Cup Series

Logano, Harvick win Duels, Daytona 500 Lineup Set

It was a lackluster night in Daytona on Thursday as the field was set for the Daytona 500. Both races became follow-the-leader events as Joey Logano and Kevin Harvick took home the hardware.

Duel One

It was William Byron leading the first 15 laps, until the pit window opened. The manufacturers decided to stop together, pitting a Chevrolet vs. Ford battle on pit lane. The Fords emerged victorious, claiming the lead from Byron and Jimmie Johnson with Kevin Harvick out front.

On a night short in action, the highlight was the contact made by Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch. After Johnson was shuffled to mid-pack following pit stops, Johnson made contact with Busch as he attempted to merge back into the draft line.

It was a mistake, according to Johnson, who admitted as much after the race. “I just got it wrong,” Johnson said. “I thought I knew where I was with my right front, and I just got it wrong.”

That contact caused Busch to spin, eventually putting him a lap down. Busch would never recover, finishing 18th.

From there, Kevin Harvick took control of the race and never really looked back. He led 44 laps on his way to the win and was never challenged by Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who was content to ride and accept his second place finish.

Bubba Wallace and Ryan Preece tried to make something happen late, but their run fell apart on the bottom. Wallace was able to turn in a sixth place finish, while Preece ended up tenth.

Parker Kligerman won his battle over Ryan Truex, thanks to a push from Kyle Busch. Kligerman’s 12th place finish was good enough to put him in the Daytona 500 field.

Duel Two

Nearly a mirror image of duel one, the second race of the night started with a Hendrick driver dominating the opening portion of the race. Alex Bowman led the opening 11 laps of the race, with Chase Elliott running second. That all changed during pit stops, however.

Brendan Gaughan stayed out to grab seven laps led, but when he stopped, things cycled back around to Clint Bowyer. The Stewart-Haas Racing driver saw Denny Hamlin in his mirror, but it was a Ford party after that — meaning Hamlin had no help to pull anything off for the lead.

The only intrigue in this race was the efforts of Chase Elliott, who refused to simply ride around. Elliott hovered around seventh to tenth, moving up then falling back. He didn’t have any help, so Elliott was attempting to do it alone using side-draft. Unfortunately for Elliott, he was never able to get anywhere.

The race came down to the final lap, where Joey Logano sprung a move on Bowyer for the lead. The 2018 NASCAR Cup Series champ took the lead off turn two and never looked back.

Deeper in the field, Gaughan was able to finish ahead of Joey Gase to secure his spot in the Daytona 500 field.

Full Daytona 500 Lineup

  1. William Byron
  2. Alex Bowman
  3. Kevin Harvick
  4. Joey Logano
  5. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  6. Clint Bowyer
  7. Paul Menard
  8. Aric Almirola
  9. Matt DiBenedetto
  10. Denny Hamlin
  11. Martin Truex Jr.
  12. Kurt Busch
  13. Bubba Wallace
  14. Ryan Blaney
  15. Chris Buescher
  16. Jamie McMurray
  17. Jimmie Johnson
  18. Chase Elliott
  19. Ryan Newman
  20. Austin Dillon
  21. Ryan Preece
  22. Ty Dillon
  23. Daniel Suarez
  24. David Ragan
  25. Parker Kligerman
  26. Kyle Larson
  27. Landon Cassill
  28. Erik Jones
  29. Daniel Hemric
  30. Brendan Gaughan
  31. Kyle Busch
  32. Corey Lajoie
  33. Matt Tifft
  34. Michael McDowell
  35. Brad Keselowski
  36. Ross Chastain
  37. Cody Ware
  38. BJ McLeod
  39. Tyler Reddick
  40. Casey Mears
Terry Lambert
Terry Lambert is the Co-Owner of FifthTurn.com, which covers all things NASCAR.
http://fifthturn.com

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