Tony Stewart, Matt Kenseth win Gatorade Duels at Daytona

Posted by imelda sovzky on Thursday, February 23, 2012

Duel 1
Tony Stewart wins first Gatorade Duel
The Gatorade Duel Qualifying race for the Daytona500 had some fireworks. Tony Stewart was victorious in the race followed byDale Earnhardt Jr., Marcos Ambrose, Jeff Burton, and Carl Edwards. MichaelMcDowell and Robby Gordon earn starting spots in the Daytona 500. 

The first incidentof the day occurred in between turn 1 and 2 when David Gilliland came up acrossthe track after being tapped in the rear left corner by Michael McDowell. WhenGilliland came up across the track he collected Paul Menard and Juan PabloMontoya. Brad Keselowski also had minor damage. Gilliland, Montoya, Menard willhave to start from rear of the Daytona 500 due to having to go to back up cars. 

After a long stretch of a green flag run, we started to see green flag pitstops. When Denny Hamlin and Marcos Ambrose pitted for stops together so theycould have each other to draft with once they got back out onto the track. 
Forthe first time in a few years, the pack overtook the two car tandem and Ambroseand Hamlin both went a lap down. 

After Michael Waltrip took a pit stop he cameback onto the track and with no help at the beginning of the backstretch gotloose and turned up head first into the wall and ruined his chances of racingin this year’s Daytona 500. 

On the final restart with 4 laps to go. TonyStewart and Kevin Harvick were out front. On the final lap on the backstretch,Jamie McMurray got into Aric Almirola which sent Almirola’s car into DanicaPatrick’s car spinning head on into the inside wall on the backstretch causingsome of the barrier to give and her car was totaled. Danica was fine after thewreck. In an interview with SPEED Danica described the wreck; she said it “Happenedreally quick.” At the end of the interview she says (laughing) “maybe theback-up car will be faster.” 

When the caution came out, the race went to yellowand Tony Stewart won. After the race Stewart commented on Michael Waltrip missing the 500, Tony said “MichaelWaltrip eats, sleeps and breathes Daytona and Talladega. It’ll be a shame if hemisses (the 500).”  

Trevor Bayne, who isalready locked into 500, failed to finish in top 2 Go-or-Go homers spots whichmeans in Duel 2 Kenny Wallace will have to race his way into the Daytona 500. Aftera crazy first duel we’ll see what the second one brings.

Duel 1 Results

Duel 2
Matt Kenseth wins Duel 2 at Daytona
Avery cautious and quiet duel 2 ended up with Matt Kenseth winning the race.Dave Blaney and Joe Nemechek raced their way into the Daytona 500. Most of therace had little action, teams were very cautious not to wreck their Daytona 500cars. 

Kenny Wallace’s car lost the draft halfway through the race and neverre-grouped and he will miss the Daytona 500. 

The most action occurred at thelast 2 laps. Going to the white flag Matt Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson got a rundrafting each other and when Greg Biffle tried to move up in front of them heslid up the track and Kenseth and Johnson moved lower down the track andcontinued on. At the end of the backstretch on the final lap, Regan Smith andJimmie Johnson made contact which allowed Matt Kenseth to pull ahead and winthe race. 

Finishing 2nd was Regan Smith and 3rd wasJimmie Johnson. The 2nd race had much more of a qualifying race feel toit. Expect the Daytona 500 to be more like the first Gatorade Duel.

Duel 2 Results

Daytona 500 Line up

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