45 cars set to qualify. the fastest car in pracice, Danica Patrick, goes out 8th. I'm hearing that the other big   threats are the 39 (Newman, Patrick's team mate) and the 31 and 33 from the RCR stable. Really, though, any Chevrolet could have a chance with a good lap.

Only the first two positions are locked in after pole day qualifying at Daytona, the rest are decided by the "Budweiser Duel" heat races on Thursday. Positions 3-32 are gridded by their finish in the "duels" (with the odd numbered positions filled by duel 1 and the even numbered spots filled by duel 2), positions 33-36 are set by the fastest qualifying cars not in the top 15 in their duels (or on the front row), positions 37-42 are set by championship point provisionals from last year and, finally, position 43 is given to the most recent past champion to miss the field. Unless there's a major wreck taking out top drivers in both duels, this last position will almost certainly be given to Terry Labonte.

It's worth noting, by the way, the differences in the engines that each Chevrolet team runs. The five RCR teams (including the satellite Furniture Row organization) are the only teams using ECR spec engines, while the rest have their engines built by Hendrick Motorsports. Of those, all but the SHR cars are lubricated by Quaker State, while SHR uses Mobil 1. That small change can be worth as much as 2/10ths here at Daytona, and that could mean very good things for Tony Stewart's organization.