Daytona 500 2019 Qualifying Results: William Byron Earns Pole for NASCAR Opener

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistFebruary 10, 2019

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 10:  William Byron, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, poses for a photo after winning the pole award during qualifying for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series 61st Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 10, 2019 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

William Byron won the pole for the 2019 Daytona 500, hitting a top speed of 194.305 mph during Sunday's pole qualifying round at Daytona International Speedway.

At 21 years old, Byron is the second-youngest pole-sitter in Daytona 500 history, per NASCAR's official site. Chase Elliott was 20 when he claimed the pole for the 2016 edition of The Great American Race.

"The Axalta Chevy was really fast," Byron said of the No. 24 car. "Credit to [crew chief Chad Knaus] and all the guys. It's been a great offseason. We're prepared. We're ready. This is kind of the first step of our process together, so hopefully it goes well next Sunday. We can kind of chill out throughout the Duel races and learn a little bit.

Byron's achievement also continues a run of dominance for Hendrick Motorsports. The team has had the last five Daytona 500 pole winners (Jeff Gordon in 2015, Chase Elliott in 2016 and 2017, and Alex Bowman in 2018).

The front row for the Daytona 500 is now set. Byron will start in the top spot, with teammate Alex Bowman running alongside him in the front row. The Gander RV Duels will determine the remaining running order. The first Duel is Thursday at 7 p.m. ET, with the second starting at 9 p.m. ET.

The green flag for the Daytona 500 drops at 2:30 p.m. ET on Feb. 17.

History isn't on Byron's side. Dale Jarrett in 2000 is the last drive to win the Daytona 500 from the pole.

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