Daytona 500 Pole goes to…

When the green flag drops during next Sunday’s Daytona 500 NASCAR race, Carl Edwards will lead the pack in his number 99 Ford, with Greg Biffle in the number 16 by his side. The NASCAR superstar won the pole with a qualifying lap of 194.738 mph in his No. 99 Ford, closely followed by Biffle’s lap of 194.087. Positions 3 through 43 will be determined by two Gatorade Duels, 150 mile long races that take place on Thursday, and will set the tone for Sunday’s race.

The Daytona 500 race is NASCAR’s biggest race of the season, held every year in February, at Daytona International Raceway, Daytona Beach, Florida. The race is attended by over 168,000 people each year, and tickets are very hard to come by. While the race is the opening of the NASCAR Sprint Cup season, it is considered to be the Superbowl of the NASCAR races.

The first race was held in 1959 on the beaches of Daytona, and was won by Lee Petty, whose winner’s purse was $19,050. Last year’s winner, Trevor Bayne, won an astonishing $1,462,563, not bad for the rookie’s first race in the prestigious series. With other winners, like Richard Petty, Mario Andretti, Dale Earnhardt, and Jeff Gordon, it is easy to see why so many drivers want this victory. Not only will they get their name on the wall, next to these greats, they also get a huge payoff, and the right to call themselves Champion of the Great American Race.

Among the usual qualifiers for the Daytona 500 race, such as Tony Stewart (last year’s Sprint Cup champion), Dale Earnhardt Junior, and Jeff Gordon, we will also see names like Trevor Bayne (last year’s 2011 Daytona winner) and Danica Patrick (known for her participation in the Indianapolis 500). With names like these, we are sure to see an exciting race.

Watch Carl Edwards’ Daytona 500 qualifying lap here: