Daytona 500 Qualifying [Live Thread]

Time for the most convoluted qualifying procedure in NASCAR.....round 1

2/19/12 in NASCAR   |   Debi_L   |   11775 respect

The overhead view of last night's finish in the Bud Shootout, Daytona's famous race for nothing but bragging rights, shows exactly how close the finish was.

A few more of the images captured show how much of a wreckfest the race itself was.

It isn't the same as an All-Star game in football, hockey or baseball, because the drivers will drive their cars for all they are worth.  They aren't going to hold back and let their teammate win, simply to save their equipment or themselves.  No, they go all out.  And they wreck.  Yep, they wrecked big.

But now that race is done and today's business is all about qualifying for the big race, the Daytona 500.   And it truthfully is one of the most confusing, convoluted qualifying procedures in any sport, never mind NASCAR.

Today every driver who has paid his entrance fee has a chance to qualify.  However, only two spots will be set today, the front row.  The rest will race to get in on Thursday, in one or the other of the Twin 150's, (used to be Twin 125's so if you see I've posted that, please forgive me) depending on how they slot into the qualifying order today.  Got it?

Good, because that isn't all.

The Twin 150's on Thursday are races within themselves.  The finishing positions of each race forms positions 3 and back for the start of the 500.  However, the top 35 still comes into play for the Daytona 500, so if a team is locked into the race, they will have a starting position, even if they crash out of qualifying or one of the Twin 150's.

Got that?  Good, because that still isn't all.  There are only eight actual spots left in the Starting Lineup once the Twin 150's have been run.  So, those drivers who aren't in the top 35 in points from last year really are racing to get in, both today and Thursday.  

Finally, there is one last spot open for the Champion's Provisional.  Terry Labonte is the only past champion in the entry list who needs that provisional, so he is guaranteed in, but the list of those trying to race in includes Mike and Kenny Wallace, Michael Waltrip, Bill Elliott, Robby Gordon and others, fourteen in total.  They are the guys with butterflies in their stomachs until the finish of the Twin 150's on Thursday. Michael Waltrip has had some of he most emotional qualifying experiences.  In 2010, he qualified 21st, not good enough to get in the race on time.  He crashed out of the first Twin 150, and found himself on pins and needles, requiring one or more of the drivers to race into the 500.  Scott Speed complied and Mikey was granted the final qualifying spot.  Unfortunately, even though he was quickly able to get to the front, he was taken out of the race by the lap 84 "Big One".  

Qualifying day doesn't hold much excitement for most drivers, unless they are a go or go home driver. Any one of them will tell you they have no idea how their car is.  Qualifying is really the Crew Chief's thing.  They set up the car, putting the optimum settings allowed within the parameters of the rules.  NASCAR dictates so many of the settings on the car in the current scheme of things, not wanting to give any team an advantage.  However, sometimes we are pleasantly surprised.  

Do ya hear me Dale Jr?  Can you make it two years in a row? 

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2/19/12   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

Canadianhick wrote:
I got one, two guys with the same name but with different spellings, Casey Mears and Kasey Kahne.
Two Tony's, Stewart and Raines. 

I forgot the 2 Tonys.  Good thinking with Kasey and Casey.

2/19/12   |   Canadianhick   |   2149 respect

kramer wrote:
Possibly 2 Labontes, possibly 2 Wallaces, 2 Busch brothers, potentially 2 Gordons, 2 Jeffs, 5 Davids, possibly 2 Mikes...I can't think of any more.

I got one, two guys with the same name but with different spellings, Casey Mears and Kasey Kahne.
Two Tony's, Stewart and Raines. 

2/19/12   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

Debi_L wrote:
LOL this could be fun.  Two Jeffs, Gordon and Burton.............

Okay, maybe not so much.  I ran out of duplicates

Possibly 2 Labontes, possibly 2 Wallaces, 2 Busch brothers, potentially 2 Gordons, 2 Jeffs, 5 Davids, possibly 2 Mikes...I can't think of any more.

2/19/12   |   Debi_L   |   11775 respect

Canadianhick wrote:
Lots of Davids too. Stremme, Blaney, Gilliland, Reutimann, and Ragan.

LOL this could be fun.  Two Jeffs, Gordon and Burton.............

Okay, maybe not so much.  I ran out of duplicates

2/19/12   |   Canadianhick   |   2149 respect

Debi_L wrote:
Michael McDowell (dayum there are a lot of Michaels in NASCAR) is the last to qualify.  He isn't having a great run, so it looks as if he will have to try to race in.  

Lots of Davids too. Stremme, Blaney, Gilliland, Reutimann, and Ragan.

2/19/12   |   DolphinLuver   |   2876 respect

Debi_L wrote:
Dale Jr is the fastest Chevrolet after his qualifying effort, not quite fast enough for the pole, but currently sitting 3rd.

YAY!!!!  blush Sorry, just can't seem to be impartial....

Yes.. Dale is the man....I shall always *CHEER* him on...

2/19/12   |   DolphinLuver   |   2876 respect

Debi_L wrote:
Welcome to the (one person, now two) party LOL

Thank you..cheeky

2/19/12   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

Those top 3 qualified right there and stayed there, that was interesting.  Ricky Stenhouse is a pleasant surprise as is the Tasmanian Devil.  I guess I'll get to see the second duel race on Thursday, I usually don't get home from work until around 5:00 ET.

2/19/12   |   Debi_L   |   11775 respect

Courtesy of sbnation.com, here are the top 20 qualifiers.  The starting positions of the Twin 150's will be decided based on these results.

  1. Carl Edwards
  2. Greg Biffle
  3. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  4. Marcos Ambrose
  5. Casey Mears
  6. Jeff Gordon
  7. Martin Truex Jr.
  8. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  9. Trevor Bayne * (clinched berth in Daytona 500)
  10. Tony Stewart
  11. Mark Martin
  12. Jimmie Johnson
  13. AJ Allmendinger
  14. Paul Menard
  15. David Ragan
  16. Matt Kenseth
  17. Ryan Newman
  18. AJ Allmendinger
  19. Brad Keselowski
  20. Kevin Harvick

2/19/12   |   wmcoiner

How many FORD's in the top 10?   Chevrolet and Toyota are very quiet?

2/19/12   |   Debi_L   |   11775 respect

Carl Edwards will spend his week making media appearances, as he is the holder of the pole position for the Daytona 500.  His teammate, Greg Biffle holds on to second, so your front row is set.  

The twins will run on Thursday.  The drivers will find out shortly if they are in Duel 1 or 2, which is based on their qualifying time.

2/19/12   |   JenX63   |   32429 respect

They should revamp this, getting into the Daytona race.

2/19/12   |   Debi_L   |   11775 respect

Michael McDowell (dayum there are a lot of Michaels in NASCAR) is the last to qualify.  He isn't having a great run, so it looks as if he will have to try to race in.  

2/19/12   |   Debi_L   |   11775 respect

David Stremme knocks Kenny Wallace out of a guaranteed position, and Kenny will have to race his way in, along with his brother Michael, and his pal Mikey Waltrip

2/19/12   |   wmcoiner

Way to go FORD.....    the Chevorlets and Toyotas  are not in the same league with FORDS on the front row !!!!   when will NASCAR once again punish FORD   They will not let it stand that a FORD is the car tio beat....  watch for rule changes ASAP

2/19/12   |   Debi_L   |   11775 respect

So, Terry Labonte falls just short of getting in on time, however, he will get the Champion's Provisional.  Kenny Wallace hangs on by his teeth, and Bill Elliott will have to race in.

Carl Edwards will almost definitely get the pole position and Greg Biffle will join him on the front row.  

The media is looking all over for Kenny Wallace, but he is already on his way to run his dirt car tonight.

2/19/12   |   Debi_L   |   11775 respect

Blaney does it, so Mikey will have to race in on Thursday.  Not a problem for Mikey, if he can just stay out of the wrecks..

2/19/12   |   Debi_L   |   11775 respect

Kenny Wallace jumps ahead of  Mikey, putting Waltrip on the bubble.  Blaney on the track, and if he gets better than 32nd, Mikey will not be locked in.

2/19/12   |   Debi_L   |   11775 respect

Mikey in 31st over all, but second fastest of the go or go homers, so far.  Quite a difference between 9th and 31st.

2/19/12   |   Debi_L   |   11775 respect

Trevor Bayne qualifies 9th.  With the wind so strong right now, that is like a pole position, and if he'd gone out earlier, I think he woulda had the pole.

Now for Mikey..............

2/19/12   |   Debi_L   |   11775 respect

Our questions answered!

2/19/12   |   Debi_L   |   11775 respect

DolphinLuver wrote:
Love Nascar! Go Dale Jr.

Welcome to the (one person, now two) party LOL

2/19/12   |   DolphinLuver   |   2876 respect

Love Nascar! Go Dale Jr.

2/19/12   |   Debi_L   |   11775 respect

Matt Kenseth is on the track, but everyone is saying Trevor Bayne is going to be the only one who will have anything for Edwards.

Mikey Waltrip is stripping off his announcers gear to get ready to climb into his car for his qualifying run.  Jokes about Jr's beard and superman's cape are rampant.  I don't get the beard jokes.

2/19/12   |   Debi_L   |   11775 respect

Dale Jr is the fastest Chevrolet after his qualifying effort, not quite fast enough for the pole, but currently sitting 3rd.

YAY!!!!  blush Sorry, just can't seem to be impartial....

2/19/12   |   Debi_L   |   11775 respect

Oh, and Carl Edwards had the top spot so far, with Greg Biffle in second..  Jimmie Johnson on the track, the 24th driver to qualify, with Jr not far behind him....

2/19/12   |   Debi_L   |   11775 respect

(Edited by Debi_L)

Danica has qualified well, ahead of Kurt Busch, Denny Hamlin, and Elliott Sadler who is racing the 33 for Childress in the 500, as the car is locked in.

The wind is picking up and it will no doubt affect the cars qualifying later.  

So far the Fords are faster, just as many predicted.  The Chevy cars seem to be overheating and almost every one of them has finished their laps with steam pouring out of the overflow vent.