Who’s Hot And Who’s Not Heading Into The Daytona 500

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Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

HOT – Hendrick Motorsports

Team Hendrick is looking good with the Daytona 500 less than 48 hours away. Jeff Gordon took the pole in Daytona qualifying with fellow HMS driver Jimmie Johnson taking the outside pole. Flash forward to the Budweiser Duels on Thursday and it was Dale Earnhardt Jr. Johnson winning those events. Gordon finished his duel race in 2nd place and Kasey Kahne finished his duel race in seventh.

Despite the seventh place finish in his duel race, Kahne did show some speed Thursday night and was up towards the front a few times.

When the green flag waves on Sunday the first three cars in line will be from HMS and the No. 5 machine won’t be that far behind. Earnhardt Jr. won the Daytona 500 last season and he will be looking to defend his crown. Gordon will be running in his final 500 while Johnson will be looking to carry over his duel win and turn it into a Daytona 500 win. Kahne got a contract extension during the off-season and he will be looking to make some noise early to repay the faith that his team has in him.