Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet SS team added a win Thursday afternoon in the first Budweiser Duel at Daytona International Speedway to their Sprint Unlimited win on Saturday night to give the Richard Childress Racing driver a perfect start to Budweiser Speedweeks.
Later in the day, Kyle Busch took the checkered flag in the second 150-mile Budweiser Duel.
Harvick started the Daytona 500 qualifying event from the 13th position and took over the lead on lap 37 of the 60-lap race. Harvick held onto the top spot after coming down pit road for fuel and right-side tires on lap 41and took the checkered flag for the second non-points paying event of the 2013 season.
"I just want to thank everybody on our Budweiser Chevrolet team,” Harvick said in a team statement after the race. “To win the sponsor's race (Budweiser Duels) here (Daytona International Speedway) is hard to align and put it all together. It all worked out for us today. Gil (Martin, crew chief) made a great call on pit road, and it all worked out. We learned a lot during the last two races, and we're ready to go racing on Sunday."
The qualifying races set the rest of the field for the Daytona 500 with the front row already set by Sunday’s qualifying runs. Stewart-Haas Racing driver Danica Patrick will start from the pole and Jeff Gordon will line up beside the NASCAR Sprint Cup rookie. Harvick will line up third and Busch will take the green flag from the fourth spot.
All eyes will be on Patrick, the first female to win a pole for a NASCAR race, when she leads the field to the green flag on Sunday afternoon.