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Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Streaks To Daytona 500 Pole

by Brandon Reed
Sunday, February 9, 2020

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New car, new team, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. wins pole
New car, new team, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. wins pole

For the last five years, the story of Daytona 500 pole day has been Hendrick Motorsports.

That changed on Sunday - sort of - as Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., in his first outing for JTG Daugherty Racing, put the No. 47 Chevrolet on the pole for next weekend’s running of the “Great American Race” at Daytona International Speedway.

The pole came in a car powered by a Hendrick Motorsports engine.

Stenhouse, Jr. turned a lap 194.582 mph (46.253 seconds) to claim his first career pole in the 500. His move to the No. 47 came after an ouster from Roush-Fenway Racing, who chose to exercise a contract extension with Chris Buescher for 2020.

Buescher, ironically, was pulled from the No. 47, opening the door for Stenhouse, Jr.

“Yeah, it’s huge,” said Stenhouse, Jr. “Any time you can start the season off, your first race with an organization, and to see all the work that they’ve put in; 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.”

And while the pole snaps the five year streak for Hendrick Motorsports drivers, it wasn’t a total loss, as they provide engines for the JTG Daugherty team.

“Touring the Hendrick engine shop, they were pumped-up for me to switch over into their horsepower,” Stenhouse, Jr. said. “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.”

Add to that Hendrick Motorsports driver Alex Bowman was second quick at 194.363 mph, locking himself into the outside of the front row for the Daytona 500.

“We have a great Valvoline Camaro. I’m really happy with how the new Camaro has been so far,” said Bowman. “The front row is still really good. Obviously, we wanted the pole, but just barely missed it there. So, hat’s off to the Hendrick engine shop, the fab shop, and all the guys that work on these things all winter. This is really all about them. As a driver, you can really only screw it up. So, you can’t make it really go any faster. So, I’m proud of all the guys and we’ve got the best-looking car here with Valvoline on board. It looks awesome, and hopefully we’ll be up front in the 500.”

All Hendrick engine front row - Bowman (L) and Stenhouse (R)
All Hendrick engine front row - Bowman (L) and Stenhouse (R)

Add to that Hendrick Motorsports driver Alex Bowman was second quick at 194.363 mph, locking himself into the outside of the front row for the Daytona 500.

The remainder of the field will be set in Thursday night’s qualifying races.

Two-time 500 pole winner Chase Elliott was third fast, with Jimmie Johnson fourth quick as he prepares for his final season on the NASCAR Cup Series tour.

Two-time and defending Daytona 500 champion Denny Hamlin was fifth quick with 2019 series champion Kyle Busch sixth. Aric Almirola was the fastest Ford driver with a seventh place result, followed by defending pole winner William Byron in eighth, Rookie of the Year contender Christopher Bell in ninth and Erik Jones in tenth.

Two non-chartered teams can go into the rest of the week breathing easy, as Justin Haley and Brendan Gaughan locked themselves into next weekends Daytona 500 on speed. Haley timed in 31st quick, while Gaughan was 33rd.

Results

Round 2

PosCarDriverTimeSpeedLap ## Laps-Fastest-Next
124William Byron46.319194.305110.0000.000
288Alex Bowman46.355194.154110.0360.036
348Jimmie Johnson46.438193.807110.1190.083
49Chase Elliott46.444193.782110.1250.006
58Daniel Hemric #46.763192.460110.4440.319
622Joey Logano46.766192.448110.4470.003
719Martin Truex Jr.46.789192.353110.4700.023
814Clint Bowyer46.804192.291110.4850.015
92Brad Keselowski46.811192.263110.4920.007
103Austin Dillon47.018191.416110.6990.207
1121Paul Menard47.094191.107110.7750.076
1211Denny Hamlin47.246190.492110.9270.152

Round 1

PosCarDriverTimeSpeedLap ## Laps-Fastest-Next
188Alex Bowman46.408193.932110.0000.000
224William Byron46.432193.832110.0240.024
39Chase Elliott46.469193.678110.0610.037
448Jimmie Johnson46.649192.930110.2410.180
522Joey Logano46.782192.382110.3740.133
62Brad Keselowski46.797192.320110.3890.015
719Martin Truex Jr.46.803192.295110.3950.006
814Clint Bowyer46.857192.074110.4490.054
98Daniel Hemric #46.861192.057110.4530.004
103Austin Dillon46.938191.742110.5300.077
1111Denny Hamlin47.009191.453110.6010.071
1221Paul Menard47.072191.196110.6640.063
1318Kyle Busch47.080191.164110.6720.008
1420Erik Jones47.089191.127110.6810.009
154Kevin Harvick47.131190.957110.7230.042
1631* Tyler Reddick(i)47.161190.836110.7530.030
1712Ryan Blaney47.170190.799110.7620.009
1817Ricky Stenhouse Jr.47.177190.771110.7690.007
1910Aric Almirola47.185190.739110.7770.008
2041Daniel Suarez47.195190.698110.7870.010
211Kurt Busch47.222190.589110.8140.027
2237Chris Buescher47.261190.432110.8530.039
2338David Ragan47.264190.420110.8560.003
246Ryan Newman47.364190.018110.9560.100
2534Michael McDowell47.374189.978110.9660.010
2627* Casey Mears47.406189.849110.9980.032
2771* Ryan Truex(i)47.434189.737111.0260.028
2847Ryan Preece #47.441189.709111.0330.007
2940Jamie McMurray47.498189.482111.0900.057
3095Matt DiBenedetto47.515189.414111.1070.017
3162* Brendan47.520189.394111.1120.005
3242Kyle Larson47.565189.215111.1570.045
3343Bubba Wallace47.571189.191111.1630.006
3413Ty Dillon47.691188.715111.2830.120
3536Matt Tifft #47.703188.667111.2950.012
3696* Parker Kligerman(i)47.820188.206111.4120.117
3715Ross Chastain(i)47.898187.899111.4900.078
380Landon Cassill48.025187.402111.6170.127
3932Corey LaJoie48.427185.847112.0190.402
4052Cody Ware #48.983183.737112.5750.556
4151BJ McLeod(i)49.266182.682112.8580.283
4266* Joey Gase(i)49.743180.930113.3350.477

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