Earnhardt, who had 17 career wins at Daytona and seven poles and is a two-time Daytona 500 victor, congratulated Bowman, tweeting, "Awesome!"
20 drivers are eligible to race in the Clash, but only 17 will compete; Matt Kenseth and Dale Earnhardt Jr. have retired from Cup racing, while Danica Patrick intends to do the same following the 2018 Daytona 500. Elliott also seeks to win his third consecutive Daytona 500 pole, which would tie him with Fireball Roberts, father Bill Elliott, and Ken Schrader for the most 500 poles in a row. But a concussion forced Earnhardt to miss the second half the season, which gave Bowman a 10-race audition for HMS owner Rick Hendrick.
Hamlin qualified on the outside pole for the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway Sunday afternoon.
Denny Hamlin had the second-fastest speed at 195.092 miles per hour in a Toyota from Joe Gibbs Racing.
Sunday's two-round, single-car qualifying session only produced the front row for the season-opening Daytona 500 on February 18 (2:30 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
"It was really just to do Daytona and Indy and The Clash wasn't a priority", she said. "Its a dream come true just to drive for Hendrick Motorsports". The remainder of the field will be set by a pair of qualifying races Thursday.
"A couple of days ago I was thinking to myself that we should have run the backup vehicle in the Clash", said Patrick, who had made four consecutive starts in The Clash with a best finish of fourth previous year.
"Reasonable expectation would be just to finish first, but that's going to take a lot", he said. This week, he dishes on one of NASCAR's best wheelmen-and his choice to take the checkered flag at The Great American Race. Although qualifying utilizes the same three-round knockout format found at other tracks, unless a driver qualifies on the front row, their starting position is not guaranteed.
"I couldn't have written a better story about how this would all fall into place, Patrick said recently". I tell these guys, 'You know when I met Gordon, he had a briefcase with a stock auto magazine and a Game Boy. She will re-connect with long-time sponsor GoDaddy for the race. The machine says where you are, and everybody has got to be there. Once you get over the fear that he'll tap the wall and realize that he is in absolute control of the 42 machine, you'll find it hard to fathom that he's ever lost there. You kind of got what you got.