NASCAR: 2021 Daytona 500 qualifying results – Alex Bowman takes pole

Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports, Daytona 500, NASCAR (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports, Daytona 500, NASCAR (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) /

Alex Bowman took his the pole position for the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season-opening Daytona 500, his second in the last four years.

In his first NASCAR Cup Series qualifying session as the driver of the #48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, Alex Bowman took the pole position, and he did it in dominant fashion.

Bowman took the pole position for the 2021 season-opening Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway by recording a lap speed of 191.261 miles per hour (47.056 seconds) around the four-turn, 2.5-mile (4.023-kilometer) high-banked oval in Daytona Beach, Florida in the single-car qualifying session.

The second fastest driver, teammate William Byron, finished more than a full mile per hour and a quarter of a second behind Bowman. Byron recorded a lap speed of 190.219 miles per hour (47.314 seconds) behind the wheel of his #24 Chevrolet.

Bowman and Byron are the only two drivers who have secured their starting positions for the race.

More from NASCAR Cup Series

Bowman and Byron also started alongside one another on the front row for the 2019 Daytona 500, but with Byron on pole. Bowman took the pole position for the 2018 Daytona 500 and has now secured a front row starting spot for four straight seasons, an all-time record.

The results of this session don’t determine the starting lineup for the Daytona 500, save for the top two. Stewart-Haas Racing’s Aric Almirola just missed that mark, finishing in third place on the speed chart behind the wheel of his #10 Ford.

Instead, these results determine the starting lineups for tomorrow night’s Bluegreen Vacations Duels, with the drivers in the odd positions set to compete in the first race and the drivers in the even positions set to compete in the second. The results of those two races will ultimately decide the Daytona 500 starting lineup.

Notably, two drivers of non-chartered cars did solidify their positions in the 40-car field in tonight’s session. With 44 cars on the entry list and 36 chartered entries locked into the race, eight drivers entered the week set to battle for four positions.

JTG Daugherty Racing’s Ryan Preece and Front Row Motorsports’ David Ragan locked themselves in by being the fastest two of these drivers in tonight’s qualifying session.

Two more drivers will lock themselves into the field via tomorrow night’s Bluegreen Vacations Duels by being the highest finishing driver of a non-chartered car in each race. If the highest finisher in either race happens to be Preece or Ragan, the final starting spots will go to the drivers who finished next highest on speed from tonight, not in the Duels tomorrow night.

Team Penske’s Austin Cindric and Kaulig Racing’s Kaz Grala were the drivers who finished in third and fourth place among the non-chartered entries on speed behind the wheels of their #33 Ford and #16 Chevrolet, respectively.

Of the 44 drivers on the entry list, only Rick Ware Racing’s Derrike Cope and Beard Motorsports’ Noah Gragson did not complete single-car qualifying runs. Cope’s #15 Chevrolet experienced a mechanical issue before his run, while Gragson’s #62 Chevrolet failed pre-qualifying inspection three times.

Cope is locked into the field thanks to driving a chartered car, while Gragson must be the highest finisher of a non-chartered car in his Duel race tomorrow night to get in.

Here are the full results of tonight’s Daytona 500 qualifying session.

Qualifying Results
1st – Alex Bowman
2nd – William Byron
3rd – Aric Almirola
4th – Bubba Wallace
5th – Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
6th – Kevin Harvick
7th – Christopher Bell
8th – Ryan Preece
9th – Austin Dillon
10th – Daniel Suarez
11th – Chase Elliott
11th – Denny Hamlin
13th – David Ragan
14th – Kurt Busch
15th – Kyle Larson
16th – Kyle Busch
17th – Matt DiBenedetto
18th – Ryan Blaney
19th – Austin Cindric
20th – Kaz Grala
21st – Joey Logano
22nd – Chase Briscoe
23rd – Ryan Newman
24th – Ross Chastain
25th – Cole Custer
26th – Brad Keselowski
27th – Michael McDowell
28th – Martin Truex Jr.
29th – Erik Jones
30th – Chris Buescher
31st – Tyler Reddick
32nd – Anthony Alfredo
33rd – Ty Dillon
34th – Jamie McMurray
35th – Corey LaJoie
36th – Quin Houff
37th – Garrett Smithley
38th – B.J. McLeod
39th – Timmy Hill
40th – Cody Ware
41st – Joey Gase
42nd – Josh Bilicki
43rd – Derrike Cope
43rd – Noah Gragson

Next. Top 10 NASCAR drivers of all-time. dark

The Bluegreen Vacations Duels are set to be broadcast live on Fox Sports 1 beginning at 7:00 p.m. ET tomorrow evening, and the Daytona 500 is set to be broadcast live on Fox beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, February 14.