Daytona qualifying rained out

Dale Jr. on pole

Threatening weather canceled Saturday afternoon's Coors Light Pole Qualifying at Daytona International Speedway, handing Dale Earnhardt Jr. the No. 1 starting spot for Sunday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.

Earnhardt, a three-time winner at the 2.5-mile track, will take the green flag first in Sunday's Coke Zero 400 (7:45 p.m. ET, NBC, MRN, SiriusXM). The starting lineup was determined according to the 2015 NASCAR Rule Book, setting the 43-car field according to speeds recorded in Friday's opening practice.

Dark storm clouds and the threat of lightning loomed around the speedway, forcing race officials to place qualifying on hold shortly before its scheduled start time of 4:35 p.m. ET. Track officials evacuated the speedway, asking fans to take appropriate shelter. The two-round session was abandoned at 5:51 p.m. ET.

Earnhardt led opening Sprint Cup practice Friday with a lap of 202.284 mph in the Hendrick Motorsports No. 88 Chevrolet. He'll start first for the first time since winning the pole position at Dover International Speedway in September 2013.

Austin Dillon, a former Daytona 500 pole winner, will start second Sunday night in the Richard Childress Racing No. 3 Chevrolet. Clint Bowyer, Paul Menard and Trevor Bayne rounded out the top five starters for the 17th of 36 races this season.

Several powerhouse teams shied away from practicing in large packs Friday, opting to avoid the risks associated with close-quarters aerodynamic drafts. While many of those avoided the crash at the 10-minute mark of first practice that involved 11 cars, their slower speeds registered in single-car runs will relegate them to the back half of the field.

Kevin Harvick, the defending Sprint Cup Series champion and current points leader, will start 35th in the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 Chevrolet. Aric Almirola, last year's Coke Zero 400 winner, will start 37th in the Richard Petty Motorsports No. 43 Ford.

Ryan Blaney and Michael McDowell failed to qualify for the 43-car field.

Lineup for Sunday

Pos Car # Driver Manufacturer Sponsor
1 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr Chevrolet NATIONWIDE STARS AND STRIPES
2 3 Austin Dillon Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops
3 15 Clint Bowyer Toyota 5-Hour Energy
4 27 Paul Menard Chevrolet Nibco / Menards
5 6 Trevor Bayne Ford Advocare Ford Fusion
6 38 David Gilliland Ford Florida Lottery
7 47 AJ Allmendinger Chevrolet Kroger/Better Than Bouillon
8 55 David Ragan Toyota Aaron's Dream Machine
9 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet McDonald's
10 5 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet GREAT CLIPS-SHARK WEEK
11 9 Sam Hornish Jr Ford Twisted Tea
12 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe's Patriotic
13 18 Kyle Busch Toyota Interstate Batteries
14 34 Brett Moffitt Ford CSX Play It Safe
15 13 Casey Mears Chevrolet No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS
16 42 Kyle Larson Chevrolet Coca-Cola
17 31 Ryan Newman Chevrolet Grainger
18 46 Michael Annett Chevrolet Pilot Flying J
19 20 Matt Kenseth Toyota #20 DEWALT Made in USA Toyota Camry
20 78 Martin Truex Jr Chevrolet Furniture Row/Visser Precision
21 51 Justin Allgaier Chevrolet TradeMark Nitrogen
22 40 Landon Cassill Chevrolet Snap Fitness
23 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet Axalta
24 19 Carl Edwards Toyota Subway
25 16 Greg Biffle Ford Cheez-It Ford Fusion
26 33 Brian Scott Chevrolet Shore Lodge
27 10 Danica Patrick Chevrolet GoDaddy
28 41 Kurt Busch Chevrolet Haas Automation
29 35 Cole Whitt Ford Speed Stick
30 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr Ford Fifth Third Bank Ford Fusion
31 14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops
32 2 Brad Keselowski Ford Alliance Truck Parts
33 22 Joey Logano Ford Shell Pennzoil
34 4 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Jimmy John's/ Budweiser
35 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota FedEx Ground
36 43 Aric Almirola Ford Smithfield
37 7 Alex Bowman Chevrolet Golden Corral
38 32 Bobby Labonte Ford C&J Energy Services
39 23 J.J. Yeley Toyota Dr Pepper
40 26 Jeb Burton Toyota Maxim
41 83 Matt DiBenedetto Toyota Dustless Blasting
42 98 Josh Wise Ford Heat Treating Inc/Royal Teak
43 62 Brendan Gaughan Chevrolet

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