Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano went to Victory Lane in their respective Gander RV Duel at Daytona International Speedway on Thursday night.
The two 150-mile qualifying races set the lineup for Sunday’s Daytona 500.
Harvick held off Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and a pack of cars at the checkered flag to take the win in the opener.
“We knew we had a fast car and I don’t have any concerns we won’t have the same Sunday in the 500,” Harvick said.
The Stewart-Haas Racing driver led 44 laps.
“Our Ford was fast and I had Stenhouse and the 21 (Paul Menard) behind us and we wanted a Ford in Victory Lane,” Harvick said. “I’m just glad I came out on the right side of it and everything is not torn up.
“I have to thank everybody who has touched this superspeedway cars, they’re great. Switching over to the Mustang, it’s a big deal, and it’s a great way to not get Speedweeks started but get to Victory Lane.”
Paul Menard, Matt DiBenedetto and Martin Truex Jr. rounded out the top five.
Parker Kligerman’s 12th-place finish earned him a spot in the Daytona 500 starting lineup.
There was one caution on lap 26 when Jimmie Johnson made slight contact with Kyle Busch. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver slide down the backstretch without making contact with anything.
“I just got it wrong, clearly. We were three wide and I just kind of misjudged that situation begin three wide and trying to tuck in behind Kyle (Busch). Sincere apologies to he and his team,” Johnson said in taking blame for the incident.
Busch wasn’t accepting of Johnson’s apologies.
“Tell him I don’t want to hear it,” he said. “Tell him to use his eyeballs. That’s twice in two races he’s done the same thing.” (Read More)
In the second race, Logano used a power move to pass Clint Bowyer coming out of Turn 2 on the final lap and went on to take the victory.
“You had the whole race to think about it. … the later you do it the less the risk if it doesn’t work,” Logano said of his move that took him from fourth to first.
“There’s a lot of anxiousness behind me, everyone was really wanting to go. I just thought, ‘Man, I just gotta wait, gotta wait.’ The later you do it the less the risk if it doesn’t work.”
Bowyer, Aric Almirola, Denny Hamlin and Kurt Busch completed the first five finishers.
Brendan Gaughan was able to take the final transfer spot to claim a starting berth in the Daytona 500.
“This absolutely sucks and I’m too old to feel these butterflies! We got in, I had to do it the hard way, but I’d much rather do it the easy way,” Gaughan said of outracing Joey Gase and Ryan Truex for the last spot. “It’s much more simple.”