Kevin Harvick wins first Daytona 500 duel race
|By Charles Bradley||Thursday, February 21st 2013, 20:33 GMT|
Kevin Harvick won the first of the 150-mile 'Duel' qualifying races at Daytona on Thursday afternoon, setting one half of the grid for Sunday's showpiece 500-mile NASCAR Sprint Cup opener.
This race featured the 500 polesitter, Danica Patrick, plus the entrants that finished in the odd-numbered positions from qualifying last Sunday.
Patrick failed to lead the opening lap though, as fellow front-row sitter Trevor Bayne hit the front form the outside lane.
Bayne led the opening half of the race, until Harvick found a way to make the inside line work and he drafted past just before the pitstops.
Swift service kept Harvick, who also won last Saturday's Sprint Unlimited non-points event, out front. He headed Greg Biffle, Martin Truex Jr and Jimmie Johnson until the race's only caution with less than 10 laps to go.
Denny Hamlin got loose off Turn 2 and clipped Carl Edwards, sending the Roush Fenway Ford driver head-on into the wall. He was unhurt.
"I was minding my own business," said Edwards. "I saw in my mirror Denny get sideways - I thought 'what in the blip'!
"It's the fourth time we've wrecked a car down here. The car's broke. She's all torn up. At least I know what the wrecks look like here."
Also involved were Bayne and Regan Smith, who collided in a secondary incident after Bayne had already hit Edwards.
Harvick kept the lead at the restart, holding off Biffle as he did on Saturday, ahead of Juan Pablo Montoya, Johnson and Kurt Busch. Montoya did an amazing job to charge to third after he restarted 13th following a pitstop for lengthy repairs under yellow.
Winner Harvick said: "The cars are a lot free-er [compared to the night race], but you have to be precise with the timing in the draft, or you get hung out. It was a great race for us again."
Patrick finished in 17th and said: "I learned some. Harvick's got it figured out, hasn't he? The top line is the way to go. I lifted a little at the start. I was really tight in that race."
After the race, Truex was penalised for not having his side window in place, which guaranteed ex-Formula 1 racer Scott Speed's starting spot in the 500.
Results - 60 laps: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Kevin Harvick Childress Chevrolet 50m40.000s 2. Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Ford + 0.165s 3. Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet + 0.354s 4. Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Chevrolet + 0.379s 5. Kurt Busch Furniture Row Chevrolet + 0.446s 6. Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Chevrolet + 0.535s 7. Brad Keselowski Penske Ford + 0.593s 8. Casey Mears Germain Ford + 0.622s 9. Dale Earnhardt Jr Hendrick Chevrolet + 0.678s 10. Joey Logano Penske Ford + 0.730s 11. Bobby Labonte JTG Daugherty Toyota + 0.738s 12. David Gilliland Front Row Ford + 0.811s 13. Joe Nemechek NEMCO Toyota + 0.829s 14. Michael Waltrip Waltrip Toyota + 0.854s 15. Scott Speed Leavine Ford + 0.944s 16. David Reutimann BK Ford + 0.961s 17. Danica Patrick Stewart-Haas Chevrolet + 6.294s 18. Regan Smith Finch Chevrolet + 31.440s 19. Martin Truex Jr Waltrip Toyota + 31.907s 20. Denny Hamlin Gibbs Toyota + 1 lap 21. Brian Keselowski Keseolwski Toyota + 2 laps Did not finish: Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Ford + 8 laps Trevor Bayne Wood Brothers Ford + 8 laps