DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 16, 2014) — For the first time since 2001, the No. 3 car will be back in NASCAR’S top circuit, and it will fittingly be the first car to take the green flag at the Daytona 500.
Sprint Cup rookie Austin Dillon won the pole position for the 2014 Daytona 500 driving the No. 3 car made famous by the late Dale Earnhardt Sr. It will be the first race for the No. 3 car in NASCAR’s top circuit, the Sprint Cup Series, since the 2001 Daytona 500 that saw Earnhardt lose his life in a final lap crash.
Richard Childress, the owner of the No. 3 Chevrolet, refused to allow the number to be used again in NASCAR’s top circuit until this season. Dillon is the grandson of Richard Childress and has raced with the No. 3 in lower NASCAR circuits.
Dillon finished qualifying with a top speed of 196.019 to win the pole. Martin Truex Jr. will join Dillon on the front row for next Sunday’s race. The rest of the field will be set by a pair of qualifying races on Thursday.
Dillon is the second straight Sprint Cup rookie to take the pole at the Daytona 500. Danica Patrick won the pole position last year.
The 2014 Daytona 500 is Sunday, February 23rd at 1:00 p.m. and will be televised on FOX 17.