In 2011, Columbia-bred Carl Edwards qualified in the No. 22 position, but that didn't stop him from finishing as the runner-up in the big race. Heading into Sunday's 2012 Daytona 500 Qualifying he may not be too concerned about his placement, but the event is nonetheless important and will give the top placers a noted advantage come next Sunday.
If Edwards finishes in the top two today, he'll be locked into the grid for the race, but if he doesn't, he'll move onto Thursday night's Gatorade Duels. Here's SB Nation's Jeff Gluck on the entire process:
What happens today? Officially, the Daytona 500 qualifying session only locks in two spots: The pole position and the outside pole position. But it will also allow three other drivers – who don't have a guaranteed spot in the 500 – to clinch a berth in the race based on their speed. The rest of the non-guaranteed drivers will have to rely on Thursday's Gatorade Duels to try and make the field. The Duels set the starting order for the Daytona 500, except for the two top spots decided today.
Race date/time: Sunday, February 19, 2012, 12:05 p.m. CST
Location: Daytona Speedway, Daytona, Fla.
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