Kevin Harvick does it again, and is 2 for 2 during Speedweeks after winning the first Daytona 500 qualifying race.
Once again Harvick held off Greg Biffle, just as he was able to do during Saturday night’s Sprint Cup Unlimited Race, over a four-lap dash to the checkers to win the first 150 mile Budweiser Duel #1 race.
“Obviously it’s been a great start to Speedweeds obviously with the Unlimited,” Harvick said. “To get our first win with Budweiser onboard for the first time in the Duels is really cool. I think that’s only going to get better as you get all the cars in the pack. Hopefully on Sunday we’ll be able to be right back here.”
The field for the season opener the Daytona 500 on Sunday is set by the results from the pair of 60-lap qualifiers, known as the Budweiser Duels, where during qualifying the field is set by the odd, who go on to compete in the Duel #1, and the even cars, who go on to compete in the Duel #2.
Danica Patrick started on the pole for the first duel race and needed to keep her car intact to remain onto her front row starting position in the Daytona 500, which she won during the qualifying laps this past Sunday. Patrick raced a little for the beginning of the race, and then slowly faded to the back of the field, Patrick ended up with a 17th finish out of 23 cars.
“The top line was the way to go,” Patrick said after stepping out of her car. “I lifted a little on the start cause I got a bit of a jump and I didn’t want them to close so fast and then get freight trained, once I dropped back we just hung there, I was really tight, we tighten the car up yesterday, we tightened it even more for today, I feel like we kind of over shot for today.”
With 7 laps remaining in a incident free duel, Denny Hamlin got loose and triggered a four car accident, involving Regan Smith, driver of the #51 Guy Roofing Chevrolet, Trevor Bayne, driver of the #21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford and Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Fastenal Ford, who ended up with much of the damage after slamming hard into the safer barrier.
Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota, was moved to the rear of the race due to a safety infraction of having no side glass in the racecar or not properly installed. Which means Scott Speed, driver of the #95 Leavine Family Racing Ford will make the Daytona 500.