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April 13, 2024
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Daytona 500 grid: Full starting field for delayed NASCAR Cup opener

Daytona 500 grid: Full starting field for delayed NASCAR Cup opener

Forty cars will start the most-watched motorsports event in the United States on Monday afternoon, an event that is rain-delayed from Sunday, which also serves as the annual season-opener for the NASCAR Cup Series.

2024 Daytona 500 starting lineup 

* – starts from the rear of the field

What happened in Daytona 500 qualifying?

Joey Logano, Team Penske, Shell Pennzoil Ford Mustang

Photo by: Matthew T. Thacker / NKP / Motorsport Images

Logano earned Team Penske its first-ever pole in the 500 on Wednesday night, with a lap of 49.465s, 181.947mph, ending a 11-year streak of Chevrolet dominating time trials at the 2.5-mile superspeedway. This is Ford’s 13th Daytona 500 pole.

Both B.J. McLeod and J.J. Yeley narrowly missed earning a spot in the 500 during Thursday night’s Duel races, which were won by the Toyotas of Tyler Reddick and Christopher Bell.

After the front row, the odd numbered starting positions are based on the finishing positions of Duel 1, the even number positions were based on Duel 2 finishing spots.

Seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson and 25-year-old Kaz Grala raced their way in via the Duels, both suffering nail-biting races as their fortunes ebbed and flowed in Daytona’s notoriously fickle draft.

Several drivers will be forced into backup cars after the frantic qualifying races and will drop to the tail of the field after the warmup laps. They include defending NASCAR Cup Series champion Ryan Blaney, William Byron, Kyle Busch, Noah Gragson, and Daniel Hemric.

Kyle Busch, Richard Childress Racing, Zone Chevrolet Camaro, Ryan Blaney, Team Penske, Menards/PEAK Ford Mustang, William Byron, Hendrick Motorsports, Axalta Chevrolet Camaro, crash

Photo by: Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images

Many others have had to make repairs to their primary cars.

Grala will also start from the rear, following an engine change when he mis-shifted on his qualifying lap, changing down instead of up with his sequential gear lever, and grenading the motor.

After qualifying, Chris Buescher returned home to North Carolina to be with his wife, Emma, for the birth of their second child. He will return to the track to take up his starting spot on Monday.

What’s the weather forecast for Monday at Daytona?
After torrential rain postponed both the Daytona 500 and the Xfinity Series 300-miler, the forecast for Monday looks far more promising.

The Xfinity race is scheduled to start at 11am, when the rain chances fall to 16% – although it is likely to rain up until at least sunrise, so some track drying will likely be required. But sunny spells are forecast from 9am – and that always helps, despite temperature highs of just 59F.

For the 4pm start time of the Daytona 500, the rain chance drops to just 4%. A 14mph northerly breeze will likely impact the drafting.

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