Dillon claims Daytona 500 pole

Austin Dillon (right), driver of the No. 3 Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane on Sunday with...

Austin Dillon (right), driver of the No. 3 Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane on Sunday with team owner Richard Childress after winning the pole for next weekend's Daytona 500. (Tom Pennington/Getty Images/AFP)

Dean McNulty, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:51 AM ET

The qualifying procedure for NASCAR’s Daytona 500 is surely the dictionary definition of confusing. In no other motorsport discipline is the starting line-up so complicated.

It was all there to witness Sunday at Daytona International Speedway.

After 49 drivers took two laps around the 2.5-mile superspeedway, rookie Austin Dillon and Martin Truex Jr. earned front-row positions for the Great American Race next Sunday.

Dillon’s pole win also marked the return of the famed No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet, last raced in Sprint Cup by the late Dale Earnhardt in 2001.

The 23-year-old grandson of team owner Richard Childress had a lap of 196.019 m.p.h.

Truex, also using an RCR engine, was right there at 195.852 m.p.h.

“I just tried top stay focused,” Dillon said of his pole win. “Everybody wants to see the No. 3 perform well ... but it’s hard to celebrate now because this is just qualifying.”


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