David Gilliland wins Pole for Saturday’s Coke Zero 400

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - JULY 04:  David Gilliland, driver of the #38 Love's Travel Stops Ford, celebrates winning the pole position after qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 4, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

DAYTONA BEACH, FL – JULY 04: David Gilliland, driver of the #38 Love’s Travel Stops Ford, celebrates winning the pole position after qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 4, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

Mother Nature played a big role Friday at Daytona International Speedway, as rain shortened the NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying session for Saturday night’s Coke Zero 400 and giving a surprise pole to David Gilliland.

Rain has plagued  NASCAR since Thursday when the weather forced the series to cancel final practice. Friday the intermittent rain created havoc during the knockout qualifying session earlier in the day. Halfway through the first round, a sudden rain shower opened up on the backstretch while the cars wer at speed. Before they could get slowed down one car spun causing a multi-car pileup. No drivers were injured but NASCAR was forced to cut that session short.

Friday evening qualifying began with a 25-minute Round One for all 44 cars entered; 24 cars then advanced to a 10-minute Round 2 which never took place. The format would’ve then advanced 12 cars to Round 3, a five-minute sprint for the pole. MORE>>>

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