Elliott Nips Earnhardt to Win 2nd Straight Daytona 500 Pole
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — It's impossible to tell the history of NASCAR without mentioning Elliott and Earnhardt.
As the series shifts into a new era, those distinguished names are out front again and will give the start of the Daytona 500 a throwback feel.
Chase Elliott and Dale Earnhardt Junior — teammates and sons of Hall of Fame drivers — will start 1-2 and should give a sagging series a sorely needed boost this week headed into its marquee event.
Elliott nipped Earnhardt on the final qualifying lap Sunday to win his second straight pole for the Daytona 500. Elliott turned a lap at 192.872 mph to just edge Earnhardt's speed of 192.864 and become the first repeat pole winner in 27 years.
"I don't really care who it is. I'm not going to feel bad about beating somebody," Elliott said. "Dale's a good guy. I'm happy to share the front row with him. Happier to beat him."
Earnhardt, long NASCAR's most popular driver, had the speed to beat in his triumphant return after missing the second half of last season with a concussion. He missed the final 18 races with nausea, vision and balance issues after at least the fifth concussion of his career following a June wreck. He was as sharp as ever in the Number 88 Chevrolet headed into his first race since last July.