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Junior Ends Up 7th in Daytona 500 Qualifying

By Tyler Overstreet, JR Motorsports | Article Published 2/16/2014

Dale Earnhardt Jr. posted the seventh-fastest time in Daytona 500 qualifying Sunday at Daytona International Speedway. As a result, Earnhardt Jr. will start fourth in the first Budweiser Duel race Thursday night (7 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1).

After taking time first of 49 cars, Earnhardt Jr. held the top spot with a time of 46.104 sec. (195.211 sec.) until Greg Biffle took to the track 33rd and bested the No. 88’s lap. Several cars later, eventual pole winner Austin Dillon blistered the track with a fast time of 45. 914 sec. (196.019 mph).

Dillon and Martin Truex Jr. have locked the top two starting positions for next Sunday’s Daytona 500. The remainder of the field will be set by a pair of 150-mile qualifying races Thursday evening.

Notable drivers joining Earnhardt Jr. in the first Duel qualifying race will be Dillon, Biffle, Ryan Newman, Joey Logano, Matt Kenseth, Kasey Kahne, Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Danica Patrick and Tony Stewart.

Sprint Cup teams will be back on track Wednesday for a pair of practice sessions at 4 p.m. ET and 6:30 p.m. ET.

“Steve (Letarte, crew chief) did a great job working on the car, trying to get more speed out of it. We definitely picked up, so we are happy about that. I scuffed the side skirt just a little bit on the apron in turn two trying to run tight on the line there, and that's never good when you are dragging anything. So, that cost us a little bit of time, so we will definitely appreciate the pickup. We were nowhere near that fast yesterday. Hopefully the track hasn't really picked up any from yesterday. Hopefully it slows down and gets windy for those other guys.”

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