Daytona 500 Qualifying

Hemric Leads RCR Qualifying Charge, Reddick Locked into Daytona 500

Qualifying for the 61st annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway is in the books and Richard Childress Racing put two Chevrolets in the top 10, while Tyler Reddick was able to lock himself into the ‘Great American Race.’

Daniel Hemric led the RCR charge in the gold-colored No. 8 Bass Pro Shops/Caterpillar Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, posting a lap of 46.763 seconds that stood atop the speed charts in the final round until the final four cars took time. In the end, Hemric’s time was fifth-best and helped Chevrolet capture the top five spots in qualifying.

“Oh my gosh I’m incredibly proud of all of the No. 8 team, everybody on this Bass Pro Shops/Caterpillar Camaro ZL1 for picking up the speed we picked up,” said Hemric.

“I didn’t know what we had for speed based off yesterday and we exceeded what my expectations were. Proud of these guys, so cool to have the whole top five be all Chevy Camaro ZL1’s. It’s cool to be here and I’m looking forward to next week,” he said.

Defending Daytona 500 champion Austin Dillon also advanced to the final round of qualifying, where he posted a lap of 47.018 seconds, which was good enough for the 10th position.

Austin Dillon posted the 10th-fastest time in the gold-colored No. 3 Dow Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 during Daytona 500 qualifying. (HHP)
Austin Dillon posted the 10th-fastest time in the gold-colored No. 3 Dow Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 during Daytona 500 qualifying. (HHP)

“It’s a good showing for RCR. I’m really proud of the guys for all the effort they put in back at the shop,” said Dillon.

“That is all you want to ask for is to have a car that is fast enough,” he said. “You get in the top 12 I’m happy. We will go race from here.”

Tyler Reddick was attempting to make his first start in the Daytona 500 in the No. 31 SYMBICORT (®) (budesonide/formoterol fumarate dihydrate) Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 but was not locked into the race.

That was all resolved on Sunday afternoon when the 2018 NASCAR Xfinity Series champion was the highest-qualifying non-chartered car, posting the 16th-fastest lap of Round 1. By posting the fastest lap of the non-chartered teams, Reddick locked himself into the Daytona 500, which will also be his first start in the ‘Great American Race.’

“I can’t thank everyone at RCR enough for all of the work they have put into this for me,” said Reddick.

“To be able to say I will officially be making my Cup Series debut in the Daytona 500 seems unreal,” he said. “It’s something I’ve dreamed about for a long time.”

The team’s actual starting positions for the Daytona 500 will be determined in Thursday’s 150-mile Duel qualifying races. Hemric will start third in the first Duel, while Dillon and Reddick will start fifth and eighth, respectively, in the second Duel.