Wednesday, 24 October, 2018

Alex Bowman puts No. 88 on the pole for Daytona 500

Daytona 500 winner opens shop in Salisbury, team driver is grandson of Dale Earnhardt Your Overton's 200 Ticket Could Be Free If Martin Truex Jr. Wins the Daytona 500
Frederick Owens | 12 February, 2018, 02:10

Patrick was weepy when she announced her retirement from racing at the end of last season, but didn't feel as sentimental on Saturday ahead of practice at Daytona International Speedway.

"I think it's still a little surreal", said Bowman, who will race in his second Daytona 500.

The qualifying draw takes place Saturday evening, and competitors for The Clash will be back on the track for the 75-lap, 187.5-mile race Sunday at 3 p.m. ET (FS1).

Bowman was a driver struggling to piece together a schedule when Earnhardt was injured in 2016. "That's really my hope for the Daytona 500". Six of Earnhardt's 17 career victories at Daytona International Speedway came in that auto, including one of his Daytona 500 victories. Jeff Gordon won the pole in 2015, Chase Elliott won it the past two seasons and now Bowman has the honor. But with the Tony Stewart and Gene Haas co-owned team having signed Aric Almirola to replace her, Patrick joined Premium Motorsports, a modest organization, where she will drive the No. 7 Chevrolet.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Hendrick Motorsports rookie William Byron has posted the fastest lap in practice for the Daytona 500. It was the fastest lap of two sessions. "We knew we were going for the pole". Bowman raced just three times on the national level last season, two Xfinity Series races and one in the Truck Series, and filled his time using a simulator as he waited for Earnhardt to retire.

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"I realistically set my expectations and would have been happy with 18th", Hamlin said. "I mean, obviously, I was in 38 of them or 37 or sometimes 36 [in a season], but I'm sure I will watch some of it when it's somewhat convenient or when it's a big one".

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was second fastest at 201.649 miles per hour.

Kurt Busch, victor of the Daytona 500 previous year, was 17th fastest. It was expected that Patrick would settle on a team with enough lead time before Daytona, but when that didn't occur due a lack of funding she stepped in to push things along.

Of course, with the Daytona 500 still a week away things can change and Patrick admits that her feelings may differ by the time the February 18 race rolls around.

The Homestead race, Patrick said, represented her end of the road as far as the grand passion of the moment.

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