Driving the legendary No. 3 car, Austin Dillon earned pole-position and will lead the field in Sunday's Daytona 500. After an intense second Budweiser Duel on Thursday, the rest of the field is set as well.
Martin Truex Jr. was originally locked into the No. 2 spot Sunday -- all he had to do was avoid trouble Thursday night at Daytona International Speedway. No such luck. His car was involved in a final-lap wreck while Denny Hamlin stayed ahead of the mess to win the second Duel. His Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Matt Kenseth, dominated the earlier race, leading 31 of 60 laps before holding off last-lap challenges from Kevin Harvick and Kasey Kahne to win.
Dillon, who finished 19th in the first heat, mostly played it safe despite actually holding the lead for 14 laps at one point, and as a result didn't suffer the same fate as Truex.
Hamlin also won the exhibition Sprint Unlimited last Saturday night and will attempt to become the first driver to sweep all three Daytona races.
Kenseth, Kahne and Jeff Gordon will round out the top five starting positions. Kevin Harvick would have started in Kahne's position, but his No. 4 car failed post-race inspection after finishing second in Duel No. 1. He'll now start 38th as a result of the penalty.
Daytona 500 starting grid
|1||Austin Dillon*||Martin Truex, Jr. (B)|
|2||Matt Kenseth||Denny Hamlin|
|3||Kasey Kahne||Jeff Gordon|
|4||Marcos Ambrose||Kurt Busch|
|5||Dale Earnhardt. Jr||Paul Menard|
|6||Jose Wise||Brian Scott|
|7||Aric Almirola||Trevor Bayne|
|8||AJ Allmendinger||Kyle Larson|
|9||David Gilliland||Landon Cassill|
|10||Ryan Newman||Clint Bowyer (B)|
|11||Tony Stewart (E)||Jamie McMurray (B)|
|12||Cole Whitt||Terry Labonte|
|13||Greg Biffle||Bobby Labonte (E)|
|14||Danica Patrick (E)||Casey Mears|
|15||Alex Bowman||Carl Edwards|
|16||Brian Vickers||Jimmie Johnson (B)|
|17||Brad Keselowski||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.|
|18||Joey Logano||Michael Annett|
|19||Kyle Busch||Kevin Harvick|
|20||Reed Sorenson||Justin Allgaier|
|21||Parker Kligerman||Michael Waltrip (B)|
*Dillon can choose either inside or outside lane to start the race.
B: Driver will drop to the back at the start due to using a backup car.
E: Driver will drop to the back at the start due to unauthorized engine changes.