After Sunday's time trials, Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle know they will share the front row for the 54th-annual Daytona 500. Defending champion Trevor Bayne, Tony Raines, and David Stremme -- along with past champion Terry Labonte -- also know they will start the 500, no matter what happens the rest of the week.
For the other 33 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers locked into the race but not sure exactly where they will take the green flag and the other 10 drivers seeking to claim the final four positions in the field, the rest of their Speedweeks hinges on Thursday's pair of 150-mile qualifying races, officially known as the Gatorade Duels.
Lineups For The Daytona 500 Itself
With the exception of Edwards and Biffle, who will start on the pole for the first and second Duel respectively, the top 35 drivers in points are grouped by their car owner points finish last year. Odd-numbered drivers (champion Tony Stewart, third-place finisher Kevin Harvick, and so on) will join Edwards in the first race. Even-numbered finishers (runner-up Edwards aside) will race with Biffle in the second event. The drivers outside the top 35 in points are similarly grouped by their qualifying speed from yesterday, with odd-numbered drivers (Bayne, third-quick Stremme) in the first Duel and even-numbered drivers (Raines, fourth-fastest Kenny Wallace, and so on) in the second race.
Once the drivers are grouped into their respective races, the fields are set by Sunday's qualifying speeds.
Confused yet? Just head over to Jayski.com to see exactly where all 49 drivers, including your favorite drivers, will start in their respective Duel race. Note that Georgia's David Ragan, who is already locked into the 500, will start ninth in the first Duel, while Bill Elliott -- who must race his way into the field by finishing in the top-two among go-or-go-home drivers in his race -- will roll off from the 20th position in race two.