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TODAY'S LINEUP

Shown are driver, make of car and car number. Staff writer Brant James comments on each driver in the field.

ROW 1

Jeff Burton (31)

Chevrolet

First pole since 2000, but don't assume RCR is back just yet.

Jeff Gordon (24)

Chevrolet

Three-time Dayton 500 winner looks loose, car looks mighty.

ROW 2

Elliott Sadler (38)

Ford

Proved he can win in the twins, thinks he's ready for 500.

Kyle Busch (5)

Chevrolet

Likely to be heavily scrutinized in bump-draft crackdown.

ROW 3

Carl Edwards (99)

Ford

A Roush car has never won the 500, but Edwards doesn't care.

Jamie McMurray (26)

Ford

New Roush equipment treating him well so far.

ROW 4

Dale Earnhardt Jr. (8)

Chevrolet

Says he's the one to beat, and who's to doubt him?

Bobby LaBonte (43)

Dodge

Feel-good story in waiting if the 43 returns to Victory Lane at Daytona.

ROW 5

Jimmie Johnson (48)

Chevrolet

Running well even with the illegal stuff taken out.

Mark Martin (6)

Ford

Buried story alert: likely his last crack at winning the Daytona 500.

ROW 6

Matt Kenseth (17)

Ford

Never finished better than ninth in the Daytona 500.

Kyle Petty (45)

Dodge

Two Petty cars starting in the top 12. Repeat: Two Petty cars in the top 12.

Kurt Busch (2)

Dodge

Great restrictor-plate racer. Still winless at Daytona, Talladega. He's due.

Casey Mears (42)

Dodge

Won the 24-hour race. This one will be shorter but more difficult.

ROW 8

Chevrolet

Tony Stewart (20)

Chevrolet

Daytona 500 last missing line on his NASCAR resume.

Greg Biffle (16)

Ford

Won his first Cup race at 2003 Pepsi 400.

ROW 9

Denny Hamlin (11)

Chevrolet

Bud Shootout winner is half of the most deadpan row in the 500.

Ryan Newman (12)

Dodge

The other half.

ROW 10

Martin Truex (1)

Chevrolet

Junior's new draft partner starts first full Cup season.

Robby Gordon (7)

Chevrolet

Will be blamed for something almost immediately.

ROW 11

Jeff Green (66)

Things got fun at Petty once he left.

Reed Sorenson (41)

Dodge

Rookie stripe on his bumper assures he gets no drafting help.

ROW 12

Ken Schrader (21)

Ford

Making his 43rd Daytona start; was second in 1989 Daytona 500.

Mike Wallace (09)

Dodge

Raced way in with last transfer spot in the 150-mile qualifying races.

ROW 13

Dale Jarrett (88)

Ford

Three-time 500-winner will be a factor again.

Jeremy Mayfield (19)

Dodge

Down a teammate with Scott Riggs out of the field.

ROW 14

Kasey Kahne (9)

Dodge

Back in the pack with Evernham teammate Mayfield.

Kevin Harvick (29)

Chevrolet

Struggled with handling in the twins.

ROW 15

Brent Sherman (49)

Dodge

See No. 41 Dodge.

Michael Waltrip (55)

Dodge

Two wins at Daytona 500; skilled drafter will make a run.

ROW 16

Kevin LePage (61)

Ford

Don't way "who?" He finished ninth in the 500 last year.

David Stremme (40)

Dodge

See No. 49 Dodge.

ROW 17

Bill Elliott

Chevrolet

Still has something in the tank after all these years.

Dave Blaney (22)

Dodge

Scott Wimmer brought the 22 home third in 2004.

ROW 18

Brian Vickers (25)

Chevrolet

Long climb ahead starting in wreck country.

J.J. Yeley (18)

Chevrolet

See No. 40 Dodge.

ROW 19

Clint Bowyer (07)

Chevrolet

See No. 18 Chevrolet.

Joe Nemechek (01)

Chevrolet

Engine troubles in his qualifier gave him a tough road.

ROW 20

Sterling Marlin (14)

Chevrolet

No jokes about the Waste Management sponsorship.

Travis Kvapil (32)

Chevrolet

Nineteenth his best in two starts.

ROW 21

Hermie Sadler (00)

Ford

Making his first Daytona 500 start.

Kirk Shelmerdine (27)

Chevrolet

Feel good story, Part II: Former Earnhardt crew chief makes first Daytona race.

ROW 22

Terry LaBonte (96)

Chevrolet

Failed inspection forces him to take former champion's provisional.

Times graphic

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