Sunday, 20 May, 2018

Patrick arrives in Daytona for 1st stop of 'Danica Double'

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Ray Hunter | 15 February, 2018, 02:33

And though NASCAR's competition officials processed more than 1,000 scans in the offseason at the R&D Center in Concord, North Carolina, Sunday was the first run-through for a full field of cars in pre-qualifying inspection for the Daytona 500.

Alex Bowman's first race as the full-time driver of the No. 88 will come from the pole position.

At tracks like Daytona International Speedway, where the season kickoff, this framing works as the cars typically race in one giant pack condensing the field into a manageable video shot.

Truex amassed 19 stage wins and 54 playoff points before rolling into last year's winner-take-all season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, where he won the race to capture the championship.

Earnhardt retired previous year after missing half of the 2016 season, though he will be at the track serving as grand marshal for the season-opening race.

Joining Bowman on the front row for the Daytona 500 is Denny Hamlin, who had the second-fastest qualifying time.

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Denny Hamlin had the second-fastest speed at 195.092 miles per hour in a Toyota from Joe Gibbs Racing. She finally got in her Daytona 500 auto Saturday afternoon and briefly led a practice session before settling into 16th for the day. Bowman elected to stay with Hendrick Motorsports as a test and simulation driver in 2017 instead of drive for another team and was rewarded with the job of being Earnhardt Jr.'s replacement in 2018. In the inaugural Daytona 500 that year, Johnny Beauchamp was initially declared the victor following a photo finish, but a three-day review confirmed Lee Petty had won. "But this really comes down to the crew, all the guys back at the shop, whether it's the aero group, engine shop, chassis shop.it just means the world to have Nationwide's support and be able to put it on the pole".

"I literally am so ecstatic", Hamlin said.

"I think it's still a little surreal", Bowman said.

The No.88 has started on the front row for the past five restrictor-place races - and has won the last three. The machine says where you are, and everybody has got to be there. "I think the hard part was getting to that point". I'm so thankful to be able to do this.

A week before her final NASCAR race, she isn't sure what her emotions will be when the green flag drops for the 500. You kind of got what you got. GoDaddy made a decision to rejoin Patrick for her final two races, and she reached out to Eury to set up her Daytona ride.

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