Tony Stewart wins first Gatorade Duel at Daytona 500

Reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart took victory in the opening Gatorade Duel race to set the field for Sunday's Daytona 500

Tony Stewart wins first Gatorade Duel at Daytona 500

As Stewart claimed victory, his Stewart Haas Chevrolet team-mate Danica Patrick suffered a massive shunt on the final lap after making contact with Richard Petty Motorsport's Aric Almirola, as she ran in conservative mode at the back of the pack. Patrick was one of eight drivers who failed to finish the race but she was already qualified for Sunday's event regardless, thanks to a points swap with Tommy Baldwin's outfit ahead of the race.

"We had a great racecar since we got here, especially when I messed up the car for Shootout," said Stewart, who claimed his 17th race win at Daytona, an accolade that puts him second best in the all-time rankings at the famed Speedway. "That all three teams dug in together and got us a car put back together that almost won the Shootout the other night was a testimony to how hard this organisation has worked,"

The first race of the day featured less carnage than Saturday's Budweiser Shootout, as 18 of the 25 participating drivers had their starts in the main race guaranteed. However the first caution period began on lap nine as David Gilliland's Front Row Motorsports Ford was turned around after contact from Michael McDowell, who was apparently being pushed by last year's Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne.

Gilliland turned right and crashed hard into the Chevrolets of Earnhardt Ganassi's Juan Pablo Montoya and Richard Childress Racing's Paul Menard, all of them finishing their races on the spot and being forced into back-up cars for Sunday's event.

Michael Waltrip caused the final caution six laps from the end after losing control of his Toyota while getting back up to speed from his last pitstop. That allowed most of the field to pit for a splash of fuel as some were stretching their mileage in order to make it to the end of the race.

Stewart stayed out under the caution with RCR's Kevin Harvick but it was the reigning champion who eventually managed to remain ahead all the way to the chequered flag, getting a push from Hendrick's Dale Earnhardt Jr before the caution waved for Patrick's crash on the final lap.

McDowell and Robby Gordon got the two transfer spots from the first duel after finishing sixth and ninth respectively.

Results - 60 laps: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 56m34.000s 2. Dale Earnhardt Jr Hendrick Chevrolet + 0.403s 3. Marcos Ambrose Petty Ford + 0.570s 4. Michael McDowell Parsons Ford + 0.811s 5. Robby Gordon Gordon Dodge + 0.906s 6. Jeff Burton Childress Chevrolet + 1.507s 7. Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Ford + 1.642s 8. AJ Allmendinger Penske Dodge + 1.837s 9. Kevin Harvick Childress Chevrolet + 2.029s 10. Jamie McMurray Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet + 2.303s 11. Ricky Stenhouse Jr Roush Fenway Ford + 2.358s 12. Trevor Bayne Wood Brothers Ford + 2.369s 13. Brad Keselowski Penske Dodge + 2.908s 14. David Ragan Front Row Ford + 3.644s 15. Aric Almirola Petty Ford + 1m13.690s Did not finish: Danica Patrick Baldwin Chevrolet 59 laps Denny Hamlin Gibbs Toyota 59 laps Michael Waltrip Waltrip Toyota 51 laps David Stremme Inception Toyota 27 laps Mike Wallace Inception Toyota 23 laps Terry Labonte FAS Lane Ford 12 laps David Gilliland Front Row Ford 8 laps Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet 8 laps Paul Menard Childress Chevrolet 8 laps Landon Cassill BK Toyota 3 laps 
shares
comments
Dodge to unveil 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup car next month at Las Vegas

Previous article

Dodge to unveil 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup car next month at Las Vegas

Next article

Matt Kenseth snatches victory in second Gatorade Duel at Daytona

Matt Kenseth snatches victory in second Gatorade Duel at Daytona
Load comments

About this article

Series NASCAR
Author Diego Mejía
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