It's Hendrick, again: William Byron wins Daytona 500 pole

<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nascar/sprint/drivers/3791/" data-ylk="slk:William Byron">William Byron</a> has the fifth-straight Daytona 500 pole for Hendrick Motorsports. (Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
William Byron has the fifth-straight Daytona 500 pole for Hendrick Motorsports. (Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Hendrick Motorsports had the fastest cars during Daytona 500 pole qualifying. Again.

William Byron posted the fastest lap in the second round of qualifying Sunday and will start first in the Feb. 17 Daytona 500. He’ll be joined on the front row by teammate Alex Bowman. He won the pole in 2018.

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Byron is the fifth-straight Hendrick Motorsports driver to win the pole for the Daytona 500. Jeff Gordon won in 2015 and Chase Elliott won in 2016 and 2017. The five-straight 500 poles for Hendrick are a Daytona team record.

Hendrick did more than just get the top two spots too. Jimmie Johnson was the third-fastest driver on Sunday and Elliott was the fourth-fastest. No one can come close to the team single-car speed that Hendrick has displayed so far.

The Daytona 500 is far more than single-car speed, however. Dale Earnhardt Jr. is the last Hendrick driver to win the Daytona 500 and his victory came in 2014. But the speed Hendrick showed (again) in qualifying is undoubtedly an early-season adrenaline boost for the team. Elliott, who won three times in 2018, was the only Hendrick driver to reach victory lane in 2018.

Starting spots 3-40 will be determined during Thursday night’s two qualifying races. Byron will start first in the first race while Bowman will start second.

Forty-two cars are racing for 40 spots. With 36 cars locked into the race, six cars are racing for four spots. And with Tyler Reddick and Casey Mears posting the fastest laps of the six cars racing for four spots, there are essentially four drivers racing for two spots on Thursday night.

Ryan Truex, Brendan Gaughan, Parker Kligerman and Joey Gase are racing for the final two spots.

Qualifying Results

1. William Byron
2. Alex Bowman
3. Jimmie Johnson
4. Chase Elliott
5. Daniel Hemric
6. Joey Logano
7. Martin Truex Jr.
8. Clint Bowyer
9. Brad Keselowski
10. Austin Dillon
11. Paul Menard
12. Denny Hamlin
13. Kyle Busch
14. Erik Jones
15. Kevin Harvick
16. Tyler Reddick
17. Ryan Blaney
18. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
19. Aric Almirola
20. Daniel Suarez
21. Kurt Busch
22. Chris Buescher
23. David Ragan
24. Ryan Newman
25. Michael McDowell
26. Casey Mears
27. Ryan Truex
28. Ryan Preece
29. Jamie McMurray
30. Matt DiBenedetto
31. Brendan Gaughan
32. Kyle Larson
33. Bubba Wallace
34. Ty Dillon
35. Matt Tifft
36. Parker Kligerman
37. Ross Chastain
38. Landon Cassill
39. Corey LaJoie
40. Cody Ware
41. BJ McLeod
42. Joey Gase

Duel 1 lineup

1. William Byron
2. Jimmie Johnson
3. Daniel Hemric
4. Martin Truex Jr.
5. Brad Keselowski
6. Paul Menard
7. Kyle Busch
8. Kevin Harvick
9. Ryan Blaney
10. Aric Almirola
11. Kurt Busch
12. David Ragan
13. Michael McDowell
14. Ryan Truex
15. Jamie McMurray
16. Brendan Gaughan
17. Bubba Wallace
18. Matt Tifft
19. Ross Chastain
20. Corey LaJoie
21. BJ McLeod

Duel 2 lineup

1. Alex Bowman
2. Chase Elliott
3. Joey Logano
4. Clint Bowyer
5. Austin Dillon
6. Denny Hamlin
7. Erik Jones
8. Tyler Reddick
9. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
10. Daniel Suarez
11. Chris Buescher
12. Ryan Newman
13. Casey Mears
14. Ryan Preece
15. Matt DiBenedetto
16. Kyle Larson
17. Ty Dillon
18. Parker Kligerman
19. Landon Cassill
20. Cody Ware
21. Joey Gase

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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