Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano lead Ford sweep of Daytona Duel qualifiers

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Straight-line pace in qualifying is one factor. Pace and drivability within the draft is one thing fairly completely different, because the Ford camp proved decisively in Thursday night time’s Gander RV Duel at Daytona 150-mile qualifying races at Daytona Worldwide Speedway.

Kevin Harvick led the final 44 laps on Thursday night time to win the primary Duel and safe the third beginning spot in Sunday’s Daytona 500 (2:30 p.m. ET; Fox, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

Reigning Monster Power NASCAR Cup Sequence champion Joey Logano captured the second Duel in far more dramatic style, charging from fourth to first on the ultimate lap to beat Clint Bowyer to the end line by .126 seconds.

MORE: Stay updates of the Daytona Duels

With a late move of Tyler Reddick, who was already locked into for the Daytona 500 based mostly on qualifying pace, Parker Kligerman earned the switch spot into Sunday’s race with a 12th-place end within the first Duel.

Brendan Gaughan grabbed the switch place within the caution-free second Duel by ending 15th, forward of the Open vehicles of Casey Mears (who was already locked into the 500 on pace) and Joey Gase.

In Duel No. 1, Harvick completed 0.165 seconds forward of fellow Ford driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who edged Paul Menard on the line for the runner-up place. Matt DiBenedetto ran fourth, adopted by Martin Truex Jr. and Bubba Wallace.

Aric Almirola ran third within the second Duel behind his Stewart-Haas Racing teammate, giving Ford drivers the highest three positions in every of the Duels within the debut yr of the Mustang in Cup racing — a far cry from Sunday’s time trials, the place Chevrolets posted the 5 finest laps in single-car runs.

With two Mustangs behind him, Harvick didn’t count on any outlandish strikes within the closing laps of Duel 1.

“I’m simply glad we lastly got here out on the correct aspect of this, and every thing’s not tore up,” mentioned Harvick, who had completed fourth, third and second in his earlier three Daytona qualifying races.

The Duel victory was the primary for Logano, who gained the Daytona 500 in 2015. Because the laps wound down, he was planning his transfer and obtained an help from Crew Penske teammate and drafting accomplice Ryan Blaney.

“You may have the entire race to consider making a transfer, and we have been all on the market simply ready,” Logano mentioned. “Everybody behind me actually wished to go, and I simply knew that I needed to wait. The later you are able to do it, the much less the danger if it does not work. I obtained a very good run from the 12 (Blaney) behind me and went to the underside and obtained a very good run.

“Was capable of side-draft the 10 (Almirola) and pull him again and simply barely get sufficient to interrupt that aircraft in entrance of the 14 and clear him up. From there I used to be simply blocking to the end. My spotter, TJ (Majors), did an amazing job feeding me all the data I wanted to decide. We had a extremely quick Shell Pennzoil Mustang.

“It’s cool to see a pair Mustangs in Victory Lane already. I hope it continues for the massive race on Sunday. Nice begin for our race staff. Off we go.”

Bowyer led 41 laps. Logano led one — the one which counted.

A two-time Duel victor, and the winner of the 2007 Daytona 500, Harvick will begin third in Sunday’s race, with Stenhouse behind him in fifth and Menard in seventh. Logano claimed the fourth beginning place along with his victory. Bowyer will take the inexperienced in sixth, Almirola in eighth.

Neither Stenhouse nor Menard may mount an efficient problem towards Harvick within the closing laps of the primary Duel.

“I spent the final 25 laps making an attempt to determine precisely what I used to be going to do,” Stenhouse mentioned. “I believe Paul was making an attempt the identical factor behind me. Paul would get a run on me out of the tri-oval. I felt like I would get a run on Kevin out of the again straightaway. The 21 (Menard) wasn’t shut sufficient to us, so I could not make a transfer. Felt like I would get stalled out.

“Tried to again my entry as much as the tri-oval. I used to be going to attempt it going into (Flip) 1. Nothing actually materialized there. Down the again straightaway, the 21 went to go to the within. I thought of blocking him. I felt like I may no less than end second if we stayed on the highest. I used to be actually sort of hoping the 19 (Truex) would have a bit bit higher run to get to us, perhaps push us up near the 4 (Harvick). Simply nothing actually materialized.”

For his half, Harvick felt his automobile was sturdy sufficient to maintain Stenhouse and Menard behind him.

“They have been going to need to have a fairly large head of steam,” Harvick mentioned. “They have been going to fill these holes fairly fast. Except that they had an enormous head of steam, they weren’t going to clear me with no complete line of vehicles, except the entire line was going to bail on me, which is extremely doable.

“However I doubt they might have carried out that. I believe at that exact time, particularly within the qualifying races, all people needs to win, however they do not wish to tear up their vehicles both. You wish to put as little work as doable in your staff, get to the race on Sunday. There’s nonetheless factors on the road and a trophy. You needed to be in your toes. Our automobile was quick sufficient to protect. They obtained aspect by aspect. That simply slowed every thing down.”

In a three-wide state of affairs on Lap 26 — with Jimmie Johnson on the within, Kyle Busch within the center and Tyler Reddick on the surface — Johnson’s No. 48 Chevrolet moved up the monitor into the left rear quarter panel of Busch’s Toyota, sending Busch spinning into the infield to trigger the 60-lap race’s solely warning.

After pitting with a flat tire and exiting alone, Busch quickly misplaced a lap and in the end completed 18th. However he teamed in a two-car draft with Kligerman, a fellow Toyota driver, to make the essential move of Reddick.

“To begin with, I’ve to thank Kyle Busch, us linking that TRD Toyota energy collectively,” Kligerman mentioned. “With out him, there is no method I get by Reddick.”

Daytona 500 pole winner William Byron, who didn’t compete in final Sunday’s Advance Auto Components Conflict, dropped to the again mid-race and used the ultimate lap for a apply pit cease earlier than coming house 16th—and preserving his automobile for the highest beginning spot in Sunday’s Nice American Race.

Monster Power NASCAR Cup Sequence race: Gander RV Duel 1

End (beginning place), driver, producer, laps accomplished
1. (8) Kevin Harvick, Ford, 60.
2. (10) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, 60.
3. (6) Paul Menard, Ford, 60.
4. (16) Matt DiBenedetto, Toyota, 60.
5. (4) Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, 60.
6. (17) Bubba Wallace, Chevrolet, 60.
7. (12) Chris Buescher, Chevrolet, 60.
8. (2) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 60.
9. (13) Ryan Newman, Ford, 60.
10. (15) Ryan Preece #, Chevrolet, 60.
11. (11) Daniel Suarez, Ford, 60.
12. (19) Parker Kligerman(i), Toyota, 60.
13. (9) Tyler Reddick(i), Chevrolet, 60.
14. (14) Ryan Truex(i), Chevrolet, 60.
15. (20) Landon Cassill, Chevrolet, 60.
16. (1) William Byron, Chevrolet, 60.
17. (3) Daniel Hemric #, Chevrolet, 59.
18. (7) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 59.
19. (18) Matt Tifft #, Ford, 59.
20. (5) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 58.
21. (21) Cody Ware, Chevrolet, 58.

# Rookie.
(i) Ineligible for sequence factors.

Common pace of race winner: 177.749 mph.
Time of race: 50 minutes, 38 seconds. Margin of victory:  0.165 seconds.
Warning flags: One for 3 laps.
Lead adjustments: Two amongst three drivers.
Lap leaders: W. Byron 1-15; L. Cassill 16;Ok. Harvick 17-60.
Leaders abstract (driver, occasions led, laps led):  Kevin Harvick one time for 44 laps; William Byron one time for 15 laps; Landon Cassill one time for one lap.

Monster Power NASCAR Cup Sequence race: Gander RV Duel 2

End (beginning place), driver, producer, laps accomplished
1. (3)  Joey Logano, Ford, 60.
2. (4)  Clint Bowyer, Ford, 60.
3. (9)  Aric Almirola, Ford, 60.
4. (6)  Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 60.
5. (10)  Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 60.
6. (8)  Ryan Blaney, Ford, 60.
7. (14)  Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 60.
8. (2)  Chase Elliott, Chevrolet, 60.
9. (5)  Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 60.
10. (17)  Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 60.
11. (11)  David Ragan, Ford, 60.
12. (16)  Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 60.
13. (1)  Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, 59.
14. (7)  Erik Jones, Toyota, 59.
15. (15)  Brendan Gaughan(i), Chevrolet, 59.
16. (19)  Corey LaJoie, Ford, 59.
17. (13)  Casey Mears, Chevrolet, 59.
18. (12)  Michael McDowell, Ford, 58.
19. (18)  Ross Chastain(i), Chevrolet, 57.
20. (21)  Joey Gase(i), Toyota, 57.
21. (20)  BJ McLeod(i), Chevrolet, 57.

(i) Ineligible for sequence factors.

verage pace of race winner:  193.133 mph.
Time of race: 46 minuttes, 36 seconds. Margin of victory:  0.126 seconds.
Warning Flags: Zero.
Lead adjustments: 4 amongst 4 drivers.
Lap leaders: A. Bowman 1-11;C. Bowyer 12-13; B. Gaughan(i) 14-20; C. Bowyer 21-59; J. Logano 60.
Leaders abstract (driver, occasions led, laps led): Clint Bowyer two occasions for 41 laps; Alex Bowman one time for 11 laps; Brendan Gaughan(i) one time for seven laps; Joey Logano one time for one lap.

Reid Spencer writes for the NASCAR Wire Service. This text has been up to date with the outcomes of the second Duel race.

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