DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.
Two legends will run in NASCAR’s biggest race.
Jimmie Johnson and Travis Pastrana, two of the most well-known racers in the world, qualified for the Daytona 500 on Wednesday. The pair ran in Open cars and had to qualify into the Great American Race, which will run on Sunday at 2 p.m. on FOX.
They qualified by notching the two fastest times of the six Open cars in single-car qualifying. The four other Open drivers — Conor Daly, Austin Hill, Chandler Smith and Zane Smith — will have to race for Sunday’s final two Open slots during Thursday’s Duel races.
The highest finishing Open team of each Duel race (of the remaining four Open teams) will earn a spot in the Daytona 500.
Johnson isn’t a new name to NASCAR. The driver of the 84 car is a seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion and two-time Daytona 500 winner has notched 83 Cup Series victories. He is part-owner of Legacy Motor Club.
This is Pastrana’s inaugural entry in the NASCAR Cup Series and is a household name in supercross, motocross and rally racing, and he’s amassed 11 gold medals in myriad events at the X Games. He’s steering the 67 car for 23XI Racing.
“If we can qualify, that’s amazing,” Pastrana told reporters on Wednesday afternoon, before the single-car qualifying took place Wednesday night. His enthusiasm for the Daytona 500 shined through: “This is the first time I’ve come into an event without the expectation of winning. … Tonight is really exciting. Tomorrow, the Duels are going to be really exciting. And I hope to add to the excitement and (avoid) the drama.”
This will be updated.
This story was originally published February 15, 2023, 9:21 PM.