Daytona NASCAR: Dale Earnhardt Jr on pole as session cancelled

Dale Earnhardt Jr will start on pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Daytona on Sunday night, after qualifying was abandoned due to severe weather

The Hendrick Motorsports driver, who has won three times around the famous Florida track, inherits pole as he was the fastest driver in practice on Friday.

He will start alongside Austin Dillon in second, while Clint Bowyer will line up third ahead of Paul Menard and Trevor Bayne.

Race organisers initially decided to delay the session due to the threat of a severe thunderstorm, and they cancelled it an hour and a half later when lightning began to litter the sky.

It means that Earnhardt secures his first pole of the season, with a lap of 44.492 seconds that beat Dillon by 0.048s on Friday.

Championship leader Kevin Harvick will start down in 34th place, though he is in good company with both Penske Fords and Denny Hamlin around him.

Michael McDowell and Ryan Blaney will take no part on Sunday.

With 45 cars entered for the 43-car field, there had to be two non-qualifiers and under the current rules for rained-out sessions, the drivers who have entered least races so far in the year miss out.

McDowell and Blaney are both on part-time programmes for 2015 and were therefore the unlucky ones this time.

STARTING GRID:

Pos Driver Team Car
1 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
2 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
3 Clint Bowyer Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota
4 Paul Menard Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
5 Trevor Bayne Roush Fenway Racing Ford
6 David Gilliland Front Row Motorsports Ford
7 A.J. Allmendinger JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet
8 David Ragan Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota
9 Jamie McMurray Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
10 Kasey Kahne Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
11 Sam Hornish Jr. Richard Petty Motorsports Ford
12 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
13 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
14 Brett Moffitt Front Row Motorsports Ford
15 Casey Mears Germain Racing Chevrolet
16 Kyle Larson Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
17 Ryan Newman Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
18 Michael Annett HScott Motorsports Chevrolet
19 Martin Truex Jr. Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet
20 Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
21 Justin Allgaier HScott Motorsports Chevrolet
22 Landon Cassill Hillman Smith Motorsports Chevrolet
23 Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
24 Carl Edwards Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
25 Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Racing Ford
26 Brian Scott Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
27 Danica Patrick Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet
28 Kurt Busch Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet
29 Cole Whitt Front Row Motorsports Ford
30 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Roush Fenway Racing Ford
31 Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet
32 Brad Keselowski Team Penske Ford
33 Joey Logano Team Penske Ford
34 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet
35 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
36 Aric Almirola Richard Petty Motorsports Ford
37 Alex Bowman Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet
38 Bobby Labonte Go FAS Racing Ford
39 J.J. Yeley BK Racing Toyota
40 Jeb Burton BK Racing Toyota
41 Matt DiBenedetto BK Racing Toyota
42 Josh Wise Phil Parsons Racing Ford
43 Brendan Gaughan Premium Motorsports Chevrolet


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