- Did you mean:
Kenseth holds off Larson, wins at chaotic Dover
RELATED: Race results " Updated series standings " SHOP: Kenseth gear Matt Kenseth roared to victory Sunday afternoon at Dover International Speedway , holding off a hard-charging Kyle Larson to score his first win of the season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Kenseth led 48 of 400 laps in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 Toyota. His triumph in the AAA 400 Drive for Autism was his third at the 1-mile track and the 37th of his Sprint Cup career. But the victory also helped stem a rough start to the 2016 season as he virtually clinched a berth in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs. "It all worked out for us, kind of the opposite as I feel like it's been going the last couple months," said Kenseth, who has just one other top-five run this year -- a fourth place last weekend at Kansas. "We've had really fast race cars. We've been in position to win a lot. This wasn't our fastest car by any means. But we were able to be there at the end of the race and pull it off." RELATED: See all of Kenseth's wins in the sport's top series Larson, seeking his first premier series win, held on for second in the Chip Ganassi Racing No. 42 Chevrolet. He led 85 laps and wound up just .188 seconds behind at the checkered flag after a stirring challenge for the lead down the stretch. Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate Chase Elliott surged within striking distance of the front-running pair, but settled for a career-best third-place finish. Kasey Kahne and Kurt Busch completed the top five in a topsy-turvy day. A massive, 18-car crash brought out an extended red flag on Lap 354, thinning the field of contenders. After a stoppage of 11 minutes, 22 seconds, the race restarted on Lap 360, with Kenseth leading. But on the restart lap, contact from Larson's No. 42 Chevrolet sent Carl Edwards ' No. 19 Toyota spinning hard against the inside wall. That set up the final restart on Lap 366, with Kenseth and Larson coming to the line side-by-side. On Lap 381, Elliott passed Larson for second but surrendered the position in traffic three laps later. During the final five laps, Larson pulled alongside Kenseth but couldn't complete the pass from the inside lane. "I had gotten close to his bumper a couple times. I may have even got into him once," Larson said of his close-quarters battle with Kenseth. "I didn't want to do anything dirty. I respect Matt Kenseth a lot. He's definitely in my eyes the cleanest racer out there. He always races me with respect. I try to do the same with him." Two pre-race favorites -- Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick -- had rallied from their share of issues at the Monster Mile, including their involvement in the event's sixth yellow flag before the fateful 11th caution period and ensuing red flag. RELATED: Botched restart sets off 18-car wreck Johnson's No. 48 Chevrolet suffered a mechanical failure trying to get up to speed on a restart, with Martin Truex Jr ., Harvick and others piling in behind him. The chain reaction blocked the frontstretch, collecting several other cars in the melee. Harvick had started from the pole position and led three times for a race-high 117 laps, but lost ground on a series of early pit stops. "We just keep getting further and further back," Harvick radioed his Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 Chevrolet crew on Lap 172, during the fourth caution period. Johnson, a 10-time Dover winner, started 21st in the 40-car field, but gradually moved up in the running order. But Johnson spun during the sixth caution, looping his Hendrick Motorsports No. 48 Chevy after Reed Sorenson 's spinning car dropped fluid through the first and second turns on Lap 212. Johnson avoided contact, catching a fortunate break when Harvick slowed his car to a halt just shy of a collision. Those strokes of luck for the two favorites went for naught after the large pileup nearly 140 laps later. Brad Keselowski , a winner two weeks ago at Talladega, led once for 49 laps Sunday, but dropped from contention after crunching into Austin Dillon 's slower car, damaged from an earlier wreck. Keselowski made multiple pit stops for repairs and rallied for a sixth-place finish. Tony Stewart finished 34th in just his fourth start of the season since missing the first eight Sprint Cup races with a back injury. His hopes were dimmed by a mechanical failure -- a broken track bar that punctured the oil tank -- that caused his Stewart-Haas Racing No. 14 Chevrolet to slow in the 341st lap. The result kept him 37th in the driver standings. He needs to finish the regular season 30th or better in the rankings and post a victory to qualify for the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs. The series returns Saturday night for its traditional mid-spring invitational, the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race (9 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM) at Charlotte Motor Speedway . Note: Kahne's No. 5 Chevrolet failed post-race laser inspection station and will be taken to the NASCAR Research and Development Center in Concord, North Carolina, for further evaluation. If penalties are warranted, they will be announced later this week. Contributing: Reid Spencer , NASCAR Wire Service
Edwards edges Allmendinger for pole at Sonoma
RELATED: Full race lineup " See all 40 cars SONOMA, Calif. -- Carl Edwards ran a lightning-fast lap in the first round of Saturday’s knockout qualifying at Sonoma Raceway -- and it worried him. "After that first lap -- I have to be honest -- I sat here and thought, 'Man, I’m really going to screw this up on the second one,' 'cause the first one was really good, but it held on for the pole, and so I’m really excited.” Edwards toured the 1.99-mile road course in 1 minute, 14.392 seconds (96.301 mph) in the first round and was the only driver to crack 96 mph either in Friday’s practice or Saturday’s time trials. But he need not have worried about the second round. In Sunday’s Toyota - Save Mart 350 (3 p.m. ET on FS1, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), Edwards' No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota will lead the field to the green flag. On the lap that counted, as tires fell off and the track got marginally warmer, Edwards secured his third Coors Light Pole Award of the season, his first at Sonoma and the 19th of his career with a run at 95.777 mph (1:14.799). AJ Allmendinger was a close second at 95.676 mph (1:14.878). The road course ace put his No. 47 JTG/Daugherty Chevrolet on the front row at Sonoma for the third straight year, having started second in 2014 and from the pole last season. "It was a struggle yesterday," Allmendinger said of Friday’s practice. "We just never could really find the direction of the car. All my guys did a great job to get to work, to get this car closer to the front. "When I saw Carl's first lap, I said, 'I don't care what kind of lap I run -- if he runs that again I'm not going to get close.' Then, after I saw it was less than a tenth (of a second), you sort of nit-pick, but it's definitely a big gain from where we were yesterday." Martin Truex Jr . (95.672 mph) qualified third, followed by Kurt Busch (95.654 mph) and Kyle Larson (95.362 mph). Seventh-place qualifier Joey Logano (95.276 mph) had the fastest Ford. "That's better than where we were last year," said Logano, the Sprint Cup Series' most recent winner (Michigan). "We were (19th) last year, so we've improved. I thought I had a shot after the first round but lost some grip the second round and tried harder at the same time, and all of that just didn’t work out. "It's unfortunate that we lost a little bit from the first round to the second round (three positions), but we're still in good shape. I still think we have a top-five car, and we proved that today in qualifying." None of the four Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolets advanced to the second round. Dale Earnhardt Jr ., who led Friday's second practice, will start 13th, with Jimmie Johnson 15th, Chase Elliott 16th and Kasey Kahne 19th. Danica Patrick qualified 11th, her best starting spot since last year's Chase race at Texas. Cody Ware failed to make the 40-car field.
GarageCam keeps its head on a swivel in Indy
GarageCam host Matthew Dillner takes you through the NASCAR XFINITY Series garage at Indianapolis Motor Speedway as drivers gear up for the Lily Diabetes 250.
Larson to run Camping World Truck race at Eldora
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kyle Larson will return to the Camping World Truck Series, and to the dirt, when the Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates driver competes for GMS Racing in next week's stop at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio. Excited to be running @EldoraSpeedway with @GMSRacingLLC and @DCSolar . Gonna try to not hit the wall as much!! pic.twitter.com/lc0t6gF5Az — Kyle Larson (@KyleLarsonRacin) July 14, 2016 The Aspen Dental Eldora Dirt Derby is scheduled for Wednesday, July 20th (9 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM). It will be just the second Truck Series start this year for Larson, 23, and his 12th overall in the series. He finished fourth with the GMS team earlier this season at Martinsville Speedway . Larson has two previous Truck starts at Eldora, finishing second in 2013 and 26th the following year. The well-known dirt track was also the site of a record-equaling run by the Elk Grove, California, native. In 2011, Larson became only the second driver to win all three races on the same night in the Four Crown Nationals. "We ran three different types of cars there in one night -- Midget, non-wing Sprint cars and Silver Crown," he said. "That was my first time at Eldora. I won a Midget race the next year there and then I've crashed really hard there a couple of times. "It's a cool, historic race track with very prestigious races going on there. … If I could win a Truck race there it would be pretty special." His 26th-place finish in '14 is misleading. The young driver was battling with eventual race winner Darrell Wallace Jr . in the closing laps when he continued to make hard contact with the wall, damaging his truck and taking him out of contention. It likely played a role in his decision not to return to the event as a driver last season. "I don't know; I honestly didn't have a ton of fun" he said of the '14 effort. "It was slick and slow. I guess I made it exciting to watch on TV, hitting the wall and stuff. … This year with Rico (Abreu) running and (Christopher) Bell being in it, and I thought there would be some more of those guys in it, I just thought it'd be fun to get back out and run the race again. "I'm hoping it rains a lot before the race so the track can be wet and sticky and rough." GMS Racing fields fulltime entries for drivers Johnny Sauter and Spencer Gallagher as well as additional entries for a variety of drivers. Larson said talks earlier in the year enabled him to land the Martinsville ride and that at the time the group had "a few other races that were options I could run. I chose Eldora as one of them. "GMS is a really good team, they have really great trucks, great people there," he said, "and an awesome race shop." DC Solar, which sponsors Chip Ganassi Racing driver Brennan Poole in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, will sponsor the Larson entry at Eldora. The company also sponsored Poole in last year's Camping World Truck Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway . Larson is winless in Sprint Cup competition, but has four wins in the XFINITY Series and one victory in the Camping World Truck Series.
Dave Blaney released from hospital after Eldora wreck
Sprint car superstar Dave Blaney , father of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Ryan Blaney , was injured during Friday's qualifying for a World of Outlaws event at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio. Blaney's car flipped multiple times, and after he was extracted from the vehicle, Blaney was transported to a local hospital where CT scans proved negative. He was released shortly after 12 midnight ET. Ryan Blaney , along with sister Emma, provided updates via Twitter. Dad is alright, got his bell rung pretty good but is up and being himself. Thanks for all the support. — Ryan Blaney (@Blaney) May 7, 2016 Thank you for all the prayers. My dad is one tough guy. He is a little sore but going to be okay probably already watching dirtvision — Emma Blaney (@EmmaBlaney) May 7, 2016 Though Dave Blaney is best known for a phenomenal career in the open-wheel ranks, he also has a combined 597 NASCAR national series starts to his credit, including 473 in Sprint Cup . His lone national series win came in the fall 2006 XFINITY Series race at Charlotte.
Kurt Busch stretches fuel to win at Pocono
RELATED: Complete results " SHOP: Winner gear LONG POND, Pa. – Working with a substitute crew chief, and saving enough fuel to get to the finish line and complete a celebratory burnout, Kurt Busch won Monday's rain-delayed Axalta "We Paint Winners" 400 at Pocono Raceway . Busch won for the first time this year in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and for the third time at Pocono, a 2.5-mile speedway featuring three widely different corners. And Busch claimed his 28th victory in NASCAR’s premier series with race engineer John Klausmeier leading the team in place of crew chief Tony Gibson, who was serving a one-race suspension for a lug nut violation last week at Charlotte. Told he was two laps short at the start of the final 33-lap green-flag run, Busch saved enough fuel to get to the finish while keeping race runner-up Dale Earnhardt Jr . behind him. "We just had to balance everything," said Busch, who got to the stripe 1.126 seconds ahead of Earnhardt. "We had a fast car, a (suspended) crew chief, and the way the fuel mileage played out, I didn't know if we would have enough fuel. "It's a wonderful win for us. We have been so close all year. It was just a matter of putting it all together – pit crew, engines and everybody who works on these bodies, chassis, you name it. It was so much fun to drive and be competitive and be up front." Busch, however, was taken aback when told how much fuel he had to save. "I was like, 'Whoa, how many laps shy are we?'" Busch said. "They said two. These are really long straightaways at Pocono, and you have to manage saving fuel as well as maintaining lap time. So many thoughts can go through your head, but I just stuck with the checklist. "I just stuck with saving fuel and watching the No. 88 (Earnhardt) behind us." Polesitter Brad Keseslowki ran third, followed by Chase Elliott and Joey Logano . Kasey Kahne , Matt Kenseth , Carl Edwards , Kevin Harvick and Ryan Blaney completed the top 10. A series of mistakes and divergent strategies scrambled the running order almost from the drop of the green flag. On Lap 23, under caution for Brian Scott 's spin in Turn 1, Keselowski was nabbed by NASCAR for unapproved body modifications when his jackman threw his shoulder into the right side of the No. 2 Ford during a pit stop. Keselowski had to serve a pass-through after the Lap 27 restart as part of the penalty for the infraction. WATCH: Keselowski forced to pit for body modifications Logano, who started on the front row beside his Team Penske teammate, got shuffled to the back by the front bumper of Ryan Newman 's Chevrolet. Taking umbrage at contact from Logano's Ford on the frontstretch, Newman pounded a series of dents in the left rear of Logano's car, knocking him up the track in Turn 1 as half the field passed him to the inside. WATCH: Newman bumps Logano out of the way Harvick was forced to pass cars – repeatedly – because of an early speeding penalty and a pair of inopportune cautions that occurred right before he was to make planned green-flag pit stops. Harvick, however, had plenty of muscle under the hood of his No. 4 Chevrolet and was able to fight his way back into contention with relative ease. Keselowski and Logano also recovered, but it took longer stints on track and a succession of three cautions between Lap 88 and Lap 102. By the time the field restarted on Lap 109, Logano, with the left rear of his car heavily taped, was fifth, and Keselowski had climbed to 10th. But three more quick cautions and an array of different strategies once again altered the complexion of the race. Ty Dillon stayed out under the ninth caution (called for brother Austin Dillon 's wreck) and led the field to green on Lap 123, trailed by Casey Mears , who took fuel only under the yellow. Moments after the restart, Jimmie Johnson , who had been running in the top five for most of the afternoon, spun in Turn 1 and clipped the inside wall, sending the No. 48 Chevrolet to the garage. When the field restarted on Lap 127, Earnhardt had the lead, trailed by Elliott, Mears, Busch and Keselowski. At that point, Harvick was 20th, having pitted under the ninth caution to top off with fuel with 39 laps left. As Elliott and Earnhardt battled for the top spot entering Turn 2, Busch surged past both cars, and that was the move that decided the race. Thirty-two laps later Busch was doing donuts on the frontstretch after taking the checkered flag. The Sprint Cup Series returns to the track next weekend at Michigan International Speedway for the FireKeepers Casino 400 (June 12, 1 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
Erik Jones wins at Dover, takes Dash 4 Cash
RELATED: Complete race results " Updated standings DOVER, Del. – NASCAR’s new Dash 4 Cash format agrees with Erik Jones – even when his No. 20 Toyota is running on older tires. Despite staying out on used rubber for a restart with five laps left in Saturday's Ollie's Bargain Outlet 200 at Dover International Speedway , Jones pulled away to beat runner-up Darrell Wallace Jr . to the finish line by 1.434 seconds. The victory was Jones' second of the year, both on concrete tracks (Bristol and Dover). He has now won two of the three NASCAR XFINITY Series races held under the new Dash 4 Cash format, which features two Heat races and a main event. Since his car was blessed with short-run speed, Jones and crew chief Chris Gabehart liked their chances at the front of the field on older tires, even though others came to the pits for fresh rubber before a restart on Lap 116 of 120. Driving a stock car for the first time in seven months, Alex Bowman came home third after leading 33 laps, a run that was broken by a debris caution on Lap 71. The top three finishers – Jones, Wallace and Bowman – are all alumni of NASCAR Next, an industry initiative that spotlights the sport's rising stars. Justin Allgaier ran fourth, followed by Ty Dillon and series leader Elliott Sadler , who holds a three-point edge in the standings over ninth-place finisher Daniel Suárez. "I couldn't see how many came to pit road, so I wasn't too sure," Jones said of the decision to stay out under the final caution. "I was a little anxious to see how many came and how many stayed out. Fortunately enough stayed out to make it viable for us to still get the win here." After seven months away from racing, except for an appearance at the Chili Bowl in January in a midget car, Bowman made steady progress throughout the weekend in the first of nine scheduled rides with JR Motorsports, the next of which will come at Pocono in early June. "I was a little worried, being so rusty," Bowman said. "Obviously, you can't just take a car to the race track and go test anymore (because of NASCAR rules). I think Friday morning (before practice), I was probably the most nervous I've been in years, as far as getting in the race car. "This is one of the toughest places we come. 'Can I still do this? Am I going to mess up, make stupid mistakes?'… I haven't given feedback on a race car in seven months either. I didn't really do a good job of that throughout practice, but I think (crew chief) Dave (Elenz) overcame it and gave me a really good piece for the race." Wallace posted the highest XFINITY Series finish ever for an African-American driver, improving on his own record of third (twice), and he did it in a backup car, necessitated by a crash in Friday's practice. "I keep saying it, we never give up," Wallace said. "It's really a credit to my guys right here for really thrashing this thing. It's unfortunate when you do have to bring the backup car out, (but) we never give up and we work really hard to get some speed in this baby." But the day – and the $100,000 Dash 4 Cash bonus – belonged to Jones, who thought the tracks that stage the Dash 4 Cash races had more to do with his success than the format itself. "The tracks that they're at are tracks that I've had historically good runs at," Jones said. "It just kind of worked out that way. The Heat race format gives us a chance to go out and adjust on our stuff. I think our ability to adjust and maintain and get better throughout the race is one of the best in the garage, and having the opportunity to do that in the Heat race gives us that little bit of an edge." MORE: Relive the day in photos
Logano earns Coors Light Pole at Martinsville
RELATED: Full starting lineup MARTINSVILLE, Va. – The third time was the charm for Joey Logano . Then again, so were the first and second. The driver of the No. 22 Team Penske Ford dominated qualifying for Sunday's STP 500 (1 p.m. ET on FS1), topping the speed chart in all three sessions of Friday's knockout qualifying at Martinsville Speedway . The Coors Light Pole Award was the third straight for Logano at the .526-mile paperclip-shaped short track, marking the first time a driver has won three consecutive poles at Martinsville since Jeff Gordon accomplished the feat in 2003-2004. Navigating the speedway in 19.513 seconds (97.043 mph), Logano claimed the top starting in a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race for the 15th time in his career. Logano, who was taken out of last year's Chase race when Matt Kenseth drove him into the Turn 1 wall, also is the third driver to sweep all three rounds in time trials since the group qualifying format was instituted at the start of the 2014 season. "I couldn't be more proud of these guys," Logano said of his team. "I say all the time that Martinsville is the most important track to start up front, and that's when you've got to come here and really show what you've got. "This is a nice little fire for us to get going. We've had a good season so far, but you want to break through and get some wins, and this pole is definitely going to help with some momentum." Logano edged outside front-row starter Kasey Kahne (97.033 mph) by .002 seconds. The driver of the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet hadn't enjoyed a top-five position on the grid since last October's Chase race at Talladega. "It feels good," Kahne said. "The car was really fast, this Great Clips Chevrolet. The guys did a nice job in practice and in qualifying. I just kept getting better with my laps. We didn't make any adjustments. The car is fine. Just let me get my laps a little better. So we did that, and it was close. "Joey just barely got us. But it is definitely a good starting spot. That was one of my goals today was to help out on pit road (by earning second pit selection). Pit road is huge here. We have the best pit crew for stops, than anyone, in my opinion. And if I can help them on pit road, myself, and get a better spot, I think all that will be beneficial on Sunday." Brian Vickers , who led Friday's opening practice at Martinsville, qualified third at 96.864 mph. Paul Menard (96.854 mph) was fourth, followed by Ryan Newman (96.736 mph) and AJ Allmendinger (96.676 mph). Vickers was the only Stewart-Haas Racing driver to advance past the first round. Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch , both former winners at the track, will start 19th and 23rd, respectively. Denny Hamlin -- reigning race winner and one of the pre-race favorites -- earned the eighth starting spot, but eight-time Martinsville winner Jimmie Johnson wasn't as fortunate. The six-time Sprint Cup champion squeaked into the second round by .007 seconds over Carl Edwards but couldn't improve beyond the 24th-place starting position. The two leading drivers in the Sunoco Rookie of the Year battle, however, both made the top 12. Chase Elliott will take the green flag from in 10th, with Ryan Blaney right behind him in 12th, as the Wood Brothers Racing team returns to Martinsville for the first time since 2011. Dale Earnhardt Jr . experienced brake issues and qualified 21st.
John Hunter Nemechek wins wild Atlanta Truck race
RELATED: Full race results " Updated series standings HAMPTON, Ga. – In a wild race that saw some of the best trucks in the field destroyed before the finish, John Hunter Nemechek held off Cameron Hayley in a two-lap dash to the checkers to win Saturday's Great Clips 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event at Atlanta Motor Speedway . But it was a skull session with 2014 Sprint Cup champion Kevin Harvick the night before that was instrumental in guiding Nemechek to victory in his unsponsored No. 8 Chevrolet. "I've got to give a shout-out," said Nemechek, who was racing at AMS for the first time. "I can't thank Kevin Harvick enough. I went and sat with him for about 30 minutes to an hour last night, trying to learn everything I could." Obviously, the lesson paid off. After extensive cleanup from Christopher Bell 's hard crash into the Turn 4 wall, Nemechek chose the inside line for a restart on Lap 199 of 200. When John Wes Townley spun his tires in the outside lane, Nemechek pulled away to beat Hayley to the stripe by .305 seconds. The victory was Nemechek's second in 32 Truck Series starts and his second on a 1.5-mile intermediate speedway, the first coming last year at Chicagoland Speedway . At 18 years, 8 months and 16 days, Nemechek is the youngest NASCAR national series winner at Atlanta. Before the family-owned team with a shoestring budget could get to Victory Lane, however, attrition took care of the drivers who led the majority of laps leading up to the finish. Two corners after a restart on Lap 112 — following the race's second expiration of the 20-minute caution clock — Bell lost the nose of his No. 4 Toyota, hooked Kyle Busch Motorsports teammate Daniel Suarez 's No. 51 Tundra and turned Suarez into race leader Matt Crafton , who had spent 76 circuits at the front of the field. MORE: Caution Clock expires for first time in CWTS " Bell triggers big wreck The trucks of Crafton and Suarez were damaged beyond repair, leaving Bell, who lead 42 of the 130 laps, to grab the top spot after the subsequent restart on Lap 116. Bell pulled away, but on Lap 123, a tire rub resulting from the earlier contact finally popped the right front, and Bell’s Toyota swerved straight into the outside wall in Turn 4. Behind Nemechek and Hayley, Timothy Peters came home third, followed by Daniel Hemric and Grant Enfinger, respectively. Nemechek was circumspect about the circumstances surrounding his conversation with Harvick, but the information he received was clearly valuable. "That's kind of a secret," said Nemechek, who got pit crew help from Jimmie Johnson 's No. 48 Sprint Cup team. "But Kevin's one of the best racers here in Atlanta, so I had to ask him. He's very good at conserving tires, very good at winning races here, so to go and talk to him was very special." Nemechek also got advice from his father and team owner Joe Nemechek , who won a NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Atlanta in 2001. Eighth-place finisher Parker Kligerman took the lead in the series standings by one point over Hemric and three over Nemechek. The afternoon proved expensive for Kyle Busch , who as a driver won the first leg of the Saturday doubleheader in the XFINITY Series race, only to lose three trucks as an owner in the nightcap. In addition to the wrecked trucks of Bell and Suarez, Busch also had to write off the engine of William Byron, which blew on lap 59, with Byron running second.
Chase Elliott wins Daytona 500 pole
RELATED: Full qualifying speeds " From tardy note to Daytona pole winner DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Chase Elliott 's rookie campaign just got a jump-start. Faced with the daunting prospect of succeeding Jeff Gordon in the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, the 20-year-old Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate drove the same chassis to the same result Gordon accomplished last year—the pole position for the Feb. 21 Daytona 500 (on FOX at 1 p.m. ET). In the money round of qualifying for the Great American Race, Elliott toured 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway in 45.845 seconds (196.314 mph), edging Matt Kenseth (196.036 mph) by .065 seconds for the top starting spot in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series opener. Elliott and Kenseth are the only drivers whose positions for the Daytona 500 are now locked in. The balance of the field will be filled and ordered in Thursday night’s 150-mile Can-Am Duel qualifying races. "I've never qualified on the front row here before, so that certainly takes off some pressure for later in the week," Kenseth said. "This is a very, very cool day," Elliott said after Earnhardt, the last qualifier, failed to knock him off the pole. "I don't know that this opportunity has sunk in yet, much less sitting on the pole for the Daytona 500 . "So this is very cool. I think the big thing is just the team and the Daytona 500 qualifying is about the team guys and the effort they put into these cars and it's nothing special I did. It's really what kind of work they did this offseason to make it happen. "Jeff (Gordon) knows all about that and I just wanted to give a big thanks to NAPA Auto Parts and all of our partners at HMS on this No. 24 car. This is very special and a great way to start the season." Elliott's first Sprint Cup pole was a milestone in many other respects. At 20 years, 2 months and 17 days, he is the youngest-ever winner of a Daytona 500 pole, supplanting Austin Dillon (23 years, 9 months 27 days in 2014). Should Elliott win the race next Sunday, he would displace Trevor Bayne as the youngest winner of the event often referred to as NASCAR's Super Bowl. This was the 10th Daytona 500 pole for Hendrick Motorsports and the third for the No. 24 Chevrolet, with Gordon winning the previous two in 1999 and 2015. Elliott completed the fourth father/son combination to win poles for the 500, joining Richard and Kyle Petty, Bobby and Davey Allison and Dale Earnhardt and Dale Earnhardt Jr . In fact, Earnhardt Jr. was fastest in the first round of Sunday's qualifying session, posting a lap at 195.788 mph, but he slipped to third in the final round and will start on the outside of the front row in the first Can-Am Duel. Kyle Busch posted the fourth fastest lap in the final round and will start from the second spot in the second Duel. Ricky Stenhouse Jr . and Jimmie Johnson were fifth and sixth, respectively, in the final round. The qualifying times of the Nos. 4 and 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolets, driven by Kevin Harvick and Brian Vickers , were disallowed after NASCAR discovered track bar infractions during post-qualifying inspection. Those cars will start from the rear in their respective Duels. RELATED: Nos. 4, 14 fail post-Daytona qualifying inspection Ryan Blaney powered the No. 21 Wood Brothers Ford to a seventh in Sunday's time trials. As the fastest "open" car (required to qualify on speed), he is locked into the Daytona 500 . Matt DiBenedetto , the second fastest of the open cars (and 24th overall) also is locked into the field. Related: Blaney, DiBenedetto lock up Daytona spots The No. 78 Furniture Row Toyota of Martin Truex Jr . failed to post a time after NASCAR inspectors noticed that one of the roof flaps was out of compliance. The car was on the five-minute clock at the time and the problem could not be corrected in time to make a qualifying run. As a consequence, Truex will start from the rear of the field in the second Can-Am Duel. RELATED: Roof flap keeps Truex parked in qualifying