Harvick: Daytona poleman Bowman's NASCAR Duel strategy a waste of time

Daytona 500 pole winner Alex Bowman's strategy in the NASCAR Cup series' Duel races was a "complete waste of time", says Stewart-Haas Racing's Kevin Harvick

After securing pole position in last weekend's qualifying sessions, Bowman opted to drop from pole to the rear of the grid in the Thursday night's opening Duel race that helps set the remainder of the grid.

The Hendrick Motorsports driver finished the Duel in 14th place after a cautious run that prevented him experiencing draft running.

Harvick said Bowman's strategy cost him crucial experience that could help him in Sunday's race.

"Alex Bowman didn't learn anything today, in my opinion," said Harvick, who finished runner-up to Chase Elliott in the second qualifying race.

"Riding around starting on the pole is great, but not knowing what your car is going to do is a complete waste of time, in my opinion."

Harvick also added that Bowman's strategy goes against NASCAR's attempts to re-energise the racing.

The stage format was implemented for the 2017 season partly to prevent dead rubber scenarios.

"Everybody knows that you have to go into these qualifying races and race, in my opinion, because if you finish outside of the top 10, you gave up 10 points to the guy who won already," said Harvick.

"That hole keeps getting bigger. That's what the new points system and stage racing has done. That's the way we should race.

"That's the way we've raced from the beginning, late model cars and short races."

Bowman defended his approach as part of Hendrick's strategy for the 500.

"I think we showed our hand, we were pretty trimmed out," he said.

"We came down here to sit on the pole and we wanted to be the Camaro ZL1 first's pole and we achieved that.

"But we weren't going to tear it up tonight for sure."

Asked if he was concerned he spent little time drafting, Bowman said: "No, because we ran some really fast lap times and our car drove OK.

"I really thought it was going to drive worse than it did.

"We have an entirely different set-up that we can just make it drive better for the 500.

"We will see what final practice is and how it goes. I think we can draft a little bit there, but I think we will be fine."

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