Chase Elliott captures back-to-back Daytona 500 poles
BUY TICKETS: See the Daytona 500 live! RELATED: Full results DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Winning back-to-back Daytona 500 poles is something of a family tradition, as Chase Elliott proved by the skin of his teeth Sunday at Daytona International Speedway . The last driver to take a lap in the second and final round of Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series qualifying at the 2.5-mile superspeedway, Elliott covered the distance in 46.663 seconds (192.872 mph) to edge Hendrick Motorsports teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr . by .002 seconds. The pole was the second straight for Elliott, who led the field to green last year as a Sunoco rookie. It was the third straight for Elliott's crew chief, Alan Gustafson, who won the pole with driver Jeff Gordon in 2015 in Gordon's last year as a full-time driver. With three straight poles as a crew, Gustafson shares a record previously held solely by Ernie Elliott, Chase Elliott 's uncle, who fielded cars driven by former Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Bill Elliott , Chase's father. "Everybody at Hendrick Motorsports has done a lot of work this off-season," said Elliott, who claimed the third Coors Light Pole Award of his career, all at restrictor-plate tracks. "This team definitely has a knack for these plate tracks, as they showed with Jeff Gordon and then last year with here and Talladega (where Elliott also won the pole). "But that stuff doesn't just happen by staying the same, as everybody knows. Everyone is always trying to get better and make their cars better and faster, and the engine shop is always finding new things. So I think that's just proof that they're improving with everybody else and taking that next step, which is really impressive. "I'm happy to be a part of it, and hopefully we can run good next Sunday." Elliott and Earnhardt are the only two drivers locked into their starting spots for next Sunday’s 59th running of the "Great American Race" (2 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). They will lead the field to the green flag in both Can-Am Duel 150-mile qualifying races on Thursday night (7 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) -- Elliott in the first Duel, Earnhardt in the second. Earnhardt is racing for the first time since a concussion sidelined him for the final 18 events of the 2016 season. The satisfaction of locking in a front-row starting position tempered his disappointment at missing the pole by the slimmest of margins. "I certainly would have loved to have gotten a pole, but my boss man (Rick Hendrick) is happy," Earnhardt said. "I just talked to him on the phone, and he's got to be thrilled with having his cars up front." Brad Keselowski qualified third at 192.691 mph and will start on the outside of the front row in Thursday night's first Duel. Clint Bowyer , in his first competitive effort in a Stewart-Haas Racing Ford, will start beside Earnhardt in the second Duel after posting the fourth-fastest speed (192.571 mph). With 36 chartered teams knowing they will race next Sunday, six Open entries are vying for the four remaining berths in the Daytona 500 field. Sunday's time trials brought good news for Brendan Gaughan and Elliott Sadler , who know they will race next Sunday as the two fastest qualifiers among the "go-fast-or-go-homers." Conversely, Jeffrey Earnhardt and Timmy Hill , who posted the two slowest times in the field, can race in the 500 only if they are the fastest Open drivers in their respective Duels. &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Chase for NASCAR Sprint Cup explained
As the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup turns 10, get the history, format and more
Junior annoys in zen room, Bowyer can't sleep, more tweets
Editor's note: Every Friday during the season, "Tweets You Might Have Missed" presents eight of the best NASCAR-related tweets from the week. 1. Couples Massage: to the lady I annoyed in the zen room. If cell phones aren't allowed my robe wouldn't have pockets. — Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) February 14, 2017 2. I saved % on Valentine's Day this year by switching to single — Alex Bowman (@AlexBRacing) February 14, 2017 3. Got some new @YETICoolers to travel with but it seems that Keelan has other thoughts of what should be in the bag.. pic.twitter.com/RYPLdcW5pC — Kevin Harvick (@KevinHarvick) February 16, 2017 4. Off-season training regimen comes to a end... @PaigeKeselowski has me training with 2 hp today on honeymoon 750hp Friday @DISupdates pic.twitter.com/viehEdsHyZ — Brad Keselowski (@keselowski) February 15, 2017 5. My 5:30 wake up alarm. Even on a Saturday??? Come on man! pic.twitter.com/Jw5Bc6fOrV — Clint Bowyer (@ClintBowyer) February 11, 2017 6. 7000ft was the place to be this morning coming home! pic.twitter.com/BC4ZC7vGPY — Chase Elliott (@chaseelliott) February 12, 2017 7. Thank you @tacobell for the goodie bag. We made it ma! If you remember my prank on the interns last year, it's featured on #tacobellclipshow pic.twitter.com/tMupx7iArB — landon cassill (@landoncassill) February 15, 2017 8. On my way to @KernRaceway and we passed under a . That's good luck right!? pic.twitter.com/nPUkgj9mx4 — Kyle Busch (@KyleBusch) February 11, 2017
Dale Jr. jumps back into familiar surroundings with plenty of speed
BUY TICKETS: See the Daytona 500 live! " RELATED: Junior through the years DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Dale Earnhardt Jr . didn't take any credit for his qualifying effort Sunday, a 192.864 mph lap that put his No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet on the front row for next week's season-opening Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway . "Ain't much to it," Earnhardt quipped. "The car does all the work." Earnhardt, twice a winner of the "Great American Race," won't be on the pole, but he'll start alongside Hendrick Motorsports teammate Chase Elliott , giving the team a front-row sweep for the second time in the last three years. His previous wins in the 500 came from third (in 2004) and ninth ('14). Earnhardt is regarded as one of the best at restrictor-plate racing but qualifying is a solo effort. There are no other cars off which to pick up a push or gain an advantage. It's all about horsepower. But there's a bit of technique required as well. "The transitions are kind of important as far as feeding the car into the corner and also running as tight as you can on the apron without bouncing the skirt off the apron or giving up any speed, or just time adding feet to your lap by running high, at least a little bit, can make a big difference," he said. "But other than that, the driver, I don't think he's feeling like he's in control of too much. The car is doing most of the work." Sidelined for the last half of the 2016 season after suffering concussion-like symptoms, Earnhardt is eager to be back behind the wheel. He chose not to compete in Sunday's Advance Auto Parts Clash, instead allowing Alex Bowman to field his entry. Bowman had won the pole at Phoenix driving in relief of Earnhardt last fall, a distinction that Earnhardt said earned the driver the opportunity. But after spending "The Clash" working as an analyst in the booth for Fox Sports, Earnhardt traded in his suit and tie for a firesuit, and eased his way back into more familiar surroundings. He was second-fastest in the opening round of qualifying; Elliott ended the session atop the board. In the final round, the No. 88 went to the top of the board with only one driver, Elliott, remaining. "I certainly would have loved to have gotten a pole, but my boss man is happy," Earnhardt said of team owner Rick Hendrick. "I just talked to him on the phone and he's got to be thrilled with having his cars up front." Elliott's final-round run, a lap of 192.872 mph, gave the Dawsonville, Georgia, youngster his second consecutive Daytona 500 pole. It was the third straight No. 1 qualifying effort for his No. 24 team, which also started out front here in '15 with four-time series champion Jeff Gordon behind the wheel. "Obviously Dale is good down here, and we all knew he was going to be fast today," Elliott, 21, said. "That's no surprise. But I don't really care who it is. I'm not going to feel bad about beating somebody. "It's cool to share a front row with a teammate is really the biggest thing I look at with that. But Dale is a good guy. I'm happy to share the front row with him, but happier to beat him, obviously, but regardless of who it is, that's what you're trying to do, you know." Elliott and Earnhardt were the only two drivers to officially lock in their starting positions for next weekend's Daytona 500 (2 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). The remainder of the field will be determined through the Can-Am Duels, a pair of 150-lap qualifying races scheduled for Thursday evening (7 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Full lineup for Can-Am Duels at Daytona
BUY TICKETS: See the Daytona 500 live! Sunday's Coors Light Pole qualifying set the front row for the Daytona 500 -- Chase Elliott is on the pole, and Dale Earnhardt Jr . will start second when the green flag drops Feb. 26 (2 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). The qualifying speeds also set the lineups for Thursday's Can-Am Duels at Daytona (7 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), the twin 60-lap races that determine both the field and the full lineup for the "Great American Race." As a reminder, 36 Charter teams are locked into the Daytona 500 , leaving four available spots to be filled by six Open, or non-Charter teams. Duel 1 is typically comprised from the odd-numbered drivers on the Daytona 500 qualifying speed chart -- first, third, fifth, etc. Duel 2 is then the even-finishing drivers. The duel lineups could be minimally altered from that formula, though, to ensure an even number of Open teams in each duel race (three apiece). Below is the official lineup for each race:
How the Advance Auto Parts Clash works
MORE : Full starting lineup " Practice results The exhibition event known as the Advance Auto Parts Clash (Feb. 18, 8 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) is the kickoff to the 2017 NASCAR season. The non-points paying event at Daytona International Speedway features a select field of Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers at the 2.5-mile track. How does the race work? What is the format? How does one qualify for the event? NASCAR.com answers those questions and more. Programming info for The Clas h : When: Feb. 19, 11:35 a.m. ET Where: Daytona International Speedway TV: FS1 Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Defending race winner: Denny Hamlin , No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing What is the format? The 75-lap, 187.5-mile race will be split into two segments. A competition caution at Lap 25 will separate the segments. How do drivers qualify for this event? Drivers are eligible for this event by the following ways: 2016 Coors Light Pole Award winners, former Clash race winners and former Daytona 500 pole winners who competed full-time in 2016. All 16 drivers from the 2016 playoffs are also eligible. Which drivers are eligible to race then? " Entry list for 'The Clash' 20 drivers meet the requirements. They are: Chris Buescher (2016 playoff qualifier) Greg Biffle (2016 Coors Light Pole Award winner) Alex Bowman (2016 Coors Light Pole Award winner) Kurt Busch (2016 Coors Light Pole Award winner) Kyle Busch (2016 Coors Light Pole Award winner) Austin Dillon (2016 Coors Light Pole Award winner) Dale Earnhardt Jr . (Former Clash Race winner) Carl Edwards (2016 Coors Light Pole Award winner) Chase Elliott (2016 Coors Light Pole Award winner) Denny Hamlin (2016 Coors Light Pole Award winner) Kevin Harvick (2016 Coors Light Pole Award winner) Jimmie Johnson (2016 Coors Light Pole Award winner) Matt Kenseth (2016 Coors Light Pole Award winner) Brad Keselowski (2016 Coors Light Pole Award winner) Kyle Larson (2016 playoff qualifier) Joey Logano (2016 Coors Light Pole Award winner) Jamie McMurray (2016 playoff qualifier) Danica Patrick (Former Daytona 500 Coors Light Pole Award winner) Tony Stewart (Former Clash Race winner) Martin Truex Jr . (2016 Coors Light Pole Award winner) Some of those names are not driving in 2017 or have yet to secure rides That's a good point. Biffle does not have a ride as of yet for the 2017 season, so he will not be competing. Edwards stepped away from racing last month, but NASCAR has allowed his replacement, Daniel Suarez , to drive in the race. Stewart has retired from NASCAR competition. So that puts the field at 18. Bowman and Dale Jr. drove the same car in 2016; how can they both be in the race? They won't. Alex Bowman will drive the No. 88 in The Clash as a nod to the work he did as a substitute driver while Dale Earnhardt Jr . was out last season with concussion-like symptoms. Instead, Dale Jr. will be in the TV booth calling the action on FS1 with commentators Mike Joy, Jeff Gordon and Darrell Waltrip. So the field will be made up of how many cars? Seventeen drivers will make up the field: Buescher, Bowman, Kurt Busch , Kyle Busch , Austin Dillon , Elliott, Hamlin, Harvick, Johnson, Kenseth, Keselowski, Larson, Logano, McMurray, Patrick, Suarez and Truex Jr. How is the lineup determined? A draw will be held to determine drivers' starting positions. In past years, the crew chiefs have drawn for position. Hamlin, last year's winner, started the race 15th . " See the starting lineup Are there any points on the lin e? No, this is a non-points event, just like the Monster Energy All-Star Race in May.
Daytona 500 qualifying order
BUY TICKETS: See the Daytona 500 live! # Car Driver Team 1 33 Jeffrey Earnhardt Little Joes Autos/Curtis Key Plumbing Chevrolet 2 51 * Timmy Hill (i) Spoonful of Music Foundation/Bubba Burger Chevrolet 3 83 * Corey LaJoie Dustless Blasting Toyota 4 96 * DJ Kennington Lordco/Castrol Toyota 5 55 * Reed Sorenson Toyota 6 23 Joey Gase (i) Best Home Furnishings Toyota 7 15 Michael Waltrip Aaron's Toyota 8 72 Cole Whitt Florida Lottery Ford 9 37 Chris Buescher Cottonelle Mega Roll Chevrolet 10 7 * Elliott Sadler (i) Golden Corral Chevrolet 11 75 * Brendan Gaughan (i) Beard Oil Distributing Chevrolet 12 38 David Ragan Camping World Ford 13 32 Matt DiBenedetto EJ Wade Construction Ford 14 34 Landon Cassill Love's Ford 15 95 Michael McDowell K-Love Radio Chevrolet 16 3 Austin Dillon DOW Chevrolet 17 47 AJ Allmendinger Kroger Click List Chevrolet 18 10 Danica Patrick Aspen Dental Ford 19 1 Jamie McMurray Cessna McDonald's Chevrolet 20 78 Martin Truex Jr . Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER BOATS Toyota 21 13 Ty Dillon # GEICO Chevrolet 22 24 Chase Elliott NAPA Chevrolet 23 4 Kevin Harvick Jimmy John's Ford 24 18 Kyle Busch M&M's Toyota 25 27 Paul Menard Menards/Peak Chevrolet 26 11 Denny Hamlin FedEx Express Toyota 27 77 Erik Jones # 5-hour Energy Extra Strength Toyota 28 48 Jimmie Johnson Lowe's Chevrolet 29 20 Matt Kenseth DeWalt Toyota 30 31 Ryan Newman Caterpillar Chevrolet 31 41 Kurt Busch Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford 32 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr . Nationwide Chevrolet 33 14 Clint Bowyer Mobil 1 Ford 34 6 Trevor Bayne AdvoCare Ford 35 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr . Fastenal Ford 36 5 Kasey Kahne Farmers Insurance Chevrolet 37 19 Daniel Suarez # ARRIS Toyota 38 21 Ryan Blaney Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford 39 42 Kyle Larson Target Chevrolet 40 2 Brad Keselowski Miller Lite Ford 41 43 Aric Almirola Smithfield Foods Ford 42 22 Joey Logano Shell Pennzoil Ford * Required to qualify on time, (i) Ineligible for driver points in this series
Dale Jr. waiting on 'confidence in my health' before signing new contract
BUY TICKETS: See the Daytona 500 live! DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Dale Earnhardt Jr . said he intends to race "for more years," but NASCAR's most popular driver also said he won't sit down to discuss his contract with team owner Rick Hendrick until he's confident his health isn't an issue. Earnhardt, 42, missed the final 18 races of the 2016 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season while recovering from a concussion suffered at mid-season. He is in the final year of his contract as driver of the No. 88 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports . "I told Rick (Hendrick) that I would like to get a couple of races, a couple of months under my belt to get confidence in my health," Earnhardt said Saturday at Daytona International Speedway , site of next week's season-opening Daytona 500 . "This is the only reason I feel that way. There's no underlying crap about it. When I got hurt last year, what I saw it put the company through, how I saw it frustrate certain aspects of the company -- maybe not frustrate but it put a strain on our relationships. Our partners were worried about my future, Rick and everybody was worried. I don't want to do that again. "I want to get some races under my belt and get confidence in my health before I can commit to him. I don't want to make him a promise that I can't deliver on. "Once I feel like, 'You know what? I think I'm good. I think I can withstand the wear and tear of driving these cars to do a couple more years,' I’m ready to do it. Because I want to race; I want to be here and I want to race." Earnhardt joined Hendrick Motorsports in 2008 after eight seasons with Dale Earnhardt Inc., the company founded by his father, the seven-time series champion and inaugural NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee. Nine of his 26 career victories have come since the move to HMS. In addition to competing for HMS, Earnhardt also co-owns JR Motorsports, a race organization that fields four teams in NASCAR's XFINITY Series. He will make his first start since his injury next week here at DIS. He's a two-time winner of the Daytona 500 and considered one of the sport's best on the big superspeedways, where NASCAR mandates the use of restrictor plates to limit speeds. Retirement has been on his mind, Earnhardt admitted, even before last season's setback. But he said the injury made him realize that it might now be best to put off such thoughts until he knows his health isn't a concern. Earnhardt said in December that he hoped to sit down and discuss a contract extension before the '17 season got underway. "I've been trying over the last year or two to put a number on it, say, 'This is when I'm going to retire,'" he said. "'This will be the year or the day or the age.' But I've decided that maybe it's best that I don't. Considering my health, I can't even think about putting a date on it because I don't know what's going to happen to me going forward. "I want to get a couple of races under my belt, a couple of months, and then we'll sit down and say, 'You know, if everything is going great and we haven't had any issues, I'm confident to continue to race.'" Earnhardt has twice signed five-year contracts with HMS – the first from 2008 through '12 and the most recent, an extension which ran from 2013-17. Hendrick Motorsports also fields Monster Energy Series teams for seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson , Kasey Kahne and Chase Elliott . &lt;/p&gt;
Elliott: 'Not going to feel bad about beating somebody'
Chase Elliott's qualifying run spoiled a potential pole for the returning Dale Earnhardt Jr., but the driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet was just thrilled to be up front.
Earnhardt Jr. qualifies on front row for Daytona 500
Dale Earnhardt Jr. will start the Daytona 500 from the outside of the front row after he qualified second behind his teammate Chase Elliott.
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