Harvick and Logano win Duels at Daytona

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.— Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano won the Gander RV Duels at Daytona International Speedway on Thursday night to set the starting lineup for the 61st annual Daytona 500 on Sunday.

Duel 1:

William Byron led the field to the green flag and led the first 15 laps until green flag pit stops arrived.

Byron fell back to sixth after the green flag pit stops cycled though with Kevin Harvick taking the lead and never letting it go.

Harvick led the final 44 laps of the first Duel for the second Duel victory of his 18-year career.

There was only one caution which was for the 18 of Kyle Busch getting turned around by Jimmie Johnson. Busch was none too pleased with the contact between him and the seven time champ.

“I don’t want to (expletive) hear it,” Busch told to his team when he got told what Johnson radioed to his team during the race. “Use his damn eyeballs. It’s twice he’s done the same thing in two (expletive) races.”

After the race, unlike the Clash from Sunday, Johnson took full blame for the wreck.

“I firmly believe the Clash was a racing incident. This one was a mistake on my behalf. Everybody makes mistakes.”

Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Paul Menard, Matt DiBenedetto and Martin Truex Jr. rounded out the top five.

Parker Kilgerman beat Ryan Truex by one position to get one of the final two open team places in the 61st running of the Great American Race.

Duel 2

Joey Logano needed to lead just one lap and that was the last one. Logano did just that to win his first career Daytona qualifying race.

Logano led the final and most important of the 60 laps run in the second duel after he crafted a brilliant plan to go from fourth to first, on the final lap.

“You have the whole race to think about making a move, and we were all out there just waiting,” Logano said. “Everyone behind me really wanted to go, and I just knew that I had to wait. The later you can do it, the less the risk if it doesn’t work. I got a good run from the 12 (Ryan Blaney) behind me and went to the bottom and got a good run.”

Alex Bowman started out with the pole for the second consecutive year as he led the field in the first duel, just like a season ago. Like Byron, Bowman led the first 11 laps before his first green flag pitstop of the season, relinquishing the lead to Clint Bowyer. Bowyer then, took his turn to head to pit road for his only stop of the race and he took his No. 14 Rush Truck Centers to pitlane.

That gave the lead to Brendan Gaughan in the 62 who is one of the four teams without a charter. Gaughan, who runs Daytona and usually Talladega in the Cup Series, led six laps before giving the lead back to Bowyer but Gaughan did hold off Joey Gase to get the final spot in the 500.

Bowyer led two times for 41 laps but couldn’t get the job done and will start the 500 in sixth place.

Aric Almirola, Denny Hamlin and Kurt Busch rounded out the top five.

Brendan Gaughan raced his way in which means that Ryan Truex and Joey Gase will be leaving Daytona without racing in the Great American Race.

The 61st running of the Daytona 500 is on Sunday, Feb. 18th, at 2:30 p.m. ET on FOX.

Daytona 500 Starting Lineup:

Starting PositionDriverTeam
1.William ByronHendrick Motorsports
2.Alex BowmanHendrick Motorsports
3.Kevin HarvickStewart-Haas Racing
4.Joey LoganoTeam Penske
5.Ricky Stenhouse Jr.Roush Fenway Racing
6.Clint BowyerStewart-Haas Racing
7.Paul MenardWood Brothers Racing
8.Aric AlmirolaStewart-Haas Racing
9.Matt DiBenedettoLeavine Family Racing
10.Denny HamlinJoe Gibbs Racing
11.Martin Truex Jr.Joe Gibbs Racing
12.Kurt BuschChip Ganassi Racing
13Bubba WallaceRichard Petty Motorsports
14.Ryan BlaneyTeam Penske
15.Chris BuescherJTG Daugherty Racing
16.Jamie McMurraySpire Motorsports
17.Jimmie JohnsonHendrick Motorsports
18.Chase ElliottHendrick Motorsports
19.Ryan NewmanRoush Fenway Racing
20.Austin DillonRichard Childress Racing
21.Ryan PreeceJTG Daugherty Racing
22.Ty DillonGermain Racing
23.Daniel SuarezStewart-Haas Racing
24.David RaganFront Row Motorsports
25.Parker Kligerman*Gaunt Brothers Racing
26.Kyle LarsonChip Ganassi Racing
27.Landon CassillStarcom Racing
28.Erik JonesJoe Gibbs Racing
29.Daniel HemricRichard Childress Racing
30.Brendan Gaughan*Beard Motorsports
31.Kyle BuschJoe Gibbs Racing
32.Corey LaJoieGO FAS Racing
33.Matt TifftFront Row Motorsports
34.Michael McDowellFront Row Motorsports
35.Brad KeselowskiTeam Penske
36.Ross ChastainPremium Motorsports
37.Cody WareRick Ware Racing
38.BJ McLeodPetty Ware Racing
39.Tyler Reddick*Richard Childress Racing
40.Casey Mears*Germain Racing

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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