The new driver for Hendrick Motorsport’s #88 car, Alex Bowman, picked up the Daytona 500 Pole Position. Bowman made it through the first round of qualifying in the #1 spot. He clocked in a 46.002 in the second round to officially get pole position. Bowman won the pole for “The Great American Race” in his debut as the official driver of the No. 88 Chevrolet, which Dale Earnhardt Jr. drove before retiring at the end of last season.
For the first half of qualifying, #48 Jimmie Johnson lead the group with a time of 46.217. Denny Hamlin bumped Johnson down a spot by getting a lap time of 46.132. Alex Bowman of course bettered both of their times, putting the #48 in third and the #11 in second.
Despite not grabbing the desired pole position, Denny Hamlin was happy with his front row start. “I literally am so ecstatic. It was so out of the blue ‘cause I thought today would be a tough day of qualifying” said Denny Hamlin.
Martin Truex Jr., who won the MENCS Championship last year, will line up 26th on the grid after an unlucky lap during the early stages of qualfying. Danica Patrick will run her final Daytona 500 starting in 28th. Defending Daytona 500 winner Kurt Busch will be in the back half of the pack, starting in 17th.
Drivers will get their last bits of practice during The Clash and Can-Am Duels, as the last practice sessions were on Saturday. Practice time has been split in half this year in comparison to how much time they were given in 2017.
Pole position only means so much, as anything can happen at any time during the race. But to say that Alex Bowman has a better chance at winning than ever before, would be an understatement.
Final Qualifying Positions: https://www.nascar.com/results/race_center/2018/monster-energy-nascar-cup-series/daytona-500/stn/qualifying/
Embed from Getty Images