Chase Elliott Scores Second-Straight Can-Am Duel Win

Chase Elliott wins the Can Am Duel at Daytona
Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Chase Elliott raced his way to victory in Thursday night's second Can-Am Duel qualifying race at Daytona International Speedway for the second straight year, putting his No. 9 Chevrolet on the second row for Sunday's season-opening Daytona 500.

Elliott surged past Denny Hamlin on lap 27 and led the rest of the way, holding off a hard-charging Kevin Harvick by a car length at the line.

Erik Jones rallied from an earlier spin to finish third, followed by Clint Bowyer and Kyle Busch.

Elliott proved to be the bright spot of the night for Hendrick Motorsports – earning team owner Rick Hendrick his 15th Duel victory. Seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson and rookie William Byron both crashed out of the opening Duel race, while Daytona 500 pole sitter Alex Bowman opted to ride around to a 14th-place finish in the first Duel.

"We brought a lot of steam tonight," Elliott said. "The one on Sunday is the one we want, the one that counts, the one that everybody is after. Obviously a lot of racing after that, too.

"This is an exciting event. Having the Duels I think is pretty cool. But, man, the kicker would be to have a good run Sunday. That's where our focus is at."

Like the opening Can-Am Duel race, the second 60-lap race started off a one team leading the way, with the Joe Gibbs Racing stable of Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch and Erik Jones ganging up on the field in the early laps.

But unlike the first Duel, the teammate partnership didn't last in the second race as Hamlin abandoned his teammates to pick up a surging inside line, hanging Busch and Jones out to dry on the outside.

The move almost turned disastrous for Jones, who would spin off the front bumper of Elliott on lap 13, bringing out the race's only caution. Matt DiBenedetto and Kyle Larson were also caught up in the wreck, but Jones was able to continue on.

Harvick briefly held the lead on the ensuing restart before Hamlin battled back to reclaim the top spot, with Harvick and Paul Menard falling back in line running second and third.

By lap 25, Elliott had rallied back to move into second place, then ducked under Hamlin with a power move to take the lead away on lap 27.

Over the remaining 30 laps, Elliott held the top spot as Hamlin and Harvick followed single-file looking for an opening. Finally, with two laps to go, Harvick moved to the inside, forcing Elliott to go low to block, leaving Hamlin to fall back through the field.

Over the final lap, Harvick tried the high side and the middle as Elliott worked the entire track to block. Harvick's teammate Clint Bowyer stepped up to try to push Harvick to the front, but soon found themselves holding off a resurgent Erik Jones, who rallied to challenge the leaders on the inside. Jones made it alongside of Bowyer and just edged ahead at the stripe to claim the third spot, as Bowyer came home fourth.

Duel 2 Results

Pos St No. Driver Team Laps Status
1 5 9 Chase Elliott NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet 60 Running
2 4 4 Kevin Harvick Jimmy John's Ford 60 Running
3 3 20 Erik Jones DEWALT Toyota 60 Running
4 8 14 Clint Bowyer Rush Truck Centers Ford 60 Running
5 2 18 Kyle Busch M&M's Toyota 60 Running
6 7 3 Austin Dillon DOW Chevrolet 60 Running
7 6 21 Paul Menard OmnicraftAutoParts/QuickLaneTire&AutoCntr Ford 60 Running
8 10 6 Trevor Bayne AdvoCare Ford 60 Running
9 1 11 Denny Hamlin FedEx Express Toyota 60 Running
10 15 47 AJ Allmendinger Kroger ClickList Chevrolet 60 Running
11 12 34 Michael McDowell Love's Travel Stops Ford 60 Running
12 13 78 Martin Truex Jr. Bass Pro Shops/5-hour Energy Toyota 60 Running
13 9 95 Kasey Kahne Procore Chevrolet 60 Running
14 14 7 Danica Patrick GoDaddy Chevrolet 60 Running
15 17 96 DJ Kennington LORDCO/Castrol Toyota 58 Running
16 19 72 Corey LaJoie Schulter Systems Chevrolet 58 Running
17 20 23 Gray Gaulding Toyota 55 Running
18 18 66 Mark Thompson Phoenix Air Racing Ford 32 Vibration
19 16 32 Matt DiBenedetto The Hurricane Heist Ford 11 Accident
20 11 42 Kyle Larson Credit One Bank Chevrolet 11 Accident

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