Harrison Burton and the No. 21 Motorcraft/DEX Imaging team were among the elite 10 in pole qualifying for the Daytona 500 Wednesday night, winding up ninth fastest in the second and final round of time trials.
That puts Burton in fifth place for the start of the first 150-mile Bluegreen Vacations Duel qualifying race Thursday night.
Wednesday’s pole qualifying session marked the first appearance on the Daytona track this week. Burton, one of the first to make a qualifying run, posted a lap at 180.014 miles per hour in the opening session. He was 10th fastest and earned an advance to the second session. He was the first driver to make a run in the second go-round and toured the 2.5-mile track at 179.748 mph.
“We definitely have a fast race car,” Burton told reporters after qualifying. “The guys at the shop worked really hard at trying to get us a good qualifying spot.
“It’s important, even for the Duels, to have track position, so we’ll see how we can play it. It’s kind of what you do with it once you get it that matters, but I’m proud of our guys.
“We have a fast Ford Mustang, and I’m excited for Motorcraft and DEX and the Wood Brothers. It could be a really great year for us, so I’m excited to go and try to get after it.”
The first of two 60-lap Bluegreen Vacations Duel qualifying races is set to get the green flag at 7 p.m. on Thursday followed by the nightcap at about 8:45 p.m.
Those races will determine the third starting position on back for Sunday’s Daytona 500.
The first Cup practice session is scheduled to start at 5:35 p.m. on Friday, with the second and final practice getting the green flag at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday.
The 65th-annual Daytona 500 is scheduled to start just after 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, with Stage breaks at Laps 65 and 130.
FOX Sports 1 will carry the TV coverage of the preliminary events, with FOX broadcasting the Daytona 500.