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Four locked in in qualifying

Four of the drivers not to have automatic qualifying slots for the Daytona 500 have locked themselves into the event following qualifying for the opening round of the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

Although the only definite following the session is that Martin Truex Jr and Mark Martin will share the first row, the session was also key to deciding whether or not some of the go-or-go-home drivers would make their way into the race ahead of Thursday's Gatorade Duel qualifying races.

Bill Elliott was the best placed of the four to secure their slots as he was able to build on the pace shown in setting the pace during practice. His quickest time, although slower than his practice laps, was good enough to secure fifth quickest, leaving the Motorcraft-backed car as the highest placed Ford on the timesheets.

"I think it says it on the board,” he said. “We're the fastest of the Fords and that was a very impressive run as far as we're concerned. It's kind of a double-edged sword being that we didn't get the pole, but there again, we're out of the top 35 in points and we needed a good, solid run; so that's kind of where we need to be."

Travis Kvapil also secured his slot in the race having posted the eighth quickest time in the #28 Golden Corral Ford having seen a series of points swaps leaving him needing to get into the event on speed in the Yates Racing entry. Tony Stewart with the tenth quickest time and Terry Labonte in eleventh also secured their places in the race.

Regan Smith, Joe Nemechek, Boris Said, Scott Riggs, A.J. Allmendinger and Brad Keselowski are among the drivers who will now need strong results in the Gatorade Duel to secure a starting slot for the 500.


Related Pictures

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Bill Elliott - Wood Brothers Ford Fusion
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Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s 75th Anniversary Toyota, celebrates with the chequered flag after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 3, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images)
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