Joey Logano wins Daytona 500 pole in qualifying, Michael McDowell joins him in front row

In Daytona Beach, Florida, Ford secured the front row in Daytona 500 qualifying, with Joey Logano and Michael McDowell taking the top spots and outperforming powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports. Logano, the 2015 Daytona 500 winner, set a lap of 181.947 mph, claiming his first pole since Atlanta last year and his inaugural superspeedway pole. McDowell, the 2021 winner, qualified second at 181.686 for Front Row Motorsports.

This marked a significant departure, as Hendrick drivers had dominated Daytona 500 poles in eight of the last nine years, but their highest qualifier on this occasion was Kyle Larson in third place. The entire night focused on Ford, with Logano and McDowell leading the charge.

Other notable performances included Austin Cindric in a Ford for Penske securing the fourth spot, while Hendrick teammates Chase Elliott and William Byron claimed the fifth and sixth positions in Camaros. Richard Childress Racing teammates Austin Dillon and Kyle Busch qualified seventh and eighth in Chevrolets.

Anthony Alfredo of Beard Motorsports and David Ragan in a special third car for RFK Racing secured two of the four open spots in the field based on speed. Jimmie Johnson, a two-time Daytona 500 winner, failed to make it into the field and will attempt to qualify through Thursday night’s races.

Ragan, driving for RFK Racing as a third Ford in select races, expressed his joy at being in the Daytona 500, emphasizing the significance of the achievement. Johnson, driving for Legacy Motor Club, faced disappointment due to Toyota’s overall performance, with the highest-qualifying Toyota being Erik Jones at 22nd. Johnson remains prepared to race his way into the event if required.