NASCAR tosses car chiefs for 3 drivers before Daytona 500

Byron leads Hendrick sweep of Daytona 500 qualifying	
				Image by Nigel Kinrade  LAT

Byron leads Hendrick sweep of Daytona 500 qualifying Image by Nigel Kinrade LAT

While winning the pole has its perks, including qualifying for next year's "The Clash", a Cup Series driver hasn't won the Daytona 500 from first position in almost 20 years. They comprise the youngest front row in Daytona 500 history.

The 21-year-old Byron becomes the 42nd different driver to win the Daytona pole.

The Busch Pole Award was the first for Byron in 37 tries. And while Dale Jarrett was the last to do it in 2000, it was 20 years ago that Jeff Gordon won both the Daytona 500 pole and race in the same No. 24 auto for the same team.

Hendrick Motorsports dominated Daytona 500 front-row qualifying Sunday, and the team wound up with both front row starting spots. The rest of the starting lineup (positions 3-40) will be determined through the Gander RV Duels. Johnson's long-time, seven-championship winning crew chief Knaus moved to lead Byron's No. 24 Chevy team this season.

"Hopefully, it goes well next Sunday". We can kind of chill out throughout the Duel races and learn a little bit. Known for their licensed slides with the National Basketball Association, they are now announcing an official partnership with NASCAR.

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"I think it's huge", Knaus said. This thing is fast, and it's obviously a lot of credit to the guys.

"I look forward to the new challenges ahead, and at some point, being able to reflect back on 2018 and see those periods of growth that came from that".

This was Hendrick Motorsports front-row sweep since 2015. He has already proven he can win at the track, doing so in the Xfinity Series for vehicle owner Dale Earnhardt Jr.in 2017 before winning the championship in that series.

Clint Bowyer, Brad Keselowski, 2018 Daytona 500 victor Austin Dillon, Paul Menard and Denny Hamlin completed the top 12. "I felt like from a year ago, it was one of the longest that I ran".

"We ran about what we thought we would, maybe a tick better", Busch said. They were the two fastest drivers without charters in Sunday's qualifying session. The first was Tyler Reddick, who was a strong 16th in the first round. Bowman, after turning in the fastest lap in the opening round, was 0.03-seconds slower that Byron in the final round.

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