Qualifying for Sunday night’s Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca Cola was rained out Saturday, giving the pole position to Dale Earnhardt Jr., based on his chart-topping, 200 mph-plus practice speed. 

Earnhardt led the first of two practice sessions on Friday in the No. 88 Nationwide Stars and Stripes Chevrolet, with a fast lap of 202.284 miles per hour – one of 14 drivers to post fast laps exceeding 200 mph. Austin Dillon will start second in the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, on the strength of his 202.066 lap. 

Last season, NASCAR instituted a new procedure, setting fields based on speeds from a weekend’s first practice session, when qualifying is cancelled. Previously, fields were set based on season point standing. Earnhardt said that with rain in the Saturday forecast, there was extra effort to find serious speed in practice. 

Tickets for the Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola – set for 7:45 p.m. Sunday – can be purchased by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or visiting www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com. 

Fans can follow NASCAR on Twitter and stay up to speed on the latest news by using hashtags #CokeZero400 and #SubwayFirecracker250. Fans also can stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest for the latest news all season long. Fans can follow the latest on DAYTONA Rising, the $400 million frontstretch renovation at the “World Center of Racing” by using #DAYTONARising on Twitter or visiting www.daytonarising.com.