Dale Earnhardt Jr. takes pole position for Daytona Cup race

Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the pole for the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on Friday.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. takes pole position for Daytona Cup race

Earnhardt, who posted the quick lap in Round 1, doubled-up in the final round with a lap of 190.973mph. 

“Awesome, finally,” Earnhardt said after topping his teammate Chase Elliott. “It’s like the 15th time is the charm.”

“Welcome to the Clash,” crew chief Greg Ives replied. 

When Earnhardt was asked about whether he would consider returning to Daytona in February to run the Clash, he said, “Yeah, absolutely, I’ll talk to my bossman Rick (Hendrick) and see if we can come back and have some fun.”

For Earnhardt, it was his second pole at Daytona and his 14th career Cup pole overall.

Elliott was second follow by Brad Keselowski, Kasey Kahne, Kevin Harvick and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Jimmie Johnson established a lap of 189.450mph as the first driver out in the second round of time trials. He ended up 12th. Jamie McMurray bumped Johnson with a speed of 189.849mph. 

Clint Bowyer moved up to second with a lap of 189.530mph. But his teammate, Kevin Harvick, topped the board on the next run with a lap of 190.046mph.

“Good job guys,” Harvick said.

Danica Patrick, the third Stewart-Haas Racing Ford, ran a 189.633mph — temporarily good for third, until  Blaney replaced her with a lap of 189.785mph. 

Keselowski took the top spot with a lap of 190.287mph with a solid run through Turn 3. 

“I think what we have for tomorrow night will be better,” crew chief Paul Wolfe tells Keselowski. 

Kasey Kahne, who was looking for a solid run, was the first Hendrick Motorsports Chevy to take a time and ended up second — 47-356-seconds (190.050mph). 

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.’s lap of 190.006mph held up for fourth on the speed chart. 

Joey Logano struggled getting through Turn 4 and ended up fifth (189.921mph). 

“Getting closer,” he told the No. 22 Team Penske squad 

Chase Elliott secured a front-row seat for Saturday with a lap of 190.795, knocking Keselowski off the pole.

“Good job, we’ll see if ol’ Dale gets us,” crew chief Alan Gustafson said. 

And he did.  Earnhardt wasn't going to be denied in his final run in the Coke Zero 400.

Click on image below to watch highlights of Dale Earnhardt Jr. winning the pole at Daytona on Friday. 

Round 1 

Dale Earnhardt Jr. posted the top speed in the first round of qualifying for Saturday’s Coke Zero 400. 

Earnhardt, the 22nd driver on the track, set a time of 47.157-seconds (190.852mph). 

Chase Elliott, Joey Logano, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Kasey Kahne and Brad Keselowski rounded out the top-six speeds.

“The car had speed,” Logano said. “That’s a great accomplishment for our team.”

Ryan Blaney, Danica Patrick, Kevin Harvick Clint Boywer, Jamie McMurray and Jimmie Johnson also transfered to Round 2. 

AJ Allmendinger, the fourth car on the track, jumped up to P1 with a lap of 187.758mph but was bumped by McMurray’s lap of 188.513mph. Patrick, who won the pole for the 2013 Daytona 500, was next on the provisional pole after a lap of 189.693mph. She held the top spot through five drivers until Kahne knocked her off with a lap 190.751mph. 

Kahne’s Hendrick Motorsports teammate — and two-time pole winner — Chase Elliott bumped the No. 5 with a speed of 190.751mph. Five drivers later, Earnhardt Jr. captured the top spot with a lap of 190.852mph. 

Thirty minutes into single-car qualifying, 24 drivers had posted times. Earnhardt, Elliott, Kahne, Patrick, Bowyer and McMurray rounded out the top-six.

With six cars remaining to take times, Stenhouse Jr., who won his first Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in the spring, jumped up to third (190.186mph). Blaney followed by posted the fifth fastest time — 189.765mph. Logano’s Ford bumped both drivers with a lap of 190.283mph for third. 

Harvick’s lap of 189.605mph held up for eighth. Keselowski, the penultimate driver to make a run, vaulted to sixth with a lap of 190.014. Kyle Busch, the final driver to make a run, didn’t crack the top 12. His lap of 189.060mph ended up 16th.

1 88 united_states Dale Earnhardt Jr.  Chevrolet 47.127   190.973
2 24 united_states Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 47.171 0.044 190.795
3 2 united_states Brad Keselowski  Ford 47.297 0.170 190.287
4 5 united_states Kasey Kahne  Chevrolet 47.356 0.229 190.050
5 4 united_states Kevin Harvick  Ford 47.357 0.230 190.046
6 17 united_states Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 47.367 0.240 190.006
7 22 united_states Joey Logano  Ford 47.388 0.261 189.921
8 1 united_states Jamie McMurray  Chevrolet 47.406 0.279 189.849
9 21 united_states Ryan Blaney  Ford 47.422 0.295 189.785
10 10 united_states Danica Patrick  Ford 47.460 0.333 189.633
11 14 united_states Clint Bowyer  Ford 47.486 0.359 189.530
12 48 united_states Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 47.506 0.379 189.450
13 20 united_states Matt Kenseth  Toyota 47.543 0.416 189.302
14 6 united_states Trevor Bayne  Ford 47.563 0.436 189.223
15 41 united_states Kurt Busch  Ford 47.569 0.442 189.199
16 18 united_states Kyle Busch  Toyota 47.604 0.477 189.060
17 77 united_states Erik Jones  Toyota 47.624 0.497 188.980
18 11 united_states Denny Hamlin  Toyota 47.648 0.521 188.885
19 3 united_states Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 47.659 0.532 188.842
20 19 mexico Daniel Suarez  Toyota 47.730 0.603 188.561
21 42 united_states Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 47.742 0.615 188.513
22 31 united_states Ryan Newman  Chevrolet 47.756 0.629 188.458
23 95 united_states Michael McDowell  Chevrolet 47.766 0.639 188.419
24 27 united_states Paul Menard  Chevrolet 47.803 0.676 188.273
25 78 united_states Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 47.815 0.688 188.225
26 34 united_states Landon Cassill  Ford 47.817 0.690 188.218
27 47 united_states A.J. Allmendinger  Chevrolet 47.934 0.807 187.758
28 32 united_states Matt DiBenedetto  Ford 47.957 0.830 187.668
29 37 united_states Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 47.969 0.842 187.621
30 38 united_states David Ragan  Ford 48.041 0.914 187.340
31 43 united_states Darrell Wallace Jr.  Ford 48.145 1.018 186.935
32 75 united_states Brendan Gaughan  Chevrolet 48.199 1.072 186.726
33 7 united_states Elliott Sadler  Chevrolet 48.201 1.074 186.718
34 13 united_states Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 48.346 1.219 186.158
35 72 united_states Cole Whitt  Chevrolet 48.484 1.357 185.628
36 23 united_states Corey Lajoie  Toyota 48.529 1.402 185.456
37 55 united_states Reed Sorenson  Toyota 48.747 1.620 184.627
38 15 canada DJ Kennington  Chevrolet 48.790 1.663 184.464
39 83 united_states Ryan Sieg  Toyota 49.063 1.936 183.438
40 33 united_states Jeffrey Earnhardt  Chevrolet 49.588 2.461 181.496
Dale Jr. is done competing full-time, but not done racing
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