Alex Bowman Claims Record Pole Position as Hendrick Dominates NASCAR Daytona 500 Qualifying Again

Published 02/12/2021, 12:35 AM EST
DAYTONA BEACH, FL – FEBRUARY 11: Alex Bowman, driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, walks to his car during qualifying for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)


Jimmie Johnson may have retired from the NASCAR Cup Series, but driving with similar precision and class in the no.48 car was his successor Alex Bowman. Bringing in some serious pace, he claimed pole position after a fabulous timed lap of 47.056 seconds.

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His teammate William Byron was equally up to the task, notching a timing of 47.314 seconds himself. Together, they completed a front-row lockout for Hendrick Motorsports.

Following last night’s qualifying, Bowman now starts the ‘Great American Race’ on the front row for a fourth consecutive time. He also ensured Hendrick Motorsports had a driver claiming pole position for the sixth time in the last seven editions.

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Alex Bowman put in a splendid lap with a great top speed

Bowman built his lap by consistently maintaining a higher level of speed on the curvy areas of the superspeedway. On the straight, the no.48 driver did not put a foot wrong as he pushed himself to the limit.

There was some concern as the downforce resulted in some sparks generated off the rear of his car. However, it did not ultimately affect his lap, as the concentrated effort resulted in Bowman collecting another pole.

Speaking to the team’s website, Bowman said, “They work so hard on these superspeedway cars. Our Ally Camaro has been really fast since we unloaded and we focused a lot on trying to get the pole for the 500. It means a lot to us.”

Hendrick Motorsports drivers Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson have work to do

It was a surprise to see the premier team’s two accomplished drivers not raising their game in the main qualifying segment.

While the 2020 Cup Series champion put in a timed lap of 47.695 seconds with a best speed of 188.699 miles/hour, Larson’s lap saw his figures read 47.752 and 188.474 respectively.

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CONCORD, NORTH CAROLINA – OCTOBER 11: Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Cup Series Bank of America ROVAL 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

It meant that both Larson and Elliott had to compete in the Duels at Daytona to determine their starting positions for Sunday’s race. While the No.5 began his pursuit in eighth place in Duel 1, Chase was positioned fifth in Duel 2.

That said, there will be optimism in Bowman’s camp having put in some stellar work. Hendrick Motorsports can now only hope that he takes the initiative to secure his maiden Daytona 500 win in the process.

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MORE – Jimmie Johnson Reacts to Alex Bowman’s First NASCAR Ride in the Iconic 48 Car

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Bhargav Gopal

927 articles

Hailing from Bengaluru, Bhargav is an F1 and NASCAR author for EssentiallySports. He is a huge fan of Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing. Bhargav also has an MBA in Sports Management from the Symbiosis School of Sports Sciences, Pune.

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