Austin Dillon won the Daytona 500 last season for Richard Childress Racing. The outcome was a big shock after not having much speed in the Chevy Camaro's previous year as William Byron won his first pole of his career and to start next to him will be Hendrick teammate, Alex Bowman. They comprise the youngest front row in Daytona 500 history.
These season-opening wins at Daytona are morale victories, nothing more.
Alex Bowman, last year's pole victor, will start outside the front row.
The last four - Hendrick's Jeff Gordon, Chase Elliott (twice) and Bowman - have failed to notch a top-10 finish. But two days later, the team announced it was withdrawing from the season opener - the February 17 Daytona 500.
"I moved down a little bit and the next thing I knew, I was getting turned in the left rear", Menard told Fox Sports 1.
NASCAR has ejected the vehicle chiefs for Chase Elliott, Ty Dillon, and Austin Dillon through the Daytona 500 for repeated inspection failures before qualifying for the race. Johnson and Knaus split after a winless 2018 season.
"It was putting some pressure on me", Johnson said.
"This is a long race", Byron said. I got below him before he blocked him.
"I'm not really sure, I have to see a replay".
Byron's lap of 194.305 miles per hour was the one that earned him the top spot for next Sunday's 61st running of the Daytona 500. "What I thought and hoped was the opportunity of a lifetime wasn't". The starting order of those two races will be based on Sunday's qualifying session. Thirty-six of those spots are already filled because of NASCAR's charter system.
Tyler Reddick and Casey Mears locked themselves in the Daytona 500. It's a great first step today to get first reps with Kevin, a lot of new members on the team, to bring Ally into the sport with a victory and qualifying third.
Rookie Daniel Hemric rounded out the top five.
Byron and his teammates will spend the week being lauded as the Daytona 500 favorites.
The race also featured a total of four caution flag periods for 20 laps. "We don't want to put the cars in any unnecessary harm's way. It's not a points race but it's a good start".
Hendrick has been outspoken about how hard the 2018 season was on the organization, calling it one of the worst in team history.
"The Fords win in numbers and they're just as strong", Busch said. The final tally included three victories for Elliott and no drivers in the championship-deciding finale for the second consecutive year.
It was the seventh Clash victory for Hendrick Motorsports and Johnson's second. "The reason I say that is because you're trying to bring a lot of guys into the race".
For at least one day or maybe even a week, the moves are paying off.
"Into the week, I feel good. I can't believe it".