Smooth trial run for new OSS inspection process in Daytona 500 prelude

Glen Norman
February 15, 2018

Alex Bowman is off to a hot start in the lead-up to the 2018 NASCAR season after being tasked with following in the footsteps of Dale Earnhardt Jr., NASCAR's 15-time Most Popular Driver and a seven-time Daytona pole victor. Bowman posted the fastest lap in the first round of qualifying and then edged out Denny Hamlin for the top spot with his run in the second round.

Bowman won the pole for "The Great American Race" in his debut as the official driver of the No. 88 Chevrolet.

Earnhardt was quite impressed by Bowman and the No. 88 team's performance. We stuck in a pack and I think we did one real mock run which wasn't really even a mock run and we were so far off that we just switched and made sure our auto was going to handle real good on Thursday and obviously next Sunday.

"I think it's still a little surreal", Bowman told the Associated Press.

Coming off a dominating 2017 campaign, Martin Truex Jr. and Furniture Row Racing hope to continue their success into 2018, while Hendrick Motorsports, featuring two new and younger drivers, is eager to begin a new era.

"No guarantee that we will ever check the rest of them off, but to have the chance to do it and to see the races we have won as a team the past three years I never thought it was possible".

Bowman rotated with Jeff Gordon in 2016 when Earnhardt missed half the season due to concussions, but this will be his first season as a full-time driver at Hendrick.

"If you're fortunate enough to be a final-four driver at Homestead there's a great deal of pressure in the one race takes all". But I'm sure it would have been extra, you know what I mean? I do it basically before I get to the racetrack.

"We just come here to win", he said.

Hamlin will start on the outside of the front row.

To compete in the contest, simply tune into The Daytona 500 om February 18th at 2:30pm on Fox. Last season, Truex started 35th in the Daytona 500 and finished 13th.

"I literally am so ecstatic", Hamlin said. His Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Kevin Harvick had the fastest Ford at eighth and was followed by Roush Fenway Racing driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who won two plate races last season. The 75-lap race consists exclusively of drivers who have won a pole in the 2017 season or made the playoffs. "The speed is better than we expected". She will re-connect with long-time sponsor GoDaddy for the race.

Danica Patrick is saving her tears this time around.

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