"I would say that the hard part was getting to this point, being in this vehicle", said Byron, whose Hendrick teammates are seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, Chase Elliott and Daytona 500 pole-sitter Alex Bowman. Bowman filled in for Earnhardt during the 2016 season as an interim replacement when Junior went down with a season-ending concussion.
Bowman, the driver tabbed to replace Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Introduced as "a former pole winner" in a news conference Saturday morning about her final NASCAR start in the Daytona 500, Patrick immediately interrupted the moderator.
"We knew we were going for the pole, that's what we're here to do", Bowman said. That's what we're here for. She cried the day she said goodbye during an emotional press conference in Homestead I November.
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.
Denny Hamlin had the second-fastest speed at 195.092 miles per hour in a Toyota from Joe Gibbs Racing.
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NASCAR has changed a rule eliminating the post-race ride-height requirement, so now cars at Daytona and Talladega won't have to meet a minimum height after races. "I think the hard part was getting to that point". During his first full season in Legends, he would score 33 wins and the national championship for his division. "We're going to hope that our vehicle handles really good and we can out drive them in race trim". "If it would have come together sooner, I'm sure that we would have been able to put something together for The Clash".
"I just kind of manage it whenever I can, so it's not too bad", Byron said.
"Then you turn around three months later and you're at the biggest race of the year".
Seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson was third fastest, rookie William Byron was fifth and Elliott was 10th in Hendrick engines.
"It's worked very well, but we learn every day, nearly with every auto", Probst said. But their Daytona 500 grid positions, along with the rest of the field aside from the front row, will be set based on the Duels. "We've run well over 220 scans by this point and so far, so good".
Danica Patrick is saving her tears this time around. And really, it's a process she said she's been immersed in throughout much of 2017. She will also race in the Indianapolis 500 in May, though her ride has yet to be announced.