Coming in with a lap at 194.738 mph (46.216 seconds), fastest since Jeff Gordon in 1999, Columbia, MO. native Carl Edwards beat out Roush-Fenway Racing teammate Greg Biffle (194.087 mph) for the pole in Sunday’s Daytona 500.
Under Daytona’s unique qualifying format, only the two fastest drivers in time trials know they’ll be starting next Sunday on the front row. The rest of the drivers will battle for positions Thursday’s dual 150 qualifying races.
Not all drivers racing on Thursday are guaranteed a starting spot in the field, but last year’s pole winner, Dale Earnhardt Jr., who had the strongest Chevrolet, finished third and earned a front row starting spot in one of the qualifying races.
Danica Patrick, who will become the third woman to start the Daytona 500, (Janet Guthrie and Shawna Robinson the others) has a guaranteed starting spot based on owner points between Stewart-Haas Racing and Tommy Baldwin Racing.