Friday, February 23, 2018

Starting grid and comments for Sunday's Daytona 500

Row 11. (99) Carl Edwards, Ford, 194.738

Earned his first pole at Daytona and led the first front-row sweep at the 500 for Roush Fenway Racing.

2. (16) Greg Biffle, Ford, 194.087

Led much of the second 150-mile duel race Thursday before falling back on the final lap.

Row 23. (14) Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, 193.607

Defending Sprint Cup champion has won everything there is to win at Daytona except the 500.

4. (17) Matt Kenseth, Ford, 193.245

Comes off a strong season in which he won three races and finished fourth in Sprint Cup points.

Row 35. (88) Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, 194.028

NASCAR's most popular driver is coming off a third consecutive winless season.

6. (78) Regan Smith, Chevrolet, 191.063

Coming off a career-best 26th in Sprint Cup points and a Darlington win for his team.

Row 47. (9) Marcos Ambrose, Ford, 193.999

Has looked stronger on ovals and had 12 top-10 finishes last season, his first for Richard Petty Motorsports.

8. (48) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 193.449

Five-time Sprint Cup champ won the 500 in 2006 but has had nothing but trouble in the race since.

Row 59. (31) Jeff Burton, Chevrolet, 192.777

New crew chief Drew Blickensderfer arrives on the heels of three consecutive winless seasons.

10. (33) Elliott Sadler, Chevrolet, 191.27

Looked strong in his 150-miler Thursday but does not have a full-time Sprint Cup ride.

Row 611. (98) Michael McDowell, Ford, 190.99

Raced his way in in a 150-mile duel for what was mostly a start-and-park team last year.

12. (20) Joey Logano, Toyota, 192.868

The 21-year-old, in the final year of his contract, has a new crew chief, Jason Ratcliff.

Row 713. (29) Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 192.914

Hopes to start a title push after finishing third in Sprint Cup in consecutive years.

14. (18) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 191.873

Won the Budweiser Shootout after two spectacular saves prevented wrecks.

Row 815. (22) AJ Allmendinger, Dodge, 193.121

Makes his debut for Penske. Won the 24-hour race at Daytona this year.

16. (24) Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 193.803

Has won this race three times but hasn't had a top-10 finish in the 500 since 2007 (10th).

Row 917. (7) Robby Gordon, Dodge, 188.229

Raced in in a duel for his own team, which lacks the cash to run the full season.

18. (39) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 193.224

Rejuvenated with Stewart-Haas, had 17 top-10 finishes last year, most since 2003.

Row 1019. (1) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 191.84

Won this race in 2010 after leading two laps. Had a rough 2011, finishing 27th in Sprint Cup points.

20. (5) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 192.583

Has two top-fives in 16 Daytona starts, not the ideal place for his Hendrick Motorsports debut.

Row 1121. (6) Ricky Stenhouse, Ford, 193.665

Has one chance to try to win sponsors for a team Jack Roush otherwise plans to shut down.

22. (55) Mark Martin, Toyota, 193.503

Cutting back his schedule, won't run all Sprint Cup races this season. Makes his 28th start in the 500.

Row 1223. (2) Brad Keselowski, Dodge, 192.992

Coming off a breakthrough season, with three wins and a spot in the Chase.

24. (36) Dave Blaney, Chevrolet, 191.506

Has never finished in the top 10 in 22 starts at Daytona; raced his way in in a duel.

Row 1325. (34) David Ragan, Ford, 193.249

Despite getting first career win in July at Daytona, was bounced from Roush Fenway and moved to Front Row.

26. (56) Martin Truex, Toyota, 193.665

Enters his third season at Michael Waltrip Racing still looking for his first victory with the team.

Row 1427. (43) Aric Almirola, Ford, 193.382

Tampa native makes his first start in the 500 since 2009, when he finished 30th.

28. (51) Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 191.363.

Has been second three times in the 500 but has yet to win a Cup race at Daytona.

Row 1529. (10) Danica Patrick, Chevrolet, 191.738

Arrives from IndyCar to make her Sprint Cup debut today. Perhaps you have heard.

30. (15) Clint Bowyer, Toyota

Qualifying speed was wiped out after his car failed inspection in his debut for Michael Waltrip Racing.

Row 1631. (11) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 191.127

After a poor season by his standards, Joe Gibbs pulled a coup by landing title-winning crew chief Darian Grubb.

32. (47) Bobby Labonte, Toyota, 190.022

Finished fourth in last year's 500, nearly pulling off an upset for his small JTG-Daugherty team.

Row 1733. (38) David Gilliland, Ford, 190.046

Was 30th in Sprint Cup points last year but was outstanding in restrictor-plate races, including third in the 500.

34. (87) Joe Nemechek, Toyota, 191.16

Ex-Lakeland driver mostly starts and parks. Started all 36 Cup races in 2011, finished only at Daytona in July.

Row 1835. (42) Juan Montoya, Chevrolet, 192.6

Has a new crew chief, Chris Heroy. Has no top-fives in 10 Daytona starts.

36. (13) Casey Mears, Ford, 193.844

Failed to qualify for last year's 500 but ran the rest of the races for Germain Racing.

Row 1937. (27) Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 193.374

Isn't a fan of pack racing and expressed as much after a wreck in a Thursday 150-mile duel race.

38. (93) David Reutimann, Toyota, 189.235

Zephyrhills native is with BK Racing here but mostly will spell Patrick with Tommy Baldwin's No. 10 team.

Row 2039. (83) Landon Cassill, Toyota, 190.605

Makes his 500 debut for BK Racing, which bought the assets from defunct Red Bull.

40. (21) Trevor Bayne, Ford, 193.615

Defending 500 champion started pretty far back last year, too, 32nd.

Row 2141. (26) Tony Raines, Ford, 192.534

Made the race on qualifying speed for the third Front Row Motorsports entry.

42. (30) David Stremme, Toyota, 191.963

Made the field on speed for Inception Motorsports, which ran a part-time slate last year.

Row 2243. (32) Terry Labonte, Ford, provisional

Oldest driver in the field, 55; made the race on a past champion's provisional.

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