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Dale Jr. 11th in Daytona 500 Qualifying

By Tyler Overstreet, JR Motorsports | Article Published 2/17/2013

Dale Earnhardt Jr. posted the 11th-fastest time in Daytona 500 Qualifying Sunday afternoon. What does that mean for the No. 88 team and JR Nation? Earnhardt Jr. will start sixth in the first Budweiser Duel race on Thursday afternoon to determine the team’s starting position for the 55th running of the Great American Race.

“We would obviously like to be a little better but we’ve gained a lot since we tested. The car we tested down here wasn’t very fast,” Earnhardt Jr. told NASCAR on Fox reporter Matt Yocum after his two-lap qualifying run. “We’ve learned a lot and built a couple good cars. We feel pretty confident our 500 car will be real competitive when we get in race trim.”

Danica Patrick became the first woman to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole with a fast lap of 196.434 mph (45.817 sec.). Patrick’s Hendrick-powered entry will share the front row with Jeff Gordon.

Positions three through 32 are determined by the results of Thursday’s pair of 60 lap races. 33rd through 36th will be filled by the fastest four cars who have not previously locked themselves into the race. The field’s final seven positions are filled by the highest driver’s in 2012 owner points and/or the most recent eligible past champion driver.

Earnhardt Jr. and the other Sprint Cup Series drivers will return to the 2.5-mile superspeedway for a pair of practice sessions Wednesday afternoon at 11 a.m. ET and 2 p.m. ET. Both sessions will be broadcast live on SPEED.

The Budweiser Duel races are scheduled to begin Thursday at 2 p.m. ET on SPEED.

Duel Race No. 1 Lineup
1. Danica Patrick
2. Trevor Bayne
3. Tony Stewart
4. Denny Hamlin
5. Joey Logano
6. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
7. Juan Pablo Montoya
8. Casey Mears
9. Carl Edwards
10. Martin Truex Jr.
11. Jimmie Johnson
12. Brad Keselowski
13. Kevin Harvick
14. Greg Biffle
15. David Gilliland
16. Michael Waltrip
17. Kurt Busch
18. Scott Speed
19. Regan Smith
20. Bobby Labonte
21. David Reutimann
22. Joe Nemechek
23. Brian Keselowski
After Ford EcoBoost 400
Rank +/- Driver Points Behind
1 +3 Kevin Harvick 5043 0
2 +1 Ryan Newman 5042 -1
3 -2 Denny Hamlin 5037 -6
4 -2 Joey Logano 5028 -15
5 -- Brad Keselowski 2361 -2682
6 -- Jeff Gordon 2348 -2695
7 -- Matt Kenseth 2334 -2709
8 +2 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 2301 -2742
9 -- Carl Edwards 2288 -2755
10 -2 Kyle Busch 2285 -2758
11 +2 Jimmie Johnson 2274 -2769
12 +2 Kurt Busch 2263 -2780
Full Standings