Blaney, DiBenedetto will race in Daytona 500
Photo by Jerry Markland/NASCAR via Getty Images
Ryan Blaney stands in the garage area at Daytona International Speedway during a practice session
for the 2016 Daytona 500.
Blaney’s time of 46.257 in the first round of qualifying placed the driver eighth fastest, .471 seconds faster than the third go-or-go-home driver Michael McDowell, who qualified 25th.
“It is nice to be locked into the race,” Blaney said. “The biggest relief for us is to know you are locked in and are good to be able to race in the 500. That kind of lets us go race on Thursday a little bit more than we would have instead of playing it conservative if we weren’t locked in.
“I think anytime you can make it to the last round you feel good about the speed of your race car. I think our speed is pretty good. We definitely aren’t the fastest but we have good speed and I think we will dial it in and be good for the 500.”
Blaney will start fourth in the first Can-Am Duel Thursday.
race in his first Daytona 500 after posting a time of 46.708, two
one-hundredths ahead of Michael McDowell.
DiBenedetto will start twelfth in the second Can-Am Duel race Thursday.