Daytona 500 2013 Qualifying results: Tony Stewart proud of total team effort

Jamey Price

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Tony Stewart had perhaps the best day in Daytona 500 qualifying, placing Stewart-Haas Racing cars in first, fourth and fifth place. This includes polesitter Danica Patrick, who became the first woman to win a pole in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series -- and in the Daytona 500, no less.

Stewart, who qualified fifth, doesn’t know what the difference was between his own lap and Patrick’s but attributed teamwork as one of the principal reasons for her team’s pole run on Sunday. Stewart even went as far to joke that Patrick has two boyfriends – fellow driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and crew chief Tony Gibson.

"They’re all but holding hands in the shop when they are there every day," Stewart quipped. "It’s good for me to see that as an owner. I like to see that sort of chemistry. Ryan (Newman) is happy being back with Matt (Borland). Tony (Gibson) and Danica are happy and I’m happy with Steve. That’s something to be said with having three teams that the drivers and teams are getting along and that goes a long way."

Stewart doesn't mind that he didn't win the pole. As an owner, he was more concerned about locking Patrick into the front row and personally focused on winning his first Daytona 500.

"My eye is still on next Sunday," Stewart said. "Ownership side this Sunday, next Sunday (the Daytona 500), that’s what I want from the driver’s side.

Unlike in previous years, where Stewart would know by qualifying or the qualifying races if he had a car that was capable of winning, the three-time Series champion doesn’t think he will have a grasp on how good his car is until the Sunday of the race.

"I think, the bigger the packs are, the more things will change," Stewart said. "Like I said, we’ll see have the field race in each race on Thursday, then Sunday you’ll see 43 cars.

"I think you’ll learn early in the 500 what you got and then it’s a matter of positioning yourself at the end of the race, middle parts of the race, to be in the right spot at the end."

Daytona 500 Qualifying Results:

1. Danica Patrick

2.Jeff Gordon

3. Trevor Bayne

4. Ryan Newman

5. Tony Stewart

6. Kasey Kahne

7. Denny Hamlin

8. Kyle Busch

9. Joey Logano

10. Matt Kenseth

11. Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

12. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.

13. Juan Pablo Montoya

14. Paul Menard

15. Casey Mears

16. Austin Dillon

17. Carl Edwards

18. Clint Bowyer

19. Martin Truex, Jr.

20. Jeff Burton

21. Jimmie Johnson

22. Jamie McMurray

23. Brad Keselowski

24. Marcos Ambrose

25. Kevin Harvick

26. Aric Almirola

27. Greg Biffle

28. Mark Martin

29. David Gilliland

30. David Ragan

31. Michael Waltrip

32. Josh Wise

33. Kurt Busch

34. Michael McDowell

35. Scott Speed

36. Terry Labonte

37. Regan Smith

38. Dave Blaney

39. Bobby Labonte

40. JJ Yeley

41. David Reutimann

42. Travis Kvapil

43. Joe Nemechek

44. Mike Bliss

45. Brian Keselowski

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