William Byron Wins Daytona 500 Pole

Elliott

"So, I made my move and unfortunately he got sideways and it collected a bunch of cars". He may also not be a victor, yet, but heading into the season opening Daytona 500 he does have something he didn't have last season: a Daytona 500 pole.

To be eligible, drivers must meet one of five criteria: past Daytona 500 winners and past Daytona 500 pole winners who raced full-time last season, previous Clash winners who raced full-time a year ago, pole winners from last season and drivers who qualified for the playoffs in 2018.

Johnson had been caught up in many crashes in the Clash, failing to finish on the lead lap in each of the seven exhibition races.

Knaus and Johnson landed the Daytona 500 pole in their first race together in 2002.

Byron's lap of 194.304 miles per hour in the final round of qualifying, almost two-tenths of a second faster than Bowman (194.153), was the pole-winner. "I was excited to get down here and see what we had". The drivers qualified for the race by being pole sitters from 2018, former Clash winners, former Daytona 500 winners, and drivers that qualified for the playoffs in 2018 that didn't already qualify in another way. They posted the top speeds of the six drivers vying for four open spots in NASCAR's season opener. I feel like Qualifying here is all about them.

Rookie Daniel Hemric rounded out the top five.

Joey Gase, Ryan Truex, Parker Kligerman and Brandan Gaughan likely will have to race their way into the 500 during the qualifying races. "A driver could mess it up, but you can't really do much to make your auto go faster, so that's all for them".

Byron and his teammates will spend the week being lauded as the Daytona 500 favorites.

Harvick's idea to fix the perceived problem is to take the Clash's goal - rewarding pole winners - and combine it with the current All-Star Race format, offering one or potentially more spots in the field to Busch Pole Award winners from the previous season. "We don't want to put the cars in any unnecessary harm's way".

The pole was the fifth consecutive in "The Great American Race" for Hendrick Motorsports and the 700th for Chevrolet. "Is that not enough cars?' But take the Clash away ... make it a point race or make it one of the weekends we take off the schedule". A new racing package in 2019 also should benefit Bowman and Byron because neither had much experience under the old rules. One other note is that I would recommend only playing GPPs this week with maybe a small dip into the cash contest pool. "I can't believe it".

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