Daytona 500: Ryan Blaney and Chase Elliott win Duel races

Ryan Blaney and Chase Elliott took victories in the NASCAR Cup's Daytona Duel races, securing second row starts for Sunday's Daytona 500

Daytona 500: Ryan Blaney and Chase Elliott win Duel races

In the first duel Team Penske replicated its dominant form from last Sunday's Clash race, running 1-2-3 with Blaney sandwiched between Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski for the majority of the 60 laps.

With only a few laps remaining, Blaney made what would transpire to be the race-winning move, dipping to the inside line into Turn 1 and passing Logano moments before the third Penske Ford of Keselowski caused a late caution.

Clash winner Keselowski collided with the rapidly advancing Jamie McMurray on the back straight, having left the door open for the Chip Ganassi car to draw partly alongside him.

This caused Keselowski to turn himself into the wall, the ensuing damage forcing a switch to his back-up car for the Daytona 500.

Logano initially dropped to third during the final restart, but made a last-gasp draft pass around the outside of the final turn to steal second place away from Cup rookie Darrell Wallace Jr of Richard Petty Motorsports.

Fourth place went to a determined Ricky Stenhouse Jr, who spent more time than anyone else on the inside lane trying to start passing moves.

His overtaking attempts did contribute to two separate crashes, as the aerodynamic instability caused by his passing meant both William Byron and David Gilliland had separate spins into the wall moments after Stenhouse started to pull alongside them.

Kurt Busch made it four Fords in the top five, leading home Ryan Newman, David Ragan, the recovering Daniel Suarez and McMurray, with Chris Buescher rounding out the top 10.

Suarez had been delayed in an incident that took Jimmie Johnson out of a second race in a row. Following his late crash in the Clash race, Johnson punctured a tyre early in the first Duel. He speared into Aric Almirola after losing control at speed, with Suarez also spinning out to avoid the ensuing collision.

Daytona 500 and first Duel polesitter Alex Bowman took a safety-first approach, immediately waving the field by on the opening lap and sitting several seconds behind the lead pack throughout the race.

He finished 14th, second-to-last those still running, but will still start from pole on Sunday.

The only Hendrick Motorsports car in the second race, Elliott secured his second Duel victory in as many years, unusually helped by an early penalty for a pitstop infringement.

Electing to take four tyres during his second stop while the majority of drivers only topped up with fuel, he scythed through the pack and took the lead from Joe Gibbs' Denny Hamlin just before the halfway mark, sweeping down the inside at the first turn.

Hamlin found himself shuffled backwards on the outside during the final two laps and dropped to ninth by the end.

Kevin Harvick, who had led the race briefly after the first round of stops, finished in the runners-up spot to earn a fifth-place grid slot for the Daytona 500.

Erik Jones passed Clint Bowyer exiting the last corner on the final lap to take third. Jones's late move was the culmination of a long comeback drive, being involved in the second Duel's only caution period.

An early passing move by Elliott caused Jones's Joe Gibbs Toyota to become unsettled and spin, collecting Kyle Larson and Matt DiBenedetto - who were both forced to retire afterwards.

Kyle Busch completed the top five, with Austin Dillon, Paul Menard, Trevor Bayne, Hamlin and AJ Allmendinger rounding out the top 10.

Reigning champion Martin Truex Jr was only 12th, while Danica Patrick took 14th in her penultimate NASCAR race.

Despite seven cars failing to finish, all cars competing in the Duels will qualify for the Daytona 500, as only 40 cars entered the event.

shares
comments
NASCAR Cup drivers slam 2018 rules that make data easily accessible

Previous article

NASCAR Cup drivers slam 2018 rules that make data easily accessible

Next article

NASCAR Cup team BK Racing files for bankruptcy ahead of Daytona 500

NASCAR Cup team BK Racing files for bankruptcy ahead of Daytona 500
Load comments
Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR Plus

Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR

There has never been a full-time British driver in the NASCAR Cup. But Alex Sedgwick, who is rising through the stock car ranks, wants that to change and could be a trailblazer for European talents to reach the top echelons of the NASCAR ladder

NASCAR
Feb 28, 2021
How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport Plus

How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport

It's 20 years since legendary driver Dale Earnhardt Sr died at the Daytona 500, but the legacy of his crash continues today through the pioneering safety work done by NASCAR

NASCAR
Feb 18, 2021
The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021 Plus

The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season

NASCAR
Feb 12, 2021
How a second-chance NASCAR ace is rebuilding his career Plus

How a second-chance NASCAR ace is rebuilding his career

From a disgraced NASCAR exile, Kyle Larson has been given a shot at redemption by the powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports squad. Replacing seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson is no easy billing, but Larson has every intention of repaying the team's faith

NASCAR
Feb 11, 2021
Autosport's top 5 NASCAR machines Plus

Autosport's top 5 NASCAR machines

The American stock car scene is more famous for its close racing and occasional punch-ups, but there have been some fantastic machines too. As part of Autosport's 70th anniversary celebrations in 2020, we picked out five of its best

NASCAR
Jan 3, 2021
Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started Plus

Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started

Chase Elliott's late charge to the 2020 NASCAR Cup title defied predictions that it would be a Kevin Harvick versus Denny Hamlin showdown. While the two veterans are showing no signs of slowing down, Elliott's triumph was a window into NASCAR's future

NASCAR
Nov 17, 2020
Why Johnson’s playoff failure won’t tarnish his legacy Plus

Why Johnson’s playoff failure won’t tarnish his legacy

The last season of a retiring NASCAR great has shown promise, and may have resulted in another playoff push without small issues outside his control. 2020 won't be the year Jimmie Johnson would have wanted, but it won't be what he is remembered for

NASCAR
Sep 3, 2020
Why a Le Mans winner is heading into the “unknown world” of NASCAR Plus

Why a Le Mans winner is heading into the “unknown world” of NASCAR

Comparing Porsche's 919 HYBRID LMP1 to NASCAR is motorsport's equivalent of apples and oranges, but this weekend one of Weissach's top works aces will pit his skills against the regulars and revive the tradition of the 'road-course ringer'

NASCAR
Aug 13, 2020