Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s crash frees pole

Updated: February 16, 2011, 7:00 PM ET
By Terry Blount | ESPN.com

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Nine drivers are racing for four available spots in the Daytona 500. The other 39 drivers are locked in -- including Dale Earnhardt Jr., who is guaranteed to start last after winning the pole on Sunday.

No, that doesn't make any sense, but it goes with the territory in this qualifying maze of the absurd that applies only to this race.

Earnhardt wrecked in practice Wednesday and had to go to a backup car. He must start in the back for his qualifying ...

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