Second-year driver William Byron wins Daytona 500 pole

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher 

William Byron had the best qualifying results on Sunday at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. The second-year driver will now lead the field at the historic Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 17. 

This is the first career pole for Byron. In addition, this is the fifth straight pole for Hendrick Motorsports at the season-opener. 

“The Axalta Chevy was really fast,” Byron said. “Credit to (No. 24 team crew chief) Chad (Knaus) and all the guys – it’s been a great offseason. We’re prepared. We’re ready. This is kind of the first step of our process together.”

Hendrick Motorsports driver William Byron during practice at the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Hollywood Casino 400
William Byron during practice at the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Hollywood Casino 400 (Getty Images)

His Hendrick Motorsports teammate Alex Bowman will also start on the outside of Byron. Byron and Bowman are the only two starting spots locked in thus far for the “Super Bowl of Stock Cars” event.

Byron drove the No. 24 car to a time of 46.319 and a speed of 194.305 mph. Bowman in his No. 88 car had a time of 46.355 at 194.154 mph. 

This was Hendrick Motorsports front-row sweep since 2015. In addition, their combined age of 46 is the youngest Daytona 500 front row in history. 

Hendrick Motorsports also had the third and fourth position in qualifying, as well. Jimmie Johnson in his No. 48 car was third with a 46.438 at 193.807 mph. 

Chase Elliott rounded out the Top 4 with his No. 9 car. He went 46.444 at 193.782 mph. 

“It’s a tribute to our organization, the engine shop, the chassis and body shops and the teams to come down here and run with four cars running that good,” Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick said. “I can’t believe it. Congratulations to Chevy for their 700th pole and our fifth in a row down here.”

Daniel Hemric had the fifth-best qualifying time. He went 46.763 at 192.460 mph in his No. 8 car.

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