Daytona 500 Front Row Belongs to Robert Yates Racing
Robert Yates Racing's David Gilliland and Ricky Rudd swept the front row for the Daytona 500 in Budweiser Pole Qualifying on Sunday at historic Daytona International Speedway. Gilliland, driver of the No. 38 M&M's Ford, claimed the pole for "The Great American Race" on Sunday, Feb. 18 by turning a fast lap time of 48.304 seconds, 186.320 mph. He will make his first career Daytona 500 start alongside his teammate Ricky Rudd, driver of the No. 88 Snickers Ford, who posted a speed of 48.489, 185.487. "You couldn't ask for more as a rookie coming to Daytona for your first time," said Gilliland, who finished a surprising second during Saturday night's Budweiser Shootout. "It's a pleasure to be a part of it and I'm really looking forward to Sunday and the Daytona 500." Rudd, who took a one-year break from full-time NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series racing, is excited to be back in contention for the Daytona 500. "It feels really to come back and have a chance to align ourselves with the Yates team," said Rudd. "I like what I feel and what's going on." Three drivers that were fighting for a spot in the Daytona 500 guaranteed themselves a starting position in the race by posting the three fastest speeds among the driver outside the top 35 in the previous season's owner's points: · Boris Said, driver of the No. 60 SoBe No Fear Energy Drink Ford · Sterling Marlin, driver of the No. 14 Waste Management Chevrolet · Johnny Sauter, driver of the No. 70 Yellow Transportation/Haas Chevrolet. The remaining teams that are outside the top 35 in owner's points will fight over the four remaining Daytona 500 starting spots in Thursday's Gatorade Duel At Daytona. A final Daytona 500 starting spot is reserved for a past NEXTEL Cup Series champion. Among the drivers that will have to race their way into the Daytona 500 through the Gatorade Duel At Daytona include Michael Waltrip, Bill Elliott, Ward Burton, Joe Nemechek, Paul Menard, David Reutimann, Kirk Shelmerdine, AJ Allmendinger, Kenny Wallace, Brian Vickers, Derrike Cope and Regan Smith. Another one that will be trying to race his way into the Daytona 500 will be 72-year old racing legend James Hylton. The former Rookie of the Year and driver of the No. 58 Retirement Living TV Chevrolet qualified 60th overall with a lap time of 50.101, 179.637. Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 DeWalt Ford, and Kasey Kahne, driver of the No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge, will start at the back of the second Gatorade Duel due to unapproved parts found during inspection. Tickets for all DIRECTV Speedweeks At Daytona events, including the Gatorade Duel At Daytona, are available at www.racetickets.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.