Bowman-Byron
2019: Byron-Bowman
2017: Elliott-Earnhardt Jr.
2015: Gordon-Johnson
2011: Earnhardt Jr.-Gordon
2010: Martin-Earnhardt Jr.
1989: Schrader-Darrell Waltrip

"When it comes to winning the pole, it is more in your control and that is an element we do put a lot of pride and expectation in amongst ourselves to be our very best," Maxim said. "At the end of the day, we get a report card at the end of qualifying and there’s two that matter of great significance for the DAYTONA 500."

Hendrick Motorsports also holds the unique distinction of having both the youngest and oldest pole winners in DAYTONA 500 history. Elliott's 2016 pole saw him become the youngest driver to earn the pole position at 20 years, two months and 17 days. The feat came in just his sixth Cup Series start. On the opposite end, Martin’s 2010 pole at 51 years old made him the oldest driver to win the pole position. 

Alan Gustafson, crew chief of the No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevy, was a part of both of those. He holds the distinction of being one of three pit bosses in NASCAR Cup Series history to earn four DAYTONA 500 poles. Two of those came with Elliott, while one was with Gordon in his final full-time season and the other with Martin. NASCAR Hall of Famers Leonard Wood and Waddell Wilson are the only others to accomplish that feat.

Entering the 2024 season, Hendrick Motorsports sits at a series-best 246 poles – four away from 250. 

Tune in to watch qualifying for the 2024 DAYTONA 500 on Wednesday, Feb. 14, at 8:15 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Channel 90). Qualifying will set the front row for the DAYTONA 500 with the duel qualifying races taking place on Thursday, Feb. 15 (starting at 7 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) to set the rest of the lineup. The DAYTONA 500 will get underway on Sunday, Feb. 18, at 2:30 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.