Bowman, Hendrick Dominate Dayton 500 Qualifying

| , RacinToday.com Thursday, February 16 2023

Alex Bowman, left, and Hendrick teammate Kyle Larson will start the 500 from the front row. (Photo courtesy of NASCAR)

The sample set may be small, but it’s impressive: Hendrick Motorsports could once again be the organization to beat in the NASCAR Cup Series.

Hendrick driver Alex Bowman captured the pole for the upcoming Daytona 500 when he posted the quickest lap in Wednesday’s qualifying event.

Teammate Kyle Larson was second fastest and will also start the race at Daytona International Speedway from the front row.

Bowman effort came in record fashion with a speed of 181.686 mph.

“I’m just so proud of Hendrick Motorsports engine shop, all the guys,” Bowman said. I don’t really have a lot to do with qualifying here, so just fortunate to qualify some really fast race cars.”

The rest of the field will be determined on Thursday in the traditional qualifying Duels.

Also on Wednesday, Hendrick driver William Byron was third fastest.

“It’s really cool to see Hendrick Motorsports 1-2-3,” Bowman said.

Bowman will start on the front row in the 500 for a record sixth consecutive time. Hendrick drivers have won eight of the last nine poles in NASCAR’s biggest race, and Chevrolet drivers have won the last 11.

“Congratulations to Alex,” Larson said. “He’s got a lot longer legs than me, so I think he can push the gas pedal down further. But I’m proud of everybody on the 5 team as well… I’m really looking forward to the Duels, get some more laps, get comfortable and then get to race it on Sunday.”

Asked to explain Hendrick’s traditional success at Daytona in February, Larson scratched his head.

“Yeah, they’ve got something figured out for sure. I mean, there’s other teams outside of Hendrick Motorsports that use Hendrick engines. The cars are more similar these days, where they’re not kind of hand-built in the shop.

“There’s obviously tricks and stuff that they’ve learned along the way that still apply to I’m assuming these cars. It’s pretty neat. It’s pretty cool to see the success that they’ve had on qualifying day.

“Rick gets really excited about that. I know he’d be even more excited if one of the four of us could end up in Victory Lane on Sunday.

Ford drivers Aric Almirola, Joey Logano (reigning Cup champion), Chase Briscoe, Ryan Blaney, Austin Cindric (defending race winner), and Harrison Burton were fourth through ninth fastest, respectively.

“It feels good,” Almirola said. “Doug Yates did a great job bringing a lot of horsepower and Drew and all the guys on this team, and everybody at Stewart-Haas Racing did a great job of bringing speed. It feels good to show up down here with a fast race car and now we’ve just got to go execute the rest of the week.”


NASCAR Cup Series Qualifying – DAYTONA 500

Daytona International Speedway

Daytona Beach, Florida

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

  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.


| , RacinToday.com Thursday, February 16 2023
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