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Stewart and Kenseth win Daytona Qualifying races

Field is set for Daytona 500
Thursday, February 23, 2012

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Tony Stewart celebrates
Escaping an attempted block from Roush Fenway Racing teammate Greg Biffle, Matt Kenseth took the lead on the final lap of the second of two Gatorade Duel 150-mile qualifying races Thursday at Daytona International Speedway and held off Regan Smith for the win.

Tony Stewart won the first Duel under caution, a half-lap after Danica Patrick took a vicious hit against the inside wall on the backstretch.

In a caution-free race, Kenseth, the 2009 Daytona 500 winner, claimed the first Duel victory ever for Roush Fenway Racing. Smith came home second, followed by Jimmie Johnson, Elliott Sadler and pole-sitter Greg Biffle.

Stewart earned his 15th victory at Daytona in NASCAR's top two series combined, including three in Duel races, three in the Budweiser Shootout, three in the July Sprint Cup race and six in the Nationwide Series. Counting two wins in IROC competition, Stewart has 17 stock-car wins at Daytona, second on the all-time list.

Matt Kenseth
Stewart, the reigning Cup champion, will attempt to win the Daytona 500 for the first time Sunday. Thursday's victory was his first with crew chief Steve Addington, who joined Stewart-Haas Racing during the offseason.

The caution flew after Stewart had led the field to the white flag, with race runner-up Dale Earnhardt Jr. in hot pursuit. Contact from Aric Almirola's Ford launched Patrick's Chevrolet toward the inside SAFER barrier on the backstretch, and impact with the wall was hard enough to lift all four wheels of Patrick's car off the pavement.

Dave Blaney and Joe Nemechek transferred into the Daytona 500 with 12th and 17th-place finishes in the second Duel. Michael McDowell and Robby Gordon finished sixth and ninth, respectively, in the first qualifying race to earn spots in Sunday's 54th running of The Great American Race.

Marcos Ambrose ran third in the first Duel after regaining a lost lap under a late caution, followed by Jeff Burton in fourth with pole-sitter Carl Edwards coming home fifth.

Stewart had led 10 consecutive laps when Michael Waltrip, returning to the track after pitting for a splash of fuel, shot up the banking and into the Turn 2 wall on Lap 53, simultaneously destroying his No. 40 Toyota and his prospects of racing in his 26th consecutive Daytona 500.

Stewart will start third in the 500, with Earnhardt set to roll off fifth. Patrick will start from the rear of the field in a backup car. Kenseth earned the fourth starting position on the Daytona 500 grid, with Smith set to take the green flag from the sixth position.

Race 1 Results

FIN ST CAR DRIVER MAKE SPONSOR PTS/BNS LAPS STATUS
1 6 14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet Office Depot / Mobil 1 0 60 Running
2 2 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet Diet Mountain Dew / National Guard 0 60 Running
3 3 9 Marcos Ambrose Ford Stanley 0 60 Running
4 13 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet Caterpillar 0 60 Running
5 1 99 Carl Edwards Ford Fastenal 0 60 Running
6 21 98 Michael McDowell Ford K-Love / Curb Records 0 60 Running
7 12 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Budweiser 0 60 Running
8 10 22 A.J. Allmendinger Dodge Shell / Pennzoil 0 60 Running
9 25 7 Robby Gordon Dodge Mapei / Menards / Speed Energy 0 60 Running
10 16 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops / Tracker Boats 0 60 Running
11 4 6 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Ford Ford EcoBoost 0 60 Running
12 5 21 Trevor Bayne Ford Motorcraft / Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center 0 60 Running
13 11 2 Brad Keselowski Dodge Miller Lite 0 60 Running
14 9 34 David Ragan Ford Scorpion Truck Bed Liners 0 60 Running
15 7 43 Aric Almirola Ford Smithfield "Helping Hungry Homes" 0 60 Running
16 17 10 Danica Patrick Chevrolet GoDaddy.com 0 59 Accident
17 20 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota FedEx Express 0 59 Running
18 19 140 Michael Waltrip Toyota Aaron's Dream Machine 0 51 Accident
19 15 30 David Stremme Toyota Inception Motorsports 0 27 Vibration
20 24 37 Mike Wallace Ford Poynt.com 0 23 Engine
21 18 32 Terry Labonte Ford C&J Energy 0 12 Vibration
22 23 38 David Gilliland Ford MHP Power Pak Pudding 0 8 Accident
23 14 42 Juan Montoya Chevrolet Target 0 8 Accident
24 8 27 Paul Menard Chevrolet Peak / Menards 0 8 Accident
25 22 83 Landon Cassill Toyota Burger King 0 3 Vibration

* Denotes Rookie

Race 2 Results

FIN ST CAR DRIVER MAKE SPONSOR PTS/BNS LAPS STATUS
1 7 17 Matt Kenseth Ford Best Buy 0 60 Running
2 18 78 Regan Smith Chevrolet Furniture Row / CSX "Play it Safe" 0 60 Running
3 6 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe's 0 60 Running
4 16 33 Elliott Sadler Chevrolet General Mills / Kroger 0 60 Running
5 1 16 Greg Biffle Ford 3M 0 60 Running
6 9 20 Joey Logano Toyota The Home Depot 0 60 Running
7 12 18 Kyle Busch Toyota M&M's Brown 0 60 Running
8 3 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet Drive to End Hunger 0 60 Running
9 8 39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet U.S. Army / Quicken Loans 0 60 Running
10 10 5 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet Farmers Insurance 0 60 Running
11 5 55 Mark Martin Toyota Aaron's Dream Machine 0 60 Running
12 14 36 Dave Blaney Chevrolet Ollie's Bargain Outlet 0 60 Running
13 4 56 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota NAPA Auto Parts 0 60 Running
14 15 51 Kurt Busch Chevrolet HendrickCars.com 0 59 Running
15 24 15 Clint Bowyer Toyota 5-hour Energy 0 59 Running
16 19 47 Bobby Labonte Toyota Kroger 0 59 Running
17 17 87 Joe Nemechek Toyota AMFMEnergy.com / Pellet & Wood Stoves 0 59 Running
18 2 13 Casey Mears Ford GEICO 0 59 Running
19 22 23 Robert Richardson Jr. Toyota North Texas Pipe 0 58 Running
20 20 97 Bill Elliott Toyota AMFMEnergy.com / Pellet & Wood Stoves 0 58 Running
21 13 109 Kenny Wallace Toyota American Ethanol 0 57 Running
22 11 26 Tony Raines Ford Front Row Motorsports 0 9 Vibration
23 21 93 David Reutimann Toyota Burger King 0 6 Vibration
24 23 249 J.J. Yeley Toyota America Israel Racing 0 4 Engine

* Denotes Rookie

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