Chase Elliott won his qualifying race for the second straight year, earning the fourth starting position in Sunday’s Daytona 500.
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Chase Elliott celebrates in victory lane after winning the second Duel qualifying race at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 15, 2018. Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images
The Can-Am Duel qualifying races took place Thursday night at Daytona International Speedway. The finish of the twin 150-mile races set the bulk of the starting line for the Daytona 500 on Sunday (3 p.m. ET, Fox). Ryan Blaney took the win in the first Duel, beating Team Penske stablemate Joey Logano and good friend Darrell Wallace Jr.
Who won Duel No. 2?
Denny Hamlin controlled the early stages, but once Chase Elliott passed him on Lap 27 of 60, he led the remainder of the way. It is Elliott’s second consecutive Duel win. Kevin Harvick finished second, with Erik Jones third, Clint Bowyer, fourth and Kyle Busch fifth.
The Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas of Hamlin, Busch, and Jones teamed up at the onset, and much like the Fords controlled the first Duel, it appeared they would do the same in the second qualifier. But the Fords of Harvick and Paul Menard worked together to eventually break up the Toyota pack, and the JGR cars were never able to regroup. Harvick mounted a charge over the final two laps to try and pass Elliott, but with a car he described as ill-handling, Harvick could never get around Elliott.
Who qualified for the Daytona 500?
All 20 drivers in the second Duel advanced to the Daytona 500.
What else of note?
Similar to the first Duel where multiple cars spun after air was taken off the rear, Jones experienced a similar incident when Elliott pulled up to the back of his car before darting to the inside. Jones would spin down the backstretch with Kyle Larson and Matt DiBenedetto collected in the aftermath. While Jones’ car suffered no damage and he continued on, both Larson and DiBenedetto saw their cars heavily damaged. Both will move to backup cars for the Daytona 500. … Hamlin, who started on the pole and led 18 of the first 26 laps, faded to finish ninth. Regardless of the result, he will start second in the Daytona 500 after locking in his spot during qualifying over the weekend. … Danica Patrick finished 14th as she prepares for her final NASCAR start on Sunday. Patrick’s boyfriend, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, was in attendance and watched the qualifier from atop Patrick’s pit box. … Just one caution slowed the Duel, compared to four in the first qualifier.