DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Two drivers for non-chartered teams can breathe with a measure of relief after locking in their Daytona 500 berths with Wednesday’s Busch Light Pole Qualifying. And what a contrast for those two.
Give one starting spot to Noah Gragson, the plucky 23-year-old Xfinity Series regular who pushed the No. 62 Beard Motorsports Chevrolet into the field with the fastest lap – 33rd overall – among the open teams. The other guaranteed berth went to Team Hezeberg’s Jacques Villeneuve, the 50-year-old Canadian who has a Formula 1 title and Indianapolis 500 win in his trophy case.
Both will race in Sunday’s season-opening Daytona 500 (2:30 p.m. ET on FOX) for the first time.
The rest of the 40-car field will be sorted after Thursday’s 60-lap, 150-mile Duel races.
Watch FOX 35 News for the latest launch updates.
Information taken from NASCAR.