Dale Earnhardt, Jr., No. 88 AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet, won the pole for the 53rd running of the Daytona 500 with a lap of 48.364 seconds/186.089 m.p.h. It is his first pole in 23 races at Daytona International Speedway and his first-ever for a restrictor plate race.
He has started on the front row of the Daytona 500 twice previously, 2003 and 2010; and this is the 10th pole of his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) career.
His Hendrick Motorsports (HMS) teammate Jeff Gordon, No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet will start on the outside of the front row. It is his third front row start in the Great American Race. The four-time NSCS champion started on the pole in 1999 and on the outside pole in 2006.
The qualifying efforts by Earnhardt, Jr. and Gordon lock-in their starting positions for next Sunday’s Daytona 500. They will each start of the pole of one of Thursday's Gatorade Duel at Daytona Qualifying races.
Although their qualifying efforts didn't set their starting positions for the 500 and they will have to race to get the best possible position in their respective Duel race, six additional Team Chevy drivers scored top-10 qualifying efforts today. Paul Menard, No. 27 Menards/Peak Chevrolet, put up the fourth (4th) fastest time. His Richard Childress Racing teammate Clint Bowyer, No. 33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet (RCR), was fifth (5th) in the final order followed by RCR's Jeff Burton, No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet, in sixth (6th).
Stewart-Haas Racing's (SHR) Ryan Newman, No. 39 US Army Chevrolet, qualified seventh (7th) with Mark Martin, No. 5 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet out of the HMS stable was eighth (8th) fastest.
SHR's Tony Stewart, No. 14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, was 10th in the final qualifying order.
Other Team Chevy drivers posted qualifying times as follows: Juan Pablo Montoya, No. 42 Target Chevrolet from Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing (EGR) - 12th; RCR's Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet - 14th; Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's/KOBALT HMS Chevrolet - 15th; Bill Elliott, No. 09 Phoenix Construction Chevrolet - 17th; Dave Blaney, No. 36 Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet - 26th; Jamie McMurray, No. 1 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats EGR Chevrolet - 27th; Regan Smith, No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet -- 28th.; J.J. Yeley, No. 46 Redline Oil Chevrolet - 45th and No. 71 Adobe Road Winery Chevrolet - 46th.
Next on the Daytona SpeedWeeks schedule is the Gatorade Duel at Daytona Qualifying Races on Thursday, February 17 beginning at 2:00 p.m. ET.
Team Chevy Racing