Thursday, February 18, 2016

Earnhardt, Busch Win Can-Am Duels at Daytona

Originally written for CLNS Radio.

 Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kyle Busch won their CanAm Duels from Daytona International Speedway on Thursday night.
Photo courtesy Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images

The twin 60-lap races set the field for Sunday’s Daytona 500, while the front row was set last Sunday with Daytona 500 qualifying.

Earnhardt won the first Duel on Thursday, and said it was a fun race.

“We did a lot of blocking tonight,” Earnhardt said.  “Nothing too crazy, but glad it didn’t have to get that way.”

The victory came on the 15th anniversary of Dale Earnhardt Sr.’s death on the final lap of the 2001 Daytona 500.  Earnhardt Jr. said it was nice to keep adding to his family’s legacy with another Daytona victory.

“Another win at Daytona for the Earnhardts, keep adding to the legacy.  We’re up there in the 50s now with all the wins we have here.  I’m real glad to be able to do that.”

Busch won the second Duel under caution, after a wreck on the final lap took out contenders Jimmie Johnson, Martin Truex Jr. and Matt Kenseth.  Busch said he just wanted to have a strong run so he could start up front on Sunday.

“It was pretty quiet and calm there for a long time until the last lap,” Busch said.  “Looking forward to starting the Daytona 500 in the fourth spot, but I’ll probably get the outside front row now that Kenseth got caught up in that mess.”

Dave Blaney and Matt DiBenedetto locked themselves into the 500 with fast qualifying laps on Sunday, while Michael McDowell and Robert Richardson Jr. locked themselves in on Thursday.

Daytona 500 Starting Lineup 
1. Chase Elliott
2. Matt Kenseth
3. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
4. Kyle Busch
5. Joey Logano
6. Jamie McMurray
7. Ryan Blaney
8. Kurt Busch
9. Kevin Harvick
10. Carl Edwards
11. Denny Hamlin
12. Ty Dillon
13. Kasey Kahne
14. Kyle Larson
15. Greg Biffle
16. Danica Patrick
17. Chris Buescher
18. Brian Vickers
19. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
20. Matt DiBenedetto
21. Austin Dillon
22. Michael Annett
23. Trevor Bayne
24. Landon Cassill
25. Brad Keselowski
26. Jimmie Johnson
27. Regan Smith
28. Martin Truex Jr.
29. David Ragan
30. AJ Allmendinger
31. Clint Bowyer
32. Casey Mears
33. Bobby Labonte
34. Aric Almirola
35. Brian Scott
36. Michael Waltrip
37. Paul Menard
38. Ryan Newman
39. Michael McDowell
40. Robert Richardson Jr.

Photo courtesy Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images

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