CONFIRMED! Here’s How the Drivers Will Line-Up to Kickstart the 2021 NASCAR Daytona 500

Published 02/12/2021, 1:10 PM EST
DAYTONA BEACH, FL – JULY 06: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Stars and Stripes Chevrolet, takes the checkered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)


The 2021 NASCAR Cup season is finally here and everything starts with the NASCAR Daytona 500. It is worth mentioning that for this year’s edition, drivers can take part in practice and qualifying for Sunday’s race.

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In light of that, Alex Bowman drew first blood in the 2021 season after snatching pole position.

To make matters even better, he leads a Hendrick Motorsports front-row lockout. Starting alongside him is William Byron in the #24 car. Meanwhile, their teammates, Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson are starting 12th and 13th respectively.

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Stewart-Haas Racing driver Aric Almirola starts in 3rd place, ahead of Richard Childress Racing’s Austin Dillon.

Meanwhile, Christopher Bell and Bubba Wallace are starting in 5th and 6th, thus making it an impressive debut for their new teams, Joe Gibbs and 23XI Racing, respectively.

Meanwhile, Ryan Newman, Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, and Kyle Busch complete the Top 10.

How does the rest of the grid line up for the NASCAR Daytona 500?

Ryan Preece lines up just outside the Top 10, ahead of 12th placed Elliott. Behind them are Larson and Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney.

Daniel Suarez and Corey LaJoie line up alongside each other on Row 8. They start ahead of Michael McDowell, David Ragan, returnee driver Jamie McMurray, and Kurt Busch.

Meanwhile, it was a disappointing qualifying session for Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr, and Cole Custer. The quartet finds themselves languishing down nose-to-tail from 24th to 27th places respectively.

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DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA – FEBRUARY 17: Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Cup Series 62nd Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Ty Dillon failed to qualify for the 500, along with Garrett Smithley, Timmy Hill, and Noah Gragson.

On the rookie front, Chase Briscoe lines up in 30th place, behind Tyler Reddick. Furthermore, Anthony Alfredo slots into 36th place behind Cody Ware. Finally, Austin Cindric and Kaz Grala bring up the rear of the 40-car grid.

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Hopefully, it should be an interesting battle to win the Great American Race.

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Dhruv George

11995 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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