DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) _ Reigning NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson won his second Daytona 500 pole less than 24 hours after new Hendrick Motorpsorts teammate Dale Earnhardt Junior took the checkered flag in the non-points Budweiser Shootout.
A year after being embarrassed when his then-new team was caught in the post-qualifying inspection using an illegal fuel additive in his Toyota, Michael Waltrip grabbed the outside pole.
Only the top two qualifiers locked in starting positions for next week's 50th running of the Daytona 500.
Waltrip's teammate and employee David Reutimann (ROO'-tih-mehn) qualified third, meaning he, too, will be in the big race for sure.
The top 35 drivers from last season's car owners points are guaranteed a starting spot in the 43-car field and Waltrip and Reutimann were among 18 drivers who began the day competing for the few remaining positions.
The rest of the starting field will be determined Thursday in two 150-mile qualifying races at Daytona International Speedway.