DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.— Dale Earnhardt Jr. will start from the pole in Saturday night’s Coke Zero 400 from Daytona International Speedway in his final full-rime season.


“I have to give Hendrick Motorsports a lot of credit, particularly for me personally it has been the No. 24 (Chase Elliott) bunch. We’ve been kind of pushing each other over the last several years in qualifying at Talladega and Daytona. It’s been a healthy competition,” said Earnhardt Jr. “That’s why we win poles and qualify so well at some of these race tracks is a healthy competition within the company. Greg and all the guys deserve all the credit for the car.   I don’t do anything in qualifying except hold the wheel and make sure I don’t hit the apron.  The car does everything. A lot of credit to the power and the body man back at the shop. All that stuff is so critical and they did a great job today.”


This is Earnhardt Jr’s second pole at Daytona. This is his 14th career pole.


In the first round of qualifying, Earnhardt Jr. was fastest at 190.852 mph. Chase Elliott was second fastest at 190.751 mph. Joey Logan was third fastest at 190.283 mph. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was fourth fastest at 190.186 mph. Kasey Kahne rounded out the top-five at 190.174 mph. All drivers will race on Saturday night. Notable drivers who did not make the second round of qualifying include Matt Kenseth (P13), Kurt Busch (P15), Kyle Busch (P16), Kyle Larson (P21), and Martin Truex Jr. (P25).


In the final round of qualifying, Earnhardt Jr posted the pole winning speed at 190.973 mph. Elliott will start second with his speed of 190.795 mph. Brad Keselowski will start third with his speed of 190.287 mph. Kahne will start fourth with his speed of 190.050 mph. Kevin Harvick rounded out the top-five with his speed of 190.046 mph. Stenhouse Jr, Logano, Jamie McMurray, Ryan Blaney, and Danica Patrick round out the top-10.


The Coke Zero 400 from Daytona will be broadcasted on Motor Racing Network and NBC beginning at 7:30 p.m. EDT.

Caleb Whisler
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