NASCAR: Ricky Stenhouse Jr Wins Daytona 500 Pole

If you were to guess who would be sitting on the pole for the Daytona 500, I don’t think people would have thought Ricky Stenhouse Jr would be P1 for the Great American Race.

Stenhouse Jr proved everyone wrong Sunday as he put the Number 47 Kroger Chevrolet for JTG Daugherty Racing on the pole for the 62nd annual Daytona 500. This is Stenhouse’s first year with the team after spending his entire NASCAR career with Roush Fenway Racing.

“Yeah, it’s huge. Any time you can start the season of your first race with an organization, and see all the work that they’ve put in is gratifying. Guys at the shop that I didn’t even know were working Saturdays and late nights all for the benefit of me to come down here and jump in this car and run fast. Touring the Hendrick engine shop, they were pumped-up for me to switch over into their horsepower. So this goes to a lot of people that work hard behind the scenes for me to come out here and drive. It’s a cool way to start Speedweeks,” Stenhouse Jr said.

Alex Bowman will start on the front row with Stenhouse Jr in the 500. It is the third consecutive year that Bowman is on the front row for the 500. Hendrick Teammates Jimmie Johnson and Chase Elliott qualified 3rd and 4th, respectively.

Only the front row is set for the Daytona 500 today in qualifying. The rest of the spots will be determined by Thursday’s Duel Races, which will set the field for the Daytona 500.

Also, Justin Haley and Brendan Gaughan are guaranteed spots into the race because they were the fastest two open cars in qualifying. Daniel Suarez, who is racing for Gaunt Brothers Racing this year, will have to race his way into the Daytona 500 on Thursday in the Duel Races.

The Duel Races begin Thursday at 7 PM on FS1. The Daytona 500 will air on Sunday, February 16th on FOX.