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Race Day: The Daytona 500

By Heather Williams, hwilliams@kwch.com
Published On: Feb 23 2014 10:14:00 AM CST
Updated On: Feb 23 2014 10:35:58 AM CST

Like it or not, the 3 car is back.

Rookie Austin Dillon will lead the field to the green from the pole in Sunday’s NASCAR season opener, the Daytona 500.

“It's amazing. I actually want to start and go back a little bit,” said Dillon. “As far as starting the year off with a pole right here, it brings some momentum into our season already to show that RCR cars have speed.”

Kansas native Clint Bowyer spent most of the weekend looking for speed. He was only 20th quickest in qualifying and wrecked that car coming to the checkered flag in his Budweiser Duel. Bowyer seemed to find a little speed in his backup car, as he was sixth quickest in Friday’s final practice. But he will have to start in the back of the field because he is using that backup car.

“I was kind of getting excited about what we had for the 500,” said Bowyer about his primary car before it wrecked.  “Our work is done -- we're ready to go.”

There are two other chances to see a Kansan in victory lane. Matt Kenseth's front tire changer John Royer is a native of Otis and Casey Mears tire specialist Bryan Kincheloe is from Glen Elder.

Another driver to keep an eye on is Denny Hamlin. The No. 11 car has already been to victory lane twice during Speed Week.

Pre-race festivities for the Daytona 500 start around noon central time, with the green flag to drop around 12:20 pm.

Here's the Daytona 500 starting lineup:

Pos

No.

Driver

Team

1

3

Austin Dillon #

DOW Chevrolet

2

78

Martin Truex. Jr.

Furniture Row Chevrolet

3

20

Matt Kenseth

Dollar General Toyota

4

11

Denny Hamlin

FedEx Express Toyota

5

5

Kasey Kahne

Farmers Insurance Chevrolet

6

24

Jeff Gordon

Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet

7

9

Marcos Ambrose

Stanley Ford 

8

41

Kurt Busch

Haas Automation Chevrolet

9

88 

Dale Earnhardt Jr. 

National Guard Chevrolet

10

27

Paul Menard

Peak/Menards Chevrolet

11

98

Josh Wise 

Curb Records Ford

12

33

Brian Scott (i)

Whitetail Chevrolet

13

43 

Aric Almirola 

Smithfield Ford

14

21

Trevor Bayne (i)

Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford

15

47

AJ Allmendinger 

Kroger/USO Chevrolet

16

42

Kyle Larson #

Target Chevrolet

17

38

David Gilliland 

Love's Travel Stops Ford

18

40

Landon Cassill (i)

Hillman Racing Chevrolet

19

31

Ryan Newman 

Caterpillar Chevrolet

20

15

Clint Bowyer

5-hour Energy Toyota

21

14

Tony Stewart 

Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet

22

1

Jamie McMurray

McDonald's Chevrolet

23

26  

Cole Whitt #

Speed Stick Gear Toyota

24

32

Terry Labonte

C&J Energy Services Ford

25

16 

Greg Biffle 

3M Ford

26

52

Bobby Labonte

Phoenix Construction Chevrolet

27

10

Danica Patrick 

GoDaddy Chevrolet

28

13

Casey Mears

GEICO Chevrolet

29

23 

Alex Bowman #

Dr. Pepper Toyota

30

99

Carl Edwards

Fastenal Ford

31

55

Brian Vickers

Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota

32

48

Jimmie Johnson

Lowe's Chevrolet

33

2

Brad Keselowski

Miller Lite Ford

34

17 

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 

Nationwide Insurance Ford

35

22

Joey Logano

Shell Pennzoil Ford

36

7

Michael Annett #

Pilot/Flying J Travel Centers Chevrolet

37

18

Kyle Busch

M&M's Toyota

38

4

Kevin Harvick

Budweiser Chevrolet

39

36

Reed Sorenson

Golden Corral Chevrolet

40

51

Justin Allgaier # 

Brandt Professional Agriculture Chevrolet

41

30

Parker Kligerman # 

Swan Energy Toyota

42

66

Michael Waltrip

BlueDEF/AAA Toyota

43

34

David Ragan

CSX - Play It Safe Ford

 

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