Speedweeks 101 – Daytona 500 Qualifying


Here’s where it gets tricky: Qualifying on Sunday only locks in the front row — the fastest driver becomes the Daytona 500 pole-sitter and the second-fastest will sit on the outside of Row 1 for the race.

• Positions 3-32 will be determined Thursday, Feb. 21 during the Budweiser Duel 150 qualifying races, which will be televised live on SPEED starting with NASCAR Race Day; at 1 p.m. ET.

• Positions 33-36 will be the four fastest drivers in Sunday’s qualifying session who failed to lock themselves during the Budweiser Duel.

• Positions 37-42 go to the six cars that didn’t qualify yet but had the highest number of owner points from 2012.

• The 43rd and final spot is reserved for a past NASCAR Sprint Cup champion who failed to qualify for the race. If no past champion needs the final slot, it will go to the next highest car in 2012 owner points.

Yes, it’s confusing. But the good news is, it’s only once a year.

And the real excitement is that Danica Patrick was fastest in Saturday’s second practice and third in the opening session. She very well could become the first woman to ever win a Daytona 500 pole.