How to make the field for the Daytona 500

Only Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson know where they will start Sunday. (Getty Images)

 

Only Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson know where they will start Sunday. (Getty Images)
Only Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson know where they will start Sunday. (Getty Images)

It only happens once a year.  The NASCAR Sprint Cup series gets underway this week with the biggest race of the year the Daytona 500 this Sunday.  To get there however the field for the Great American Race has to be determined. The way NASCAR determines the starting order for the 500 is unlike any other race during the season.  For some the way the field is determined can be a bit confusing.  A combination of pole qualifying and two qualifying races will be used as a total of 49 cars have been entered and are vying for the 41 spots left in field.  The Duel Qualifying races will determine those remaining starting spots this Thursday.   Below is a primer on how the field for Sunday’s Daytona 500 will be determined.

Only the front row starting positions for Sunday’s Daytona 500 are set, with Jeff Gordon winning the Pole and Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson joining him on the front row. Thursday’s night’s Duel at Daytona (7 p.m. on FOX Sports 1) will set the remainder of the field.

•       The front row – Gordon and Johnson – was set after Pole qualifying last Sunday. MORE>>>

About Greg Engle 7420 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.