Bowman Puts The No. 88 Chevy On 500 Pole

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Sunday's Daytona 500 is her final NASCAR race - the first part of what's now called the "Danica Double", followed by IndyCar's Indy 500 in May - before retiring.

So much for Alex Bowman suffering from the pressure of taking over ride of NASCAR superstar Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Her final race will be with the same auto number she started her NASCAR career in - the No. 7 Chevrolet, which she'll drive for Premium Motorsports - back in 2010 in the XFINITY Series, with the same crew chief, Tony Eury Jr., guiding her through those 500 miles.

Introduced as "a former pole winner" in a news conference Saturday morning about her final NASCAR start in the Daytona 500, Patrick immediately interrupted the moderator.

Bowman, 24, had won Earnhardt's vote as his replacement after he retired at the end of last season.

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Denny Hamlin had the second-fastest speed at 195.092 miles per hour in a Toyota from Joe Gibbs Racing. He's a unicorn hybrid: a patient strategist with an unparalleled understanding of the race vehicle, combined with a brutal, bulldogging mentality that pushes him to the front of the pack as early and as often as possible.

Patrick will drive the No. 7 Chevrolet for Premium Motorsports in the Daytona 500 with Tony Eury Jr.as her crew chief. He has coursework due every Monday, but in anticipation of being focused on preparing for the Daytona 500 he turned in his assignments early before traveling to Daytona International Speedway. It very well could have an impact on the race as nearly everyone in the field is now accustomed to running the race without many handling issues. Although the plates raise parity among teams, they also makes cars run closer to one another, greatly increasing the risk of multi-car wrecks known as the "Big One".

"Just a little nerve-wracking", he said.

"I just kind of manage it whenever I can, so it's not too bad", Byron said.

"One thing I will say, that the (OSS) process has really made a whole different week out of this", Penske said. Although qualifying utilizes the same three-round knockout format found at other tracks, unless a driver qualifies on the front row, their starting position is not guaranteed. "I don't know, new rules package and all, we're just trying to figure that out". I do it basically before I get to the racetrack. Once you get over the fear that he'll tap the wall and realize that he is in absolute control of the 42 machine, you'll find it hard to fathom that he's ever lost there. She will re-connect with long-time sponsor GoDaddy for the race.

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