Alex Bowman and Kyle Larson secure front row starts

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Alex Bowman won his third career Daytona 500 pole and will be joined on the front row by Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kyle Larson for the NASCAR season opener.

Hendrick’s dominance is no surprise.

Bowman, who missed five races late last season with a concussion, is on the front row of the Daytona 500 for the sixth consecutive year and the organization has produced a pole winner in eight of the last nine years.

Bowman, who received a new contract this season, hit a top speed of 181.686 mph and Larson hit 181.057. Both drive for Hendrick Chevrolets. The teammates will also start from pole in the two Bluegreen Vacations Duels on Thursday night.

Alex Bowman won pole for Sunday's Daytona 500 on Wednesday's media day at Daytona International Speedway.

Jimmie Johnson made a triumphant return to NASCAR on Wednesday night, qualifying for the Daytona 500, a great start for the seven-time champion, who is heading into his first cup race since 2020.

Johnson, 47, returned from a two-year dalliance with IndyCar for a stake in Legacy Motor Club — and he quickly added his own by joining the 40-driver field in his No. 84 Chevrolet Wednesday night.

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