It’s a Hendrick Motorsports world, and we’re all just living in it, when it comes to Daytona 500 qualifying. Kyle Larson, the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series champion, scored the eight-consecutive Daytona 500 pole award for a Hendrick Motorsports engine, and it’s the seventh Daytona 500 pole for a Hendrick Motorsports car in the last eight seasons.
Larson, who hails from California, turned a fast lap of 49.680 seconds / 181.159 mph in Round two of Busch Pole Qualifying, which was fast enough to top his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Alex Bowman.
This is Larson’s first-career Daytona 500 pole.
“It’s really neat,” Larson said of his pole run. “Anytime, you’re really proud of your team to get a pole here. This is the littlest that it has to do with us drivers is qualifying at superspeedways. Just a huge thank you to the engine shop at Hendrick Motorsports, everybody who has had a part at touching these vehicles…”
For Bowman, who drives the No. 48 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports, this is his record fifth-consecutive Daytona 500 front row start. The Arizona-native turned a lap of 49.711 seconds / 181.046 mph.
“It’s unbelievable,” Bowman said of his fifth-consecutive Daytona 500 front row start. “I’ve come down here not locked in, qualified poorly and had to race our way in. Just says so much about Hendrick Motorsports and all these guys. Congrats on [Larson] getting the pole. It’s cool to have the record, right, but I feel Greg Ives and my race team should be the ones that get credit for the record.”
Larson and Bowman have officially locked their starting positions for the 2022 Daytona 500, while the remainder of the field will jockey for their starting positions in the Bluegreen Vacation Duels on Thursday night.
William Byron was third fastest in the session, while Aric Almirola, Chase Elliott, Martin Truex Jr., Ross Chastain, Denny Hamlin, Daniel Suarez and Harrison Burton rounded out the fastest in Daytona 500 qualifying.
With 42 cars attempting to make the 40-car field, that means two cars will go home this weekend. 36 cars are locked into the field by way of their teams owning a Charter, which ensures their place in the field.
Noah Gragson and Jacques Villeneuve were the fastest of the six Open cars in qualifying, which guarantees them a spot in the 2022 Daytona 500 field.
Kaz Grala, Greg Biffle, JJ Yeley and Timmy Hill will be relegated to racing their way into the season’s biggest race through the Duels on Thursday night.
For a full breakdown of the qualifying procedures for these drivers, refer to the 2022 Daytona 500 ‘Making The Field’ feature from TobyChristie.com:
Daytona 500 Qualifying – Round 2:
|6||19||Martin Truex Jr.||Toyota||49.989||-0.309||180.040|
Daytona 500 Qualifying – Round 1:
|7||19||Martin Truex Jr.||Toyota||50.078||-0.313||179.720|
|32||47||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||Chevrolet||50.639||-0.874||177.729|
|33||62||* Noah Gragson||Chevrolet||50.689||-0.924||177.553|
|36||27||* Jacques Villeneuve||Ford||51.010||-1.245||176.436|
|37||50||* Kaz Grala||Chevrolet||51.094||-1.329||176.146|
|38||44||* Greg Biffle||Chevrolet||51.100||-1.335||176.125|
|41||55||* JJ Yeley||Ford||52.005||-2.240||173.060|
|42||66||* Timmy Hill||Ford||52.263||-2.498||172.206|