For the first time since 2014, the pole position at the Daytona 500 will not be held by Hendrick Motorsports. Instead, the pole position will be held by Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who races for JTG Daugherty Racing in the No. 47 car.
Pretty special day yesterday for me and my whole @JTGRacing team. It was a all hands on deck team effort to build the speed into these cars and I’m thankful it worked out to grab the pole for the #greatamericanrace #daytona #daytona500 #shapedlikeabullet pic.twitter.com/EHpOOzmThg
— Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (@StenhouseJr) February 10, 2020
Next Sunday’s race provides another big milestone for Stenhouse Jr., as it marks his start with JTG Daugherty. After racing with Roush Fenway Racing for nearly seven years, Stenhouse Jr. signed with JTG Daugherty in October 2019.
“I am ready to go win races with the ultimate goal of making the playoffs and competing for a championship,” Stenhouse Jr. said shortly after announcing the switch last year.
The 32-year-old driver out of Memphis will start in the front row in for the third time in his career and the first time in the Daytona 500. He began his NASCAR career in 2013 and quickly made an impact, as he won the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award.
Stenhouse Jr.’s first cup win came four years later in Talladega, followed by a win in Daytona later that year. He also won back-to-back Xfinity Series championships in 2017.
Joining Stenhouse Jr. on the front row is Alex Bowman, who will drive the No. 88 car for Hendrick Motorsports. Bowman’s rookie year came in 2014 and since then, he has one NASCAR Cup win when he finished first at Chicagoland Speedway in 2019.
— Alex Bowman (@AlexBowman88) February 9, 2020
As for the rest of the pole, Chase Elliot, Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin round out the top five, respectively. Hamlin won the race last year despite posting an average speed of 137.44 miles per hour, the slowest speed for a winning car since Jamie McMurray won in 2010.
How to Watch
The Daytona 500 airs on FOX on Sunday, Feb. 16th at 2:30 p.m.