Alex Bowman wins pole for 2021 Daytona 500

Nick Bromberg
·3-min read

Alex Bowman is starting on the front row for the Daytona 500. Again.

Bowman scored his second Daytona 500 pole and his fourth consecutive front row start Wednesday night during qualifying. He'll start alongside teammate William Byron in Sunday's Great American Race.

The two drivers continue Hendrick Motorsports' recent run of success in Daytona 500 qualifying. Bowman started next to Byron on the front row of the 2019 Daytona 500 and it's the seventh consecutive time Hendrick has had at least one car on the front row for the 500.

That front row success, however, has not translated into Daytona 500 wins. A Hendrick driver last won the Daytona 500 in 2014 when Dale Earnhardt Jr. took the checkered flag. That was the last year a Hendrick car hasn't started on the front row.

Every other starting spot in the Daytona 500 is still up for grabs after Wednesday night's qualifying session. There are 44 cars racing for 40 spots and 36 cars have guaranteed entries into the field. Among the eight drivers racing for four starting spots, David Ragan and Ryan Preece were the two fastest on Wednesday. They are guaranteed to start Sunday's race based on their speeds.

That means Austin Cindric, Kaz Grala, Timmy Hill, Ty Dillon, Garrett Smithley, and Noah Gragson are racing for the two remaining spots in the 500. Three of them will be in each of the Duel qualifying races on Thursday night.

Bowman will start first in the first Duel race (7 p.m. ET, FS1) Thursday night and Byron will start first in the second Duel. The first Duel will set positions Nos. 3-39 in Sunday's race and the second Duel will set positions Nos. 4-40.

Driver Alex Bowman (48) kicks up sparks as he runs during a NASCAR Daytona 500 qualifying session Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021, at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. Bowman took the pole position for Sunday running of the race. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Alex Bowman will start first in Sunday's Daytona 500. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Duel 1 lineup

1. Alex Bowman

2. Aric Almirola

3. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

4. Christopher Bell

5. Ryan Preece

6. Daniel Suarez

7. Denny Hamlin

8. Kyle Larson

9. Matt DiBenedetto

10. Austin Cindric

11. Joey Logano

12. Ryan Newman

13. Cole Custer

14. Michael McDowell

15. Erik Jones

16. Tyler Reddick

17. Ty Dillon

18. Jamie McMurray

19. Quin Houff

20. Timmy Hill

21. Cody Ware

22. Josh Bilicki

Duel 2 lineup

1. William Byron

2. Bubba Wallace

3. Kevin Harvick

4. Austin Dillon

5. Chase Elliott

6. David Ragan

7. Kurt Busch

8. Kyle Busch

9. Ryan Blaney

10. Kaz Grala

11. Chase Briscoe

12. Ross Chastain

13. Brad Keselowski

14. Martin Truex Jr.

15. Chris Buescher

16. Anthony Alfredo

17. Corey LaJoie

18. Garrett Smithley

19. BJ McLeod

20. Joey Gase

21. Derrike Cope

22. Noah Gragson

Qualifying results

1. Alex Bowman

2. William Byron

3. Aric Almirola

4. Bubba Wallace

5. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

6. Kevin Harvick

7. Christopher Bell

8. Ryan Preece

9. Austin Dillon

10. Daniel Suarez

11. Chase Elliott

12. Denny Hamlin

13. David Ragan

14. Kurt Busch

15. Kyle Larson

16. Kyle Busch

17. Matt DiBenedetto

18. Ryan Blaney

19. Austin Cindric

20. Kaz Grala

21. Joey Logano

22. Chase Briscoe

23. Ryan Newman

24. Ross Chastain

25. Cole Custer

26. Brad Keselowski

27. Michael McDowell

28. Martin Truex Jr.

29. Erik Jones

30. Chris Buescher

31. Tyler Reddick

32. Anthony Alfredo

33. Ty Dillon

34. Jamie McMurray

35. Corey LaJoie

36. Quin Houff

37. Garrett Smithley

38. BJ McLeod

39. Timmy Hill

40. Cody Ware

41. Joey Gase

42. Josh Bilicki

43. Derrike Cope

44. Noah Gragson

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