Alex Bowman puts No. 88 on the pole for Daytona 500

NASCAR Odds: Kyle Busch 4/1 to win Monster Energy Cup 2/9/18

But with practice running for Sunday's exhibition race at Daytona International Speedway - an event Patrick would have been eligible to enter if she had a auto - the highest-finishing woman in Daytona 500 history could only follow along on a TV monitor.

Sunday marked Bowman's debut in the famous No. 88, which until last season was driven by the recently retired Dale Earnhardt Jr., who won the Daytona pole seven times in his career. Six of Earnhardt's 17 career victories at Daytona International Speedway came in that vehicle, including one of his Daytona 500 victories. Elliott also seeks to win his third consecutive Daytona 500 pole, which would tie him with Fireball Roberts, father Bill Elliott, and Ken Schrader for the most 500 poles in a row.

Earnhardt retired previous year after missing half of the 2016 season, though he will be at the track serving as grand marshal for the season-opening race. Bowman drove the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet to the pole of the 2018 Daytona 500 on Sunday.

Denny Hamlin will line up alongside Bowman after recording a speed of 195.092 miles per hour in his No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota to nab the second starting spot for the "Great American Race". Only the top two cars locked in spots for next Sunday's season-opening race in this round of qualifying.

She returned to her NASCAR people Saturday in Daytona Beach, only to say it felt like Key West.

"It's a dream come true just to drive for Hendrick Motorsports", Bowman said.

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Osmond of Marystown, N.L., earned a 71.38 score in the women's competition, good for third in her segment of the event. The first time they've played together was the trials in January and now they are two wins away from Olympic gold.

To compete in the contest, simply tune into The Daytona 500 om February 18th at 2:30pm on Fox. 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. He led all drivers with eight victories, while no one else won more than five races. 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. "This really come down to the crew. From a performance standpoint, he's someone who can look after me, but also from a comfort standpoint - I don't have to try to win the Daytona 500 with somebody I never met before", she said.

"I think it's still a little surreal", Bowman said.

"We were team Key West", Patrick said.

The story gets a heck of a lot better if she performs well. "If it would have come together sooner, I'm sure that we would have been able to put something together for The Clash".

"I don't know if we quite figured it out yet". You can't really hide at these kinds of racetracks.

"I didn't think we would run that fast", Harvick admitted.

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