Performance matrix earns Harvick Daytona pole

Lesley Ann Miller/Motorsport Images

Performance matrix earns Harvick Daytona pole


Performance matrix earns Harvick Daytona pole


Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin will lead the field into Turn 1 at the Daytona road course in its inaugural NASCAR Cup Series event.

For the first time using the performance matrix, Harvick and Hamlin earned the front row for this Sunday’s race. Harvick will start on pole and Hamlin second.

The matrix weighs where a driver finished in the previous race, fastest lap, and points position. Harvick, who is the point leader, dominated last Sunday at Michigan to earn the top spot.

Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch will be on the second row, starting third and fourth. Joey Logano will start fifth.

Aric Almirola will start sixth with Chase Elliott seventh and Kurt Busch eighth. Completing the top 10 starters are Matt DiBenedetto in ninth and Austin Dillon in 10th.

The bubble driver on the playoff grid, William Byron, will start 13th. Christopher Bell will be the highest starting rookie in the 15th position.

Brad Keselowski will start 17th with his Team Penske teammate Ryan Blaney starting 24th. Keselowski and Blaney crashed together early at Michigan.

There are 39 drivers entered in the Go Bowling 235 (Sunday, 3 p.m. ET, NBC). Among those entered is James Davison, again competing for Rick Ware Racing as well as Brendan Gaughan. With Gaughan being a road course fan, he and Beard Motorsports are making a rare appearance outside of one of the four superspeedway races.