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How is the Daytona qualifying order determined?

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Quick Answer

Officials determine the Daytona qualifying order by running the cars through a three-round process with a short break in between each round. The fastest cars in each round advance to the next round, and the top two cars sit in the front row for the Daytona 500.

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Full Answer

Group qualifying for the Daytona 500 is unique because drivers have more than one chance to make it into the 500. The first opportunity comes during the Daytona 500 Coors Light Pole Qualifying and the second at the Budweiser Duel at Daytona.

The first round of qualifying consists of two groups of drivers chosen via a random drawing. Officials place odd-numbered cars in the first group and even-numbered cars in the second. The group of 24 cars with the fastest single-lap times then advances to the second round. Officials sort the rest of the competitors in descending order depending on their single-lap top speeds.

The 12 fastest cars from the second round go on to the final qualifying round. Once again, officials sort the cars that fail to make this group based on lap speed and place them in rows 13 through 24. Officials sort the racers one last time for the first through the 12th spots depending on the fastest single lap speeds.

There are short breaks ranging from seven to 10 minutes in between each of these rounds, and the time of each round is limited to five minutes.

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