Daytona 500: Starting positions

Following the twin Gatorade 125-mile qualifying races held yesterday (Thursday), the field has been set for the Daytona 500.

Daytona 500: Starting positions

Robby Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr, who had already secured a front-row starting position by virtue of his second fastest time in Monday's qualifying session, claimed victory in the races.

"It was exciting to win the 125," said Earnhardt, who also triumphed in Saturday's Busweiser Shootout. "It's just tough because we're doing so well. I didn't expect to come down here and do this well. This is really good."

But the real focus of the races came lower down the field, as drivers had to perform just to guarantee their start in the 500. The most notable incident occurred when Kurt Busch spun on pit road in the second race, colliding with Kevin Harvick. As a result, both will start from near the back of the grid.

"I don't know what happened," said Harvick. "I think Busch came in at about 500 mph and couldn't stop himself. I didn't even see him come across me until it was too late. It pushed our right front fender in and our day was done. He was driving way over his head, and it ended up costing us big, but it'll be okay. We've got a lot of guys from the fabrication shop here who will make this car better than it was. Now you get to watch us race from 31st to 1st."

Of the drivers who failed to make the field, the most notable were rookie Larry Foyt and Brett Bodine. The other drivers packing up early are Hermie Sadler, David Green, Kirk Shelmerdine, Derrike Cope and Mike Harmon.

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