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
The ex-F1 driver taking on NASCAR with a new team Plus

The ex-F1 driver taking on NASCAR with a new team

Saddled with uncompetitive Minardi machinery, Tarso Marques didn't manage to score points in his three partial seasons of Formula 1. But now the Brazilian has the chance to show what he can do in NASCAR, and explains the story of his comeback with new Cup Series entrant Team Stange

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2022
The early benefits and challenges of NASCAR's Next Gen car Plus

The early benefits and challenges of NASCAR's Next Gen car

NASCAR’s new stock car generation is encouraging an influx of fresh blood into its top tier. But there are concerns that parts are in short supply as the entire paddock tries to build up stocks at the same time

NASCAR
Feb 22, 2022
How Penske's rookie sensation opened NASCAR's new era in style Plus

How Penske's rookie sensation opened NASCAR's new era in style

After holding his nerve and hip-checking his team-mate on the run to the line, Austin Cindric made a perfect start to life as a full-timer in the NASCAR Cup Series by winning the Daytona 500. Here's how the Penske Ford man emerged first across the line in the first points-scoring race for the much-anticipated Next Generation cars

NASCAR
Feb 21, 2022
Six key themes to follow in the 2022 NASCAR Cup season Plus

Six key themes to follow in the 2022 NASCAR Cup season

There are plenty of uncertainties ahead of the 2022 NASCAR Cup season as an all-new fleet of cars take to the track for the first time. Ahead of this weekend's Daytona 500, our experts explain what you need to know

NASCAR
Feb 17, 2022
How NASCAR had to learn a harsh lesson ahead of its Next Gen arrival Plus

How NASCAR had to learn a harsh lesson ahead of its Next Gen arrival

The NASCAR Cup kicks off with the Daytona 500 this weekend, but a major overhaul and a subsequent mountain of work has been required to be ready for the arrival of the Next Gen cars

NASCAR Cup
Feb 16, 2022
How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory Plus

How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory

From villain to hero, Kyle Larson’s journey to the 2021 NASCAR Cup title comes straight from the Hollywood blockbuster scripts. While Larson had to reach his lifelong goal the hard way and go through a very public shaming after a ban for using a racial slur, his talents shone long before his name grabbed the headlines for both the right and the wrong reasons

NASCAR
Nov 10, 2021
How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022 Plus

How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022

It’s not just Formula 1 that’s set for upheaval in 2022, as the NASCAR Cup Series adopts its Next Gen cars that will cast any in-built advantages aside and require teams to adopt a totally new way of operating. Far more than just a change of machinery, the new cars amount to a shift in NASCAR's core philosophy

NASCAR
Oct 12, 2021
Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR Plus

Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR

Bubba Wallace claimed his maiden NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega on Monday to become the first Black victor in the category since Wendell Scott in 1963. Both Wallace and Scott had faced obstacles and racism in their paths to their breakthrough wins, and NASCAR is trying to put it right with its range of diversity programmes

NASCAR
Oct 5, 2021