Friday, 22 March, 2019

Blaney and Elliott win the Duels at Daytona

Shannon Reynolds | 16 February, 2018, 06:40

The win temporarily put the brakes on what has been a Team Penske route of Speedweeks. The cars are really hard to drive right now and we definitely have some work to do.

Kevin Harvick started fourth in the second Can-Am Duel on Thursday evening and stayed in the top five for the remainder of the night. Hamlin took Elliott out near the end of last season's playoff race at Martinsville, and cost the young driver a chance to win his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup race. Elliott would wrestle the lead away from Denny Hamlin on lap 27 and never look back. Jones would spin down the backstretch with Kyle Larson and Matt DiBenedetto collected in the aftermath.

"I thought we all worked really well together", the 2015 Daytona 500 victor said himself and Blaney.

There are going to be some fast cars coming from the back of the field on Sunday in the Daytona 500.

It's the second consecutive victory for Elliott in the Daytona 500 qualifying event after winning his Duel race in 2017.

Blaney got a helping hand from 24-year-old rookie Bubba Wallace.

Pole-sitter Alex Bowman and Denny Hamlin will start on the front row for the Great American Race after Sunday's front-row qualifying, but the rest of the starting grid was up for grabs in Daytona's unique qualifying format. Logano, who was second to teammate Brad Keselowski during Sunday's Advance Auto Parts Clash, just wished the order of cars had been different Thursday.

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But the highlight of the race came with three laps to go, when Jamie McMurray bumped Keselowski's rear bumper and crashed them both.

Johnson, who is the only active driver with multiple Daytona 500 wins, dropped out of the single-file line on Lap 8 of the 150-mile with tire issues before getting loose and slamming in Aric Almirola and Daniel Suarez. "I thought we (Penske cars) were really able to control the whole race".

"That was kind of the worst possible spot to get on my quarter panel and I just lost it", Byron said.

Almirola is just relieved this wasn't the Daytona 500.

David Gilliland was a victim of a Lap 47 incident when Stenhouse Jr. attempted to pass him at the entrance of Turn 1 - in a very similar move he made on Byron earlier - taking the air off the back of Gilliland's No. 92 Ford and sending him front-end first into the outside wall.

The results of the first 60-lap Duel, won by Blaney, set the inside row (odd numbered positions) for the Daytona 500 behind Bowman, and the results of the second Duel set the outside (even) row.

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