Fuel & Tires: Elliott wins Daytona 500 pole, qualifying races Thursday
The NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series got off to a rough start over the weekend as the Advance Auto Parts Clash at Daytona was postponed from Saturday night to Sunday morning due to rain for the first time since 2006.
Once things got going, the first car out of the race was the No. 41 Monster Energy Ford of Kurt Busch, who crashed on lap 17 after being tagged by Jimmie Johnson coming through turn four. Having the series title sponsor's car the first one out of the race isn't the best way to kick off a newly-branded season, but at least things can only go up from there.
Johnson made it unscathed through the contact with Busch only to crash in a similar fashion on lap 49 to end his day. For Johnson, who won the event in 2005, it was the sixth Clash in a row that he failed to finish.
Joey Logano won the event in the No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, his first Clash win and third win in the event for team owner Roger Penske. Kyle Busch finished second in the No. 18 M&M's Toyota while Alex Bowman, running the No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet in Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s place, came home third. View the full race results
Following the race, single-car qualifying was held for Sunday's Daytona 500 with Chase Elliott winning his second consecutive Daytona 500 pole in the No. 24 NAPA Chevrolet. The aforementioned Earnhardt missed out on the pole by .002 of a second and will start the race in the second position. The Hendrick Motorsports teammates are now locked into the front row while the rest of the field will be set in the Can-Am Duel 150 races Thursday.
The two 60-lap qualifying races will each have 21 cars qualifying for the remaining 38 spots for Sunday's race. Of those 42 drivers, Brendan Gaughan, Reed Sorenson, Corey LaJoie, Elliott Sadler, DJ Kennington and Timmy Hill are not guaranteed a starting spot in Sunday's race. Their finish in the Duels will determine whether or not they qualify for the race.
Coverage for the Can-Am Duel 150 races starts at 6 p.m. Thursday on FOX Sports 1.
Dave von Falkenstein is a digital content coordinator for The Gazette and an auto racing fan. Follow him on Twitter at @achtungvon or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.