Alex Bowman did it again Wednesday night at Daytona International Speedway, locking in his sixth consecutive front-row starting spot for the Daytona 500.
Bowman took sole possession of the NASCAR record with a lap of 181.686 mph (49.536 seconds) to secure his third pole for the Daytona 500.
“I’m just so proud of Hendrick Motorsports, the engine shop, all the guys,” Bowman said. “This Ally 48 Camaro is obviously really fast. I don’t have a lot to do with qualifying here, so just fortunate to qualify some really fast race cars and really cool to see Hendrick Motorsports 1-2-3.”
Hendrick Motorsports has won the Daytona 500 pole eight of the last nine years. The company locked out the front row of the Daytona 500 for the third consecutive year.
Kyle Larson qualified second at 181.057 mph. He and Bowman swapped positions from a year ago when it was Larson on the pole, and Bowman joined him in the front row.
The Hendrick duo are the only two drivers with their starting positions locked in for Sunday afternoon.
The single-car qualifying session advanced 10 drivers to the final round to run for the pole. William Byron was third in qualifying, with Aric Almirola fourth and Joey Logano fifth.
Chase Briscoe was sixth in qualifying, Ryan Blaney seventh, Austin Cindric eighth and Harrison Burton ninth. Kyle Busch was moved to 10th on the chart after his lap time from the final round was disallowed because he went below the yellow line on the backstretch.
Elsewhere, Jimmie Johnson and Travis Pastrana both sealed their spots in the field. The pair will finalize their starting positions in the Duel race, but as drivers without charters, they took care of business by being fast enough to qualify for the Daytona 500.
In his return to NASCAR Cup Series competition for the first time since 2020, Johnson was the fastest open car in qualifying. The No.84 Legacy Motor Club Chevrolet was 28th fastest overall.
Pastrana was the second-fastest open car in a third entry for 23XI Racing. Pastrana was 25th fastest in single-car qualifying, which earned him a spot in the Daytona 500 field for the first time in what will be his Cup Series debut.
“The launch was good,” Pastrana said of his effort. “I shifted a little bit early on two and didn’t lift enough shifting to fifth, so I had to double let go, and I thought I just blew it. I looked at Bubba’s [Wallace] time, and the car definitely had a little bit more.
“This team helped me to get there and like Kurt [Busch] just told me, now it’s time to learn. We’ll go to work tomorrow, and then we’re in the 500, so cool.”
Zane Smith, Austin Hill, Chandler Smith, and Conor Daly will compete for the final two spots in their respective races. Daly did not get to attempt a qualifying lap after the No. 50 Chevrolet experienced an electrical short that burned a hole in the oil line.
1. (48) Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, 181.686 mph.
2. (5) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 181.057 mph.
3. (24) William Byron, Chevrolet, 180.727 mph.
4. (10) Aric Almirola, Ford, 180.723 mph.
5. (22) Joey Logano, Ford, 180.712 mph.
6. (14) Chase Briscoe, Ford, 180.661 mph.
7. (12) Ryan Blaney, Ford, 180.054 mph.
8. (2) Austin Cindric, Ford, 180.014 mph.
9. (21) Harrison Burton, Ford, 179.748 mph.
10. (8) Kyle Busch, Chevrolet, 0.000 mph.
11. (23) Bubba Wallace, Toyota, 180.011 mph.
12. (99) Daniel Suarez, Chevrolet, 179.921 mph.
13. (17) Chris Buescher, Ford, 179.888 mph.
14. (9) Chase Elliott, Chevrolet, 179.881 mph.
15. (1) Ross Chastain, Chevrolet, 179.863 mph.
16. (41) Ryan Preece, Ford, 179.849 mph.
17. (4) Kevin Harvick, Ford, 179.684 mph.
18. (6) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 179.673 mph.
19. (54) Ty Gibbs #, Toyota, 179.616 mph.
20. (45) Tyler Reddick, Toyota, 179.612 mph.
21. (20) Christopher Bell, Toyota, 179.497 mph.
22. (19) Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, 179.347 mph.
23. (84) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 179.276 mph.
24. (34) Michael McDowell, Ford, 179.265 mph.
25. (67) Travis Pastrana, Toyota, 179.254 mph.
26. (11) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 179.154 mph.
27. (43) Erik Jones, Chevrolet, 178.998 mph.
28. (42) Noah Gragson #, Chevrolet, 178.941 mph.
29. (36) Zane Smith(i), Ford, 178.862 mph.
30. (16) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 178.813 mph.
31. (31) Justin Haley, Chevrolet, 178.763 mph.
32. (62) Austin Hill(i), Chevrolet, 178.660 mph.
33. (3) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 178.525 mph.
34. (38) Todd Gilliland, Ford, 178.204 mph.
35. (47) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Chevrolet, 177.925 mph.
36. (78) BJ McLeod, Chevrolet, 177.834 mph.
37. (51) Cody Ware, Ford, 177.169 mph.
38. (15) Riley Herbst(i), Ford, 176.849 mph.
39. (77) Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 176.315 mph.
40. (7) Corey LaJoie, Chevrolet, 176.287 mph.
41. (13) Chandler Smith(i), Chevrolet, 175.022 mph.
42. (50) Conor Daly(i), Chevrolet, 0.000 mph.