NASCAR: 2021 Daytona 500 starting lineup set

Daytona 500, NASCAR (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Daytona 500, NASCAR (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images) /

The starting lineup for the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season-opening Daytona 500 is set. Who will roll off where on Sunday afternoon?

Following Wednesday evening’s single-car qualifying session for the front row and Thursday evening’s/early Friday morning’s Bluegreen Vacations Duels to set the rest of the field, the starting lineup for the 63rd annual Daytona 500 to open up the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season is set.

Hendrick Motorsports teammates Alex Bowman and William Byron locked out the front row on Wednesday evening, with the former taking his second pole position in the last four seasons and his record fourth consecutive front row start and the latter taking his second front row start in the last three seasons.

Stewart-Haas Racing’s Aric Almirola won the first of the two 60-lap Duel races around the four-turn, 2.5-mile (4.023-kilometer) high-banked Daytona International Speedway oval in Daytona Beach, Florida, and Richard Childress Racing’s Austin Dillon won the second.

They are set to share the second row following their Duel wins.

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The rest of the starting lineup was set by the results of the two Duels, with those in the first Duel lining up in the odd positions and those in the second lining up in the even positions.

Despite initially qualifying for the race on speed, both JTG Daugherty Racing’s Ryan Preece and Front Row Motorsports’ David Ragan raced their way in during their respective Duels to avoid starting on the back row. As a result of the fact that these two drivers technically raced their way in instead of falling back on their qualifying speed, this made Team Penske’s Austin Cindric and Kaulig Racing’s Kaz Grala the official speed qualifiers. They are set to share the final row in 39th and 40th place, respectively.

Here is the full projected starting lineup for the 63rd annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway, without factoring in potential backup cars and cars dropping to the rear before the green flag.

Starting Lineup
1st – Alex Bowman
2nd – William Byron
3rd – Aric Almirola
4th – Austin Dillon
5th – Christopher Bell
6th – Bubba Wallace
7th – Ryan Newman
8th – Kevin Harvick
9th – Joey Logano
10th – Kyle Busch
11th – Ryan Preece
12th – Chase Elliott
13th – Kyle Larson
14th – Ryan Blaney
15th – Daniel Suarez
16th – Corey LaJoie
17th – Michael McDowell
18th – David Ragan
19th – Jamie McMurray
20th – Kurt Busch
21st – Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
22nd – Chris Buescher
23rd – Matt DiBenedetto
24th – Brad Keselowski
25th – Denny Hamlin
26th – Martin Truex Jr.
27th – Cole Custer
28th – Joey Gase
29th – Tyler Reddick
30th – Chase Briscoe
31st – Erik Jones
32nd – Derrike Cope
33rd – Quin Houff
34th – Ross Chastain
35th – Cody Ware
36th – Anthony Alfredo
37th – Josh Bilicki
38th – B.J. McLeod
39th – Austin Cindric
40th – Kaz Grala

Four drivers who attempted to qualify for the race failed to do so: Ty Dillon, Noah Gragson, Timmy Hill and Garrett Smithley.

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Tune in to Fox at 2:30 p.m. ET this Sunday, February 14 for the live broadcast of the 63rd annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway.