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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 11, 2018) – Alex Bowman put his No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 in the top starting spot for the upcoming Daytona 500, the season-opener for the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS), which will run Feb. 18 at Daytona International Speedway. With a fast lap of 46.002 seconds/195.644 mph around the 2.5-mile race track, Bowman claimed his second MENCS career pole and fourth straight Daytona 500 pole for Hendrick Motorsports.
Bowman’s feat is also the first ever pole win for the all-new Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, the sixth consecutive Daytona 500 pole for the Bowtie Brand, the 25thpole in 60 years of competition in the Great American Race and the 695th pole overall for Team Chevy.
“It was a little nerve-wracking,” said Bowman after the qualifying session. “Our Nationwide Camaro ZL1 has been great since we unloaded. All the guys back at the chassis shop, body shop, and the Hendrick engine shop have been top-notch. They’ve all worked so hard. And we knew we were going for the pole; that’s what we’re here to do. And I thought we were at a little disadvantage letting the car cool down as long as we did since we went pretty early in the first round. I was a little nervous for that second round. But it took off well off pit road and I did everything I could do. It just means the world to have Nationwide support and to be able to put it on the pole.”
All of Bowman’s Hendrick Motorsports teammates were fast enough to advance to the second and final round. Jimmie Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Chevy Camaro ZL1 was third fast in the order, Rookie of the Year contender, William Byron, was fifth quick in his No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, and Chase Elliott, who has won the Daytona 500 pole for the past two years, was 10th in his No. 9 Napa Chevrolet Camaro ZL1.
In today’s two-round qualifying format, Bowman posted the fastest lap in the first round, and then edged out Denny Hamlin (Toyota) in the second round of 12 to claim the top starting spot. Only the top two positions were determined in today’s session.
The starting order for the rest of the 38 cars entered for the Daytona 500 will be determined by the outcome of the Can-Am Duel which will be held on Thursday, Feb. 15 at 7 pm ET and will be aired live on FS1, MRN, and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.
Article by Team Chevy: Nancy Wager | Judy Kouba Dominick | Jessica Stroupe
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