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Elliott repeats with Daytona pole
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Chase Elliott kicked off his sophomore Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season by repeating his rookie feat of earning pole position for the Daytona 500.

On Feb. 19, Elliott was the last driver to take a lap in the final round of the series qualifying.

He was able to earn back-to-back poles by beating out his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. by .002 seconds.

Earnhardt is returning to the track after a seven month hiatus due to a concussion.

Elliott completed the second outing in 46.663 seconds at 192.872 miles per hour.

Last year, he earned the top spot at 196.314 mph.

Elliott credited the Hendrick Motorsports team for their work in the off season as this marks the third season in a row that a Hendrick driver claimed the spot.

Driver Jeff Gordon earned it in 2015 before his retirement and Elliott took over in the No. 24 car for his rookie season in 2016.

Those three consecutive poles are also a record for Elliott's crew chief, Alan Gustafson who also won with Gordon.

That record was held previously by Ernie Elliott, uncle of Chase, who fielded cars by former champion Bill Elliott, Chase's dad.

The Dawsonville connection goes even further, as pointed out by Gordon Pirkle, president of the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame.

"[Dawsonville-native] Gober Sosebee won the first-ever Daytona pole in 1949," Pirkle said.

That race was won by Red Byron who was driving a Raymond Parks Oldsmobile.

Elliott and Earnhardt will lead the field in the two Can-Am Duel qualifying races on Feb. 23. Elliott will lead the first and Earnhardt the second.

The 2016 Sunoco rookie of the year will lead the way in the 59th running of the Daytona 500 at 2 p.m. on Feb. 26. The event will be broadcast on FOX.