Qualifying for the Daytona 500 wrapped up Thursday, February 23, 2017 with duel races at Daytona International Speedway that set the field for Sunday's race.
In the qualifying trials, Chase Elliott captured the pole, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. grabbed the No. 2 spot, with the rest of the grid set by Thursday's races.
The Daytona 500 will be held Sunday, February 26, 2017 (2/26/17).
Race: Daytona 500
When: Sunday, Feb. 26
At: Daytona International Speedway Daytona Beach, Fla.
Lap length: 2.5 miles
(Car number in parentheses)
1. (24) Chase Elliott, Chevrolet.
2. (88) Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet.
3. (1) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet.
4. (11) Denny Hamlin, Toyota.
5. (4) Kevin Harvick, Ford.
6. (14) Clint Bowyer, Ford.
7. (2) Brad Keselowski, Ford.
8. (41) Kurt Busch, Ford.
9. (20) Matt Kenseth, Toyota.
10. (3) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet.
11. (6) Trevor Bayne, Ford.
12. (10) Danica Patrick, Ford.
13. (43) Aric Almirola, Ford.
14. (31) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet.
15. (22) Joey Logano, Ford.
16. (42) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet.
17. (72) Cole Whitt, Ford.
18. (13) Ty Dillon, Chevrolet.
19. (19) Daniel Suarez, Toyota.
20. (38) David Ragan, Ford.
21. (18) Kyle Busch, Toyota.
22. (95) Michael McDowell, Chevrolet.
23. (17) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford.
24. (48) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet.
25. (32) Matt DiBenedetto, Ford.
26. (5) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet.
27. (34) Landon Cassill, Ford.
28. (96) DJ Kennington, Toyota.
29 (23) Joey Gase, Toyota.
30. (15) Michael Waltrip, Toyota.
31. (83) Corey LaJoie, Toyota.
32. (33) Jeffrey Earnhardt, Chevrolet.
33. (27) Paul Menard, Chevrolet.
34. (77) Erik Jones, Toyota.
35. (78) Martin Truex Jr., Toyota.
36. (21) Ryan Blaney, Ford.
37. (37) Chris Buescher, Chevrolet.
38. (47) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet.
39. (75) Brendan Gaughan, Chevrolet.
40. (7) Elliott Sadler, Chevrolet.
Failed to Qualify
(55) Reed Sorenson
(51) Timmy Hill
Meanwhile, NASCAR is slowly losing its big names.
Jeff Gordon is working in the broadcast booth. Carl Edwards is spending time with family. Tony Stewart is hanging out at dirt tracks.
Time, channel for Daytona 500
Some of NASCAR's biggest stars have stepped away over the last 15 months, a thought-provoking trend that doesn't appear to be ending anytime soon.
Gordon (2015) and Stewart (2016) retired from full-time racing in consecutive years, walking away with a combined seven championships. Edwards called it quits last month, abruptly leaving before the final year of his contract with Joe Gibbs Racing. Edwards said his decision was personal and private. What made it so bizarre is that Edwards was 10 laps away from winning his first championship just two months earlier.
Even if Edwards returns to the series next year, it probably won't do much to stop NASCAR's ongoing face-lift.
"When I first started watching the (Washington) Redskins, a lot of wide receivers and cornerbacks were playing into their mid-30s regularly and now they're not," NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Jr. told The Associated Press this week. "Nowadays, at 30, they're starting to look for somebody else and wondering how much more mileage they got on them.
"I think we're seeing that in NASCAR as well."
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
Connor Hughes may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @Connor_J_Hughes. Find NJ.com Jets on Facebook.
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