Rookie Chase Elliott wins Daytona 500 pole as controversy clouds others

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 14:  Chase Elliott, driver of the #24 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, poses with the 21 Means 21 Pole Award after qualifying for pole position in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 14, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

DAYTONA BEACH, FL – FEBRUARY 14: Chase Elliott, driver of the #24 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, poses with the 21 Means 21 Pole Award after qualifying for pole position in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 14, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Rookie Chase Elliott will start the biggest race of his young career from the pole. Elliott won the Daytona 500 pole Sunday topping the final of two rounds of qualifying with a speed of 196.314.

Elliott, in his first full season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series in replacement legendary Jeff Gordon is the youngest pole winner in Daytona 500 history at 20 years, two months and 17 days.  Elliott and his father Bill become the fourth father-son pair to win Daytona 500 poles.

“I don’t know that this opportunity has sunk in yet, much less sitting on the pole for the Daytona 500,” Elliott said. “So this is very cool. I think the big thing is just the team and the Daytona 500 qualifying is about the team guys and the effort they put into these cars and it’s nothing special I did, it’s really what kind of work they did this off-season to make it happen.”

Matt Kenseth was a close second with a speed of 196.036.

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