Austin Dillon will lead off the tightly packed and contested start of the NASCAR season during the Daytona 500 on Sunday from Daytona International Speedway.

The 23-year-old emerging Richard Childress Racing star picked up the first pole victory of his career earlier this week, and begins his second NASCAR season. Last year he earned one victory in Kentucky.

However, winning the pole hasn’t equaled a victory in quite some time. Dale Jarrett was the last driver to take both the pole and the checkered flag back in 2000. Jeff Gordon did it in 1999 and before him only five other drivers had the completed feat, including Fireball Roberts (1962), Richard Petty (1966), Carl Yarborough (1970, 1984), Buddy Baker (1980) and Bill Elliott (1985, 1987).

Along with Parker Kligerman and Cole Whitt of Swan Racing, Dillon headlines seven rookies making their Daytona debut, and he’ll reportedly drive the No. 3 car that had been retired since the death of legend Dale Earnhardt Sr. 13 years ago in Daytona.  

Defending Daytona and Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson looks to repeat his winning performance from a year ago when he led for 17 laps and began his sixth straight Chase title run.

Starting in the 32nd slot on Sunday, Johnson has won NASCAR’s premier event twice before, including last year and 2006, and taken the pole two other times. No driver has won two straight times at Daytona since Sterling Martin in 1995.

Fresh off early wins in the Sprint Unlimited and Budweiser Duel 2 last week and seeking his first Daytona victory, Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin will start in the fourth slot.

The starting grid can be found below.

TV Channel: FOX

Start Time: Sunday, 1 p.m. EST

Prediction: Hamlin has started the off the season well, and should take his first Daytona victory.

Starting Grid

1.Austin Dillon

2.Martin Truex Jr.

3.Matt Kenseth

4.Denny Hamlin

5.Kasey Kahne

6.Jeff Gordon

7.Marcos Ambrose

8.Kurt Busch

9.Dale Earnhardt Jr.

10.Paul Menard

11.Josh Wise

12.Brian Scott

13.Aric Almirola

14.Trevor Bayne

15.AJ Allmendinger

16.Kyle Larson

17.David Gillialand

18.Landon Cassill

19.Ryan Newman

20.Clint Bowyer

21. Tony Stewart

22.Jamie McMurray

23.Cole Whitt

24.Terry Labonte

25.Greg Biffle

26.Bobby Labonte

27.Danica Patrick

28.Casey Mears

29.Alex Bowman

30.Carl Edwards

31.Brian Vickers

32.Jimmie Johnson

33.Brad Keselowski

34.Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

35.Joey Logano

36.Michael Annett

37.Kyle Busch

38.Kevin Harvick

39.Reed Sorenson

40.Justin Allgaier

41.Parker Kligerman

42.Michael Waltrip

43.David Ragan