For the seventh consecutive season, a Chevrolet will lead the field to the green flag for the 2019 season-opening Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) race, the Daytona 500. William Byron, behind the wheel of the No. 24 Axalta Camaro ZL1, ran a fast lap of 46.319 seconds/194.305 mph around the 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway to earn his first MENCS career pole, and fifth straight for Hendrick Motorsports.
Byron’s teammate, Alex Bowman, who was last year’s Daytona 500 pole winner, qualified second in his No. 88 Nationwide Camaro ZL1, and the two will start the Great American Race on the front row.
“It’s awesome for Chevrolet,” said Byron after capturing his first career Cup Series pole. “The Axalta Chevy was really fast. Credit to (crew chief) Chad (Knaus) and all the guys. It’s been a great off-season. We’re prepared. We’re ready. This is kind of the first step of our process together, so hopefully it goes well next Sunday. We can kind of chill out throughout the Duel races and learn a little bit. I’m looking forward to it. This is awesome.”
Seven-time Cup Series champion, Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Ally Camaro ZL1 and Chase Elliott, No. 9 Napa Auto Parts Camaro ZL1 were third and fourth, respectively, to claim the top four spots in today’s session for Hendrick Motorsports.
This marks the fifth consecutive year and 13th total time a Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet has sat on the pole at the prestigious Daytona 500, which will run Feb. 17 at Daytona International Speedway.
Byron’s feat marks the 700th Cup Series pole victory for Chevrolet and 26th overall Daytona 500 pole for the Bowtie Brand. Over the last seven consecutive seasons, a member of Team Chevy has earned the pole for the Daytona 500, which is the longest pole-winning streak of any manufacturer at Daytona International Speedway.
“Congratulations to William Byron and the No 24 Axalta Camaro ZL1 team for being the fastest qualifier today at Daytona,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet US Vice President of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “This is extra-special as it’s the 700th time that a Chevy has been on the pole for a Cup series race. Thanks to every Team Chevy driver, owner and crew member who contributed to this milestone over the past six decades.”
Rookie of the Year contender Daniel Hemric, No. 8 Bass Pro Shops/Caterpillar Camaro ZL1 recorded the fifth fastest time. Hemric’s Richard Childress Racing teammate and defending Daytona 500 winner, Austin Dillon, No. 3 Dow Camaro ZL1, placed 10th on the speed chart at the end of the qualifying session.
Beyond positions one and two, the starting order for the rest of the Daytona 500 field will be determined by the outcome of the Gander RV Duel which will be held on Thursday, Feb. 15 at 7 pm ET and will be aired live on FS1, MRN, and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.
Team Chevy PR