Shown are driver, make of car and car number. Staff writer Brant James comments on each driver in the field.
Jeff Burton (31)
First pole since 2000, but don't assume RCR is back just yet.
Jeff Gordon (24)
Three-time Dayton 500 winner looks loose, car looks mighty.
Elliott Sadler (38)
Proved he can win in the twins, thinks he's ready for 500.
Kyle Busch (5)
Likely to be heavily scrutinized in bump-draft crackdown.
Carl Edwards (99)
A Roush car has never won the 500, but Edwards doesn't care.
Jamie McMurray (26)
New Roush equipment treating him well so far.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. (8)
Says he's the one to beat, and who's to doubt him?
Bobby LaBonte (43)
Feel-good story in waiting if the 43 returns to Victory Lane at Daytona.
Jimmie Johnson (48)
Running well even with the illegal stuff taken out.
Mark Martin (6)
Buried story alert: likely his last crack at winning the Daytona 500.
Matt Kenseth (17)
Never finished better than ninth in the Daytona 500.
Kyle Petty (45)
Two Petty cars starting in the top 12. Repeat: Two Petty cars in the top 12.
Kurt Busch (2)
Great restrictor-plate racer. Still winless at Daytona, Talladega. He's due.
Casey Mears (42)
Won the 24-hour race. This one will be shorter but more difficult.
Tony Stewart (20)
Daytona 500 last missing line on his NASCAR resume.
Greg Biffle (16)
Won his first Cup race at 2003 Pepsi 400.
Denny Hamlin (11)
Bud Shootout winner is half of the most deadpan row in the 500.
Ryan Newman (12)
The other half.
Martin Truex (1)
Junior's new draft partner starts first full Cup season.
Robby Gordon (7)
Will be blamed for something almost immediately.
Jeff Green (66)
Things got fun at Petty once he left.
Reed Sorenson (41)
Rookie stripe on his bumper assures he gets no drafting help.
Ken Schrader (21)
Making his 43rd Daytona start; was second in 1989 Daytona 500.
Mike Wallace (09)
Raced way in with last transfer spot in the 150-mile qualifying races.
Dale Jarrett (88)
Three-time 500-winner will be a factor again.
Jeremy Mayfield (19)
Down a teammate with Scott Riggs out of the field.
Kasey Kahne (9)
Back in the pack with Evernham teammate Mayfield.
Kevin Harvick (29)
Struggled with handling in the twins.
Brent Sherman (49)
See No. 41 Dodge.
Michael Waltrip (55)
Two wins at Daytona 500; skilled drafter will make a run.
Kevin LePage (61)
Don't way "who?" He finished ninth in the 500 last year.
David Stremme (40)
See No. 49 Dodge.
Still has something in the tank after all these years.
Dave Blaney (22)
Scott Wimmer brought the 22 home third in 2004.
Brian Vickers (25)
Long climb ahead starting in wreck country.
J.J. Yeley (18)
See No. 40 Dodge.
Clint Bowyer (07)
See No. 18 Chevrolet.
Joe Nemechek (01)
Engine troubles in his qualifier gave him a tough road.
Sterling Marlin (14)
No jokes about the Waste Management sponsorship.
Travis Kvapil (32)
Nineteenth his best in two starts.
Hermie Sadler (00)
Making his first Daytona 500 start.
Kirk Shelmerdine (27)
Feel good story, Part II: Former Earnhardt crew chief makes first Daytona race.
Terry LaBonte (96)
Failed inspection forces him to take former champion's provisional.