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Daytona 500 - Qualifying times

13 February 2011

Dale Earnhardt Jr claimed pole position for the 53rd Great American Race with a lap of 186.89mph, the first time in his career that he has taken pole position at a restrictor plate vent, and coming on the emotional tenth anniversary of the death of his father during the 2001 Daytona 500.

The lap time of 48.364s was just 0.032s ahead of his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon (185.966mph), who will take the other spot on the front row alongside Earnhardt. Both drivers have new pit chiefs this year - Steve Letarte and Alan Gustafson for Earnhardt and Gordon respectively - and this was immediate pay-off for the reshuffle within the team over the off-season. The duo gave team owner Rick Hendrick his third front-row sweep for the Daytona 500 and his seventh pole position in total, Mark Martin having claimed pole last year for the team.

There was an impressive performance from rookie Trevor Baine (185.445mph) to set the third fastest time ahead what will be only his second Sprint Cup start.

Today's qualifying results mean that Earnhardt will start on pole for the first of Thursday's two Gatorade Duel 150 events, with Gordon taking pole for the second. Other than Earnhardt and Gordon, all the drivers still have to finalise their actual starting positions for the Daytona 500 with their performances during their Duel races.

The Duels also decide wo additional race starts being awarded in each of the two races to drivers not qualified by virtue of owners' points or their showing in qualifying. Among those drivers who had needed to qualify on speed who have today guaranteed themselves spots are Bill Elliott (17th fastest), Travis Kvapil (20th) and Joe Nemechek (21st). Terry Labonte is also an assured starter thanks to a provisional available to the most recent past champion not otherwise qualified.

Denny Hamlin's interesting weekend continued with a strange incident that saw his steering wheel come off in his hands as he exited the pits to make his qualifying run, causing him to run off onto the infield grass.

Qualifying times

1. #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet 48.364s (Leader) 186.089mph
2. #24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 48.396s (-0.032) 185.966mph
3. #21 Trevor Bayne Ford 48.532s (-0.168) 185.445mph
4. #27 Paul Menard Chevrolet 48.538s (-0.174) 185.422mph
5. #33 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet 48.59s (-0.226) 185.223mph
6. #31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet 48.63s (-0.266) 185.071mph
7. #39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 48.648s (-0.284) 185.003mph
8. #5 Mark Martin Chevrolet 48.651s (-0.287) 184.991mph
9. #14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet 48.672s (-0.308) 184.911mph
10. #16 Greg Biffle Ford 48.672s (-0.308) 184.911mph
11. #22 Kurt Busch Dodge 48.676s (-0.312) 184.896mph
12. #42 Juan Montoya Chevrolet 48.711s (-0.347) 184.763mph
13. #9 Marcos Ambrose Ford 48.715s (-0.351) 184.748mph
14. #29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 48.717s (-0.353) 184.74mph
15. #48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 48.731s (-0.367) 184.687mph
16. #6 David Ragan Ford 48.751s (-0.387) 184.612mph
17. #9 Bill Elliott Chevrolet 48.772s (-0.408) 184.532mph
18. #99 Carl Edwards Ford 48.787s (-0.423) 184.475mph
19. #43 A.J. Allmendinger Ford 48.836s (-0.472) 184.29mph
20. #38 Travis Kvapil Ford 48.841s (-0.477) 184.271mph
21. #87 Joe Nemechek Toyota 48.854s (-0.49) 184.222mph
22. #17 Matt Kenseth Ford 48.886s (-0.522) 184.102mph
23. #0 David Reutimann Toyota 48.908s (-0.544) 184.019mph
24. #2 Brad Keselowski Dodge 48.911s (-0.547) 184.008mph
25. #115 Michael Waltrip Toyota 48.922s (-0.558) 183.966mph
26. #36 Dave Blaney Chevrolet 48.968s (-0.604) 183.794mph
27. #1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 48.997s (-0.633) 183.685mph
28. #78 Regan Smith Chevrolet 48.998s (-0.634) 183.681mph
29. #4 Kasey Kahne Toyota 49.019s (-0.655) 183.602mph
30. #18 Kyle Busch Toyota 49.021s (-0.657) 183.595mph
31. #47 Bobby Labonte Toyota 49.026s (-0.662) 183.576mph
32. #83 Brian Vickers Toyota 49.031s (-0.667) 183.557mph
33. #56 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota 49.058s (-0.694) 183.456mph
34. #20 Joey Logano Toyota 49.125s (-0.761) 183.206mph
35. #60 Todd Bodine Toyota 49.165s (-0.801) 183.057mph
36. #97 Kevin Conway Toyota 49.194s (-0.83) 182.949mph
37. #13 Casey Mears Toyota 49.216s (-0.852) 182.867mph
38. #34 David Gilliland Ford 49.262s (-0.898) 182.697mph
39. #77 Steve Wallace Toyota 49.295s (-0.931) 182.574mph
40. #66 Michael McDowell Toyota 49.333s (-0.969) 182.434mph
41. #7 Robby Gordon Dodge 49.418s (-1.054) 182.12mph
42. #32 Terry Labonte Ford 49.589s (-1.225) 181.492mph
43. #37 Robert Richardson Jr. Ford 49.596s (-1.232) 181.466mph
44. #11 Denny Hamlin Toyota 49.637s (-1.273) 181.316mph
45. #46 J.J. Yeley Chevrolet 49.73s (-1.366) 180.977mph
46. #71 Andy Lally Chevrolet 49.771s (-1.407) 180.828mph
47. #64 Derrike Cope Toyota 50.592s (-2.228) 177.894mph
48. #192 Brian Keselowski Dodge 50.681s (-2.317) 177.581mph


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