Bowman Wins the Daytona 500 Pole

Alex Bowman has won the pole for the Daytona 500, and will be starting alongside Denny Hamlin in the Great American Race in only a week. Bowman ran around the iconic circuit in 46.181 seconds to claim the top position in the 40-car first round, and Hamlin ran just 0.02 seconds behind him to claim second in the first round.

In the 12-car second round, the two followed suit, finishing 1-2 once again to claim the front row for the Daytona 500. The second time around, Bowman knocked a couple tenths off, with a lap of 46.002 seconds, 0.13 seconds faster than Hamlin’s second-place time in the same round.

This will be Bowman’s second Daytona 500. He ran it in 2014 with BK Racing, and finished 23rd after starting 29th. He also has two starts in the July race, one in 2014 with BK where he finished 13th, and one in 2015 with Tommy Baldwin Racing, where he finished 24th. This gives Bowman an average finish of 20th at the track. He has not made a Daytona start since 2015, though, which means he could be a tad rusty at pack racing, especially with these difficult-to-handle cars. He’ll get some practice in the Duels on Thursday night, but he can’t afford to wreck or he’ll lose that pole position if he has to move to a backup car.

Denny Hamlin has 12 starts in the Daytona 500, and 24 starts at Daytona. Hamlin has an average finish of 17.4 at the speedway, including a win in the 500 in 2016. He has nearly 400 laps led at the track. Hamlin has only seven top ten finishes at Daytona, but has only failed to finish twice, fewer than most with as many or more starts at the iconic speedway. In a week, Hamlin hopes to add another victory to his tally… and put another car in his house.

View the Daytona 500 qualifying results here

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