Sunday, March 26, 2023

Alex Bowman Obliterates Field for Third Daytona 500 Pole, Kyle Larson to Start Second

Alex Bowman Daytona 500 Hendrick Motorsports NASCAR Cup Series
Alex Bowman secured his third pole position in the Daytona 500, and his sixth consecutive front-row starting spot in the “Great American Race” by obliterating the field in Wednesday’s qualifying session. PC: Craig White |

To the surprise of absolutely nobody, Alex Bowman has picked up his third pole position in the Daytona 500, and his sixth consecutive front-row start in a prestigious event at Daytona International Speedway.

Bowman, who starts the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season with a brand-new crew chief in Blake Harris, posted an insane lap in the second round of Wednesday’s single-car qualifying session, to curb-stomp the entirety of the 42-car field.

Putting down a 49.536-second (181.585mph) lap, Bowman defeated his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kyle Larson – last season’s Daytona 500 polesitter – by nearly two-tenths of a second to secure his fourth pole at NASCAR’s top level.

William Byron, another teammate of Bowman’s at Hendrick Motorsports, recorded the third-quickest lap, with Ford Performance drivers Aric Almirola, and Joey Logano completing the top-five quickest laps.

Chase Briscoe, Ryan Blaney, Austin Cindric, Harrison Burton, and Kyle Busch completed the 10-driver roster for the second round of qualifying.

Kyle Busch, in his first Daytona 500 for Richard Childress Racing, had his second-round time disallowed, after he dipped below the double-yellow line to get a draft off of Austin Cindric, who was rolling back to the pits at a reduced speed.

Jimmie Johnson (23rd) and Travis Pastrana (25th) were the two quickest unchartered cars in Wednesday’s single-car qualifying session, ensuring both drivers a spot into Sunday’s 500-mile contest in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Meanwhile, for the first time since 2014, a Toyota-backed entry failed to secure a spot inside the top-10 in Daytona 500 Pole Qualifying, with the highest Toyota entry being Bubba Wallace, who posted the 11th-quickest time for 23XI Racing.

Chase Elliott, the sport’s most popular driver and teammate to the three quickest drivers in Wednesday’s qualifying session, recorded a lap good enough for 14th, clocking in quite a bit worse than his three teammates.

Zane Smith (29th), Austin Hill (32nd), Chandler Smith (41st), and Conor Daly (42nd) will each have to rely on Thursday’s BlueGreen Vacations Duels from Daytona, in order to lock themselves into the field for the 65th Daytona 500.

Should Johnson and/or Pastrana race their way into the field for Sunday’s race, Zane Smith, and then Austin Hill, would have an opportunity to use their qualifying speed to get into the event.

Daytona 500 Pole Qualifying Results:

2023 NASCAR Cup Series Daytona 500 Qualifying Results

Joseph Srigley
Joseph Srigley
University of Windsor | Business Administration - Supply Chain & Data Analytics Editor at

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