Alex Bowman and William Byron Qualify Front Row for 2021 Daytona 500 - Engine Builder Magazine

Alex Bowman and William Byron Qualify Front Row for 2021 Daytona 500

Alex Bowman may have swapped car number 88 for 48 for the 2021 season, but he’s retained his Daytona magic, earning the pole position for Sunday’s Daytona 500, giving the Hendrick Motorsports driver a record fourth consecutive front row start in the NASCAR Cup Series season-opener.

Bowman, 27, went out late in the qualifying order (38th of 44 drivers) Wednesday night – the first night-time pole qualifying session in race history – but his Chevrolet handily set the pace with a lap of 191.261 mph (47.056 secs.), taking the top-spot from Hendrick Motorsports teammate William Byron by more than a quarter-second.

The Hendrick teammates also started alongside one another in 2019, when Byron edged Bowman for the pole position. Bowman earned his first Daytona 500 pole in 2018 and started second last year. Hendrick Motorsports now has 14 Daytona 500 pole positions.

“It doesn’t really have a whole lot to do with me, right,” Bowman said on pit road after qualifying. “It’s a testament to these guys and everybody back in the shop at Hendrick Motorsports. They work so hard on these superspeedway cars. They are beautiful when they get to the race track. Our Ally Camaro has been really fast since we unloaded and they focused a lot on trying to get the pole for the Daytona 500. It means a lot to us and we were able to achieve that.”

Stewart-Haas Racing’s Aric Almirola was third fastest in the No. 10 Ford followed on the speed chart by Bubba Wallace, who earned rave reviews in his debut driving the No. 23 23XI Racing Toyota, which is co-owned by three-time and defending Daytona 500 winning driver Denny Hamlin and NBA Hall of Famer, Michael Jordan. Wallace’s lap was good enough for the top spot only to be taken by Byron three cars later. 

Wallace was fastest in an hour-long practice Wednesday afternoon – his first official laps with the new organization and he was clearly feeling optimistic about the week. He finished runner-up in his very first Daytona 500 in 2018.

For information and a complete schedule of all racing events as part of Speedweeks, log onto www.DAYTONA500.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.

DAYTONA 500 Qualifying Presented By Kroger
Daytona International Speedway
Wednesday, February 10, 2021

               1. (48) Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, 191.261 mph.
2. (24) William Byron, Chevrolet, 190.219 mph.
3. (10) Aric Almirola, Ford, 190.178 mph.
4. (23) Bubba Wallace, Toyota, 189.577 mph.
5. (47) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Chevrolet, 189.565 mph.
6. (4) Kevin Harvick, Ford, 189.518 mph.
7. (20) Christopher Bell, Toyota, 189.183 mph.
8. (37) Ryan Preece, Chevrolet, 189.135 mph.
9. (3) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 188.953 mph.
10. (99) Daniel Suarez, Chevrolet, 188.933 mph.
11. (9) Chase Elliott, Chevrolet, 188.699 mph.
12. (11) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 188.699 mph.
13. (36) David Ragan, Ford, 188.561 mph.
14. (1) Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 188.513 mph.
15. (5) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 188.474 mph.
16. (18) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 188.363 mph.
17. (21) Matt DiBenedetto, Ford, 187.966 mph.
18. (12) Ryan Blaney, Ford, 187.911 mph.
19. (33) Austin Cindric(i), Ford, 187.891 mph.
20. (16) Kaz Grala, Chevrolet, 187.793 mph.
21. (22) Joey Logano, Ford, 187.723 mph.
22. (14) Chase Briscoe, Ford, 187.672 mph.
23. (6) Ryan Newman, Ford, 187.656 mph.
24. (42) Ross Chastain, Chevrolet, 187.609 mph.
25. (41) Cole Custer, Ford, 187.266 mph.
26. (2) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 187.219 mph.
27. (34) Michael McDowell, Ford, 187.017 mph.
28. (19) Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, 186.858 mph.
29. (43) Erik Jones, Chevrolet, 186.765 mph.
30. (17) Chris Buescher, Ford, 186.455 mph.
31. (8) Tyler Reddick, Chevrolet, 186.154 mph.
32. (38) Anthony Alfredo, Ford, 185.866 mph.
33. (96) Ty Dillon(i), Toyota, 185.774 mph.
34. (77) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 184.631 mph.
35. (7) Corey LaJoie, Chevrolet, 184.551 mph.
36. (00) Quin Houff, Chevrolet, 181.558 mph.
37. (13) Garrett Smithley(i), Ford, 180.433 mph.
38. (78) BJ McLeod(i), Ford, 180.054 mph.
39. (66) Timmy Hill(i), Ford, 179.942 mph.
40. (51) Cody Ware, Chevrolet, 179.734 mph.
41. (53)  Joey Gase, Ford, 177.760 mph.
42. (52)  Josh Bilicki, Ford, 176.727 mph.
43. (15)  Derrike Cope, Chevrolet, 0.000 mph.
44. (62)  Noah Gragson(i), Chevrolet, 0.000 mph.

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