We focused so much on race trim yesterday (in Saturday's practice)."We stuck in a pack, and I think we did one real mock run which wasn't really even a mock run and we were so far off that we just switched and made sure our car was going to handle real good on Thursday and obviously next Sunday."Jimmie Johnson was third fastest on Sunday at 194,734 mph, earning the second-place starting position in Thursday night's first Can-Am Duel 150-mile qualifying race, one of the two events that sets the starting order for the Daytona 500.

Question: What was the biggest challenge in the early days of the marriage? Amy: Biggest challenge for me in the early days after we were married was our new pace of life. I’m certain Amy will have a lot to do with her being amazing and I’ll try not to be too bad of an influence. When you were younger and picturing marriage, was that what you expected? Amy: I’ve never been one to have big expectations for what marriage would be like or the type of man I’d spend my life with.

Everything seemed to ramp up, which is isn’t a bad thing. Never dreamt of what my wedding would look like or how many kids I’d have.

Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender William Byron was fifth fastest in time trials, giving Hendrick Motorsports three of the top five cars in the competitive debut of the new Camaro ZL1 race car.

Last season's Monster Energy Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year, Erik Jones was sixth, followed by Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Daniel Suarez. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford, as four Chevrolets, four Toyotas and four Fords transferred to the second round of qualifying.

Earnhardt, 43, is transitioning from NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver to Most Popular Husband, at least to Amy, and soon Most Popular Dad, at least to his daughter. Dale Jr.: More pressure than anyone will probably ever know.

Shortly before Isla Rose's birth, Autoweek spent a few minutes talking to Dale and Amy about marriage, parenting, and whether there could be any more little Earnhardts in the future. I’m writing a book on that experience, so maybe people will get an idea.

Question: Amy, did you realize what you were getting into?

You are now a public figure; how hard has that been?

Though he was one spot short of the pole, Hamlin was elated to secure a front-row starting spot for the first time in his career.

Make that elated and surprised."This was way out of the blue for us," Hamlin said. It's just so out of the blue, because, obviously, I thought that today was going to be a tough day qualifying.

Question: You’re more than a year into your marriage. But it was an extremely difficult time for a lot of people involved.