Chase Elliott narrowly beat out Hendrick Motorsports teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. to take his second consecutive pole position for the Daytona 500.
Elliott turned in a lap of 46.663 seconds on Sunday, beating out runner up Earnhardt by 0.002 seconds. The result means Chevrolet will enjoy a closeout of the front row for NASCAR’s biggest and most important race of the season.
Next week’s running of the 500 will be the first race in which Earnhardt will compete since he was sidelined for 18 races last season after experiencing concussion-like symptoms. The 42-year old was disappointed at missing the pole for his return, but expressed excitement at the prospect of an all-Chevy front row.
“I certainly would have loved to have gotten a pole, but (Rick Hendrick) is happy,” Earnhardt told NASCAR.com. “I just talked to him on the phone, and he’s got to be thrilled with having his cars up front.”
Elliott and Earnhardt are the only two drivers to have qualified for the 500 so far. The two will lead the field for the respective starts of the two Can-Am Duel Dayton 500 qualifying races, which start on Thursday at 7 p.m. ET.