Daytona 500 Starting Grid
After more than two weeks of practice, qualifying and exhibition races the field that will make up the 50th Daytona 500 is finally set. The final hurdle to the announcement, the Gatorade Duel 150’s are in the books and we can finally announce who is locked into the 50th running of the Daytona 500.
The Great American race has one of the most complicated qualifying procedures in all of motor sports. Even though Daytona 500 qualifying was technically last Sunday only the top 2 qualifiers out of that session were officially “locked in” to the Daytona 500 starting grid.
Hendrick Motorsports driver Jimmie Johnson won the pole for the 2008 Daytona 500 and Michael Waltrip Racing driver Michael Waltrip joined Johnson on the outside of the front row. The remainder of the field needed to be set based on last years top 35, past NASCAR champions and Thursday’s Gatorade Duel 150 races.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. took his second checkered flag of NASCAR Speed Weeks with a victory in the first Gatorade 150 Duel race. Earnhardt Jr. also won the Bud Shoot Out last weekend. Denny Hamlin was the winner of the second Gatorade 150 duel race. Hamlin’s victory was the first in NASCAR Sprint Cup Competition driving a Toyota. Hamlin’s team, Joe Gibbs racing switched to Toyota Camry’s during the off-season.
Four drivers advanced from the Gatorade Duel races into a guaranteed starting spot for Sunday’s Daytona 500. In the first Gatorade Duel race, Kenny Wallace and Brian Vickers advanced to a guaranteed 500 starting spot and in the second Gatorade Duel race Dale Jarrett and John Andretti secured the last two open positions in the 50th installment of the Great American Race.
More 2008 Daytona 500
The remainder of the field will be made of the 2007 Top 35 Drivers and last Sunday’s Daytona 500 qualifying speeds. Here is how the drivers will roll off this Sunday.
Oddsmakers from online sports book Bodog should release final 2008 Daytona 500 betting odds shortly. Daytona 500 betting was closed while the drivers ran today’s Gatorade Duel races. Dale Earnhardt Jr. at 5/2 and Jimmie Johnson at 4/1 are the two favorites to win the 2008 Daytona 500 according to Bodog oddsmakers.
2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup 50th Daytona 500 Starting Lineup
Inside: Jimmie Johnson Outside: Michael Waltrip
Inside: Dale Earnhardt Jr. Outside: Denny Hamlin
Inside: Reed Sorensen Outside: Tony Stewart
Inside: Ryan Newman Outside: Jeff Gordon
Inside: Casey Mears Outside: Kasey Kahne
Inside: Carl Edwards Outside: Mark Martin
Inside: Bobby Labonte Outside: David Ragan
Inside: Juan Montoya Outside: Kevin Harvick
Inside: Kenny Wallace Outside: Greg Biffle
Inside: Sam Hornish Jr. Outside: Dale Jarrett
Inside: Paul Menard Outside: John Andretti
Inside: Brian Vickers Outside: Kyle Busch
Inside: Martin Truex Jr. Outside: Robby Gordon
Inside: Scott Riggs Outside: Matt Kenseth
Inside: Reagan Smith Outside: Travis Kvapil
Inside: Clint Bowyer Outside: David Gilliland
Inside: Jeremy Mayfield Outside: Dave Blaney
Inside: Elliot Sadler Outside: Jeff Burton
Inside: JJ Yeley Outside: Jamie McMurray
Inside: Kyle Petty Outside: Dario Franchitti
Inside: Joe Nemechek Outside: David Reutimann
Inside: Kurt Busch
The 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Daytona 500 will be held on Sunday February 17th, 2008 at 3:20pm eastern. This years Daytona 500 will be the 50th Anniversary of the Great American Race. TV Coverage will be provided by FOX and FOX HD. Click here for the complete Daytona 500 TV schedule and viewing guide.