Bowman, Larson Give Hendrick Sweep of Entrance Row at Daytona

Bowman, Larson Give Hendrick Sweep of Entrance Row at Daytona

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Alex Bowman gained his third profession Daytona 500 pole and might be joined by Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kyle Larson on the entrance row for NASCAR’s season opener.

The Hendrick dominance is not any shock.

Bowman, who missed 5 races late final season due to a concussion, is on the Daytona 500 entrance row for the the sixth straight time, and the group has produced a pole winner in eight of the final 9 years.

Jimmie Johnson made a triumphant return to NASCAR on Wednesday evening and certified for the Daytona 500, an amazing begin for the the seven-time champion as he heads into his first Cup race since 2020.

The 47-year-old Johnson returned from a two-year dalliance in IndyCar for an possession stake in Legacy Motor Club — and he rapidly added to his personal, becoming a member of the 40-driver discipline Wednesday evening in his No. 84 Chevrolet.

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Yes, a reverse of the No. 48 he ran when he gained two Daytona 500s.

“I believe I actually have a shot to win,” Johnson stated earlier than he certified. “If I survive and get via the primary two phases, there’s actually a shot that I’ve to win this race.”

Johnson might be joined Sunday by one other 40-something part-timer in former X Games thrill-seeker Travis Pastrana. Pastrana stated racing within the Daytona 500 was considered one of his final motorsports targets and this was his final, greatest shot to get there. He landed a experience for Daytona within the No. 67 Toyota as a 3rd entry for the NASCAR staff owned by Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin.

With 36 drivers already locked into the 40-car discipline primarily based on NASCAR’s constitution system, Johnson and Pastrana have been amongst six others competing for the ultimate 4 beginning spots at Daytona International Speedway.

Johnson and Pastrana embraced on pit row after they locked themselves within the race. They can relaxation simple for an evening.

So can Bowman, who has but to parlay the highest spot right into a Daytona 500 win, and Larson. Bowman, who obtained a brand new contract coming into this season, turned a high velocity of 181.686 mph and Larson hit 181.057. Both drive Chevrolets for Hendrick.

The remaining two open spots and the beginning order might be settled in Thursday evening’s duel qualifying races. Conor Daly, Austin Hill, Chandler Smith and Zane Smith will vie for the 2 open spots.

Smith was the primary automobile out for qualifying and promptly stalled earlier than he took a second shot at his lap. Smith’s meager velocity no less than was higher than Daly, who suffered oil line issues in his Chevrolet and didn’t take a qualifying run.

Because NASCAR didn’t have observe on the superspeedway earlier than Wednesday, groups didn’t have any time to hit the monitor and work out kinks of their automobiles.

It felt like previous instances for Johnson.

The former Hendrick Motorsports star had seemingly walked away from NASCAR after the 2020 season however he by no means scored a podium end over 29 begins in two IndyCar seasons. So it was again to NASCAR, solely this time with a say in how you can run the operation. He purchased into the possession group of what was Petty GMS Racing and rapidly rebranded it to Legacy M.C.

Pastrana was an even bigger lengthy shot to make Daytona. He has gained championships in supercross, motocross, freestyle motocross, rally racing and, most lately, offshore powerboat racing. He made a quick run at NASCAR a decade in the past and raced a full Xfinity Series schedule in 2013 for Roush Fenway Racing. He later stated the adjustment to inventory automobiles led to much more struggles than he anticipated.

Pastrana drove the No. 67 Toyota like a seasoned veteran and can be part of 23XI drivers Bubba Wallace and Tyler Reddick within the discipline.

AP auto racing: https://USA Prime and

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