Alex Bowman wins pole for Daytona 500

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Alex Bowman captured the pole for next Sunday's Daytona 500 with a speed of 195.644 miles per hour in the Hendrick Motorsports No. 88 Chevrolet, which was the former auto of the retired Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Kyle Larson rounded out the top five in the No.42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet at 199.468 miles per hour.

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Bowman, 24, had won Earnhardt's vote as his replacement after he retired at the end of last season.

Alex Bowman's first race as the full-time driver of the No. 88 will come from the pole position.

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Earnhardt retired a year ago after missing half of the 2016 season, though he will be at the track serving as grand marshal for the season-opening race. Something to watch will be how fast Fords are going to be in the Daytona 500, as the quickest Ford in qualifying was Kevin Harvick in eighth. In fact, a pole victor hasn't won the race since Dale Jarrett in 2000.

One place where Hamlin and some other veterans might get a small bit of a leg up on Bowman is by participating in the Clash at Daytona, where the 500 pole-sitter won't be racing.

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