Harvick, Logano Give Ford A Sweep Of Daytona Duels

Duel winners Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano
Duel winners Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Have you driven a Ford lately? The winners of Thursday night’s Gander RV Duel at Daytona qualifying races were.

Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano showed the muscle of the new Ford Mustang in by scoring wins in their respective qualifying races at the Daytona Internationals Speedway.

The twin events sets the field for the Sunday’s running of the Daytona 500.

The wins give Harvick and Logano starting spots in the second row of the “Great American Race" and it gives the Mustang its first visit to Victory Lane in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

It also gives Ford a 1-2-3 sweep in both Duel races.

In the first 60-lap race, Harvick got out front after a series of pit stops and went on to score the win.

[adinserter name="GOOGLE AD"]“It handled good when we were behind cars," Harvick said. “Last week taught us that we needed to have track position. They did a good job on pit road and got on and off pit road and then we had a couple Ford Mustangs behind us as well. Ricky and Paul worked with us and we were able to keep the track position and our cars were fast enough together to keep everyone else back there. I am really proud of everybody on our Busch Beer Ford Mustang. It is a great way to get Mustang into victory lane."

Harvick was out front of a strong battle for second over the final lap, as Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. and Paul Menard raced side by side coming to the finish line. At the stripe, it was Stenhouse edging out Menard, giving Ford a sweep of the top three.

Meanwhile, behind the leaders, Parker Kligerman edged out Ryan Truex and Tyler Reddick to make the transfer into Sunday’s running of the Great American Race. Reddick will make the field on time, while Truex miss the race.

“Yeah, this is awesome. This is incredible," Kligerman said. “I can’t believe we just raced our way into the Daytona 500. That was insane those last couple laps. It’s a bit bittersweet though, because Ryan (Truex) is a good buddy of mine and having to beat him. I feel like it would’ve been cooler if it was like two vs. two there at the end, which it kind of was, but it would’ve been cool to race to the line together or something. It was a little bit of an odd race that we had. We were just kind of blocking each other at the end. Hey, look, it’s about this Toyota Camry getting into the Daytona 500 and we did that."

The race was slowed by just one caution, when contact between Kyle Busch and Jimmie Johnson sent Busch spinning down the backstretch and leaving both cars with damage. Both drivers were able to continue.

The incident comes on the heels of a shunt in Sunday’s Advance Auto Parts Clash between Johnson and Paul Menard that resulted in a 17 car pile up.

Duel 1 finish - no one can beat the narrower Fords
Duel 1 finish – no one can beat the narrower Fords

“Yeah, I just got it wrong. Clearly," Johnson said after Thursday night’s race. “We got three wide and I just kind of misjudged that situation in being three wide and trying to tuck in behind Kyle. Unfortunately, just turned him around. Apologies to he and his team and I know that is not what they wanted with their 500 car, but I just got it wrong there."

There was a flurry of pit road penalties during the lone green flag pit stop in the 60 lap event. The most potent of the penalties was handed down to Brad Keselowski for fueling the car outside of the pit box. That resulted in a one lap penalty for the Team Penske driver.

Matt DiBenedetto finished in fourth, with Martin Truex, Jr. in fifth.

In the second race, Logano used a push from his teammate, Ryan Blaney, to get alongside Clint Bowyer on the final lap, and went on to score his first career Duel victory.

Bowyer had paced the race, which went flag-to-flag without a caution flag, for 41 of 60 laps. He looked untouchable with the Toyota of Denny Hamlin tucked underneath his back bumper.

But Logano’s last lap maneuver denied Bowyer the chance of matching his Stewart-Haas Racing teammate, Harvick, with a trip to victory lane.

“I got a good run from the 12 (Blaney) behind me and went to the bottom and got a good run. Was able to side draft the 10 (Almirola) and pull him back and just barely get enough to break that plane in front of the 14 (Bowyer) and clear him up. From there I was just blocking to the finish like. My spotter T.J. (Majors) did a great job feeding me all the information I needed to make a decision. We had a really fast Shell Pennzoil Mustang.

“It is cool to see a couple Mustangs in victory lane already. I hope it continues for the big race on Sunday. Great start for our race team. Off we go."

In the end, Bowyer had to settle for second. He said afterwards he didn’t know what he could have done differently.

Duel 2 finish - Logano's Ford blew everyone off at the finish
Duel 2 finish – Logano's Ford blew everyone off at the finish

“I guess I could have gone down there and blocked a little bit but when you are leading the train like you can’t see the runs that are coming behind you. All you can do is hear your spotter telling you that they are coming but I can’t tell if he pulls out how fast they are coming or anything else. They came with a big run and by the time he got to me, I could have gone down there and blocked it and gotten myself wrecked. It was just one of those things."

Almirola came home in third, with Hamlin in fourth and Kurt Busch in fifth.

Behind the fight for the win, Brendan Gaughan turned in a 15th place finish, good enough to make the final transfer spot into Sunday’s Daytona 500.

“I had to change strategies on the fly," Gaughan said. “Darren Shaw, my crew chief, and Ron Lewis, my spotter did a great job. Thank you, Corey LaJoie. He just kind of stuck right in there with us on that pit stop and that’s what got us in this position, so, thank you, guys. We’ll see you at the Daytona 500!"

Joey Gase joins Ryan Treux in missing the field for the season opener.

Results Duel 1

1 4 Kevin Harvick Ford 0.000s 60
2 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Ford 0.165 60
3 21 Paul Menard Ford 0.172 60
4 95 Matt DiBenedetto Toyota 0.298 60
5 19 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota 0.331 60
6 43 Bubba Wallace Chevy 0.376 60
7 37 Chris Buescher Chevy 0.393 60
8 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevy 0.415 60
9 6 Ryan Newman Ford 0.516 60
10 47 Ryan Preece # Chevy 0.935 60
11 41 Daniel Suarez Ford 13.729 60
12 96 * Parker Kligerman(i) Toyota 15.387 60
13 31 * Tyler Reddick(i) Chevy 15.463 60
14 71 * Ryan Truex(i) Chevy 15.659 60
15 00 Landon Cassill Chevy 29.406 60
16 24 William Byron Chevy 60
17 8 Daniel Hemric # Chevy -1 59
18 18 Kyle Busch Toyota -1 59
19 36 Matt Tifft # Ford -1 59
20 2 Brad Keselowski Ford -2 58
21 52 Cody Ware Chevy -2 58

Results Duel 2

1 22 Joey Logano Ford 0.000s 60
2 14 Clint Bowyer Ford 0.126 60
3 10 Aric Almirola Ford 0.262 60
4 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota 0.268 60
5 1 Kurt Busch Chevy 0.378 60
6 12 Ryan Blaney Ford 0.401 60
7 40 Jamie McMurray Chevy 0.470 60
8 9 Chase Elliott Chevy 0.516 60
9 3 Austin Dillon Chevy 0.577 60
10 13 Ty Dillon Chevy 7.977 60
11 38 David Ragan Ford 26.661 60
12 42 Kyle Larson Chevy 59.603 60
13 88 Alex Bowman Chevy -1 59
14 20 Erik Jones Toyota -1 59
15 62 * Brendan Gaughan(i) Chevy -1 59
16 32 Corey LaJoie Ford -1 59
17 27 * Casey Mears Chevy -1 59
18 34 Michael McDowell Ford -2 58
19 15 Ross Chastain(i) Chevy -3 57
20 66 * Joey Gase(i) Toyota -3 57
21 51 BJ McLeod(i) Chevy -3 57



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