DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The first Duel of the night at Daytona International Speedway wasn’t without incident or delay on Thursday night, but once it concluded, Joey Logano was victorious.
Logano, with help from Aric Almirola, held off a hard charge from Pole Sitter, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., and the rest of the field, taking the duel race checkers for the second year in a row at Daytona.
“This is awesome,” Logano said. “What great teamwork by the Fords, especially Aric Almirola, my goodness.
“He was a great pusher at the right time, and we were able to hold off the bottom when we needed and hold off the Chevys, and showed the speed that the Fords have here.
“That is something I am proud to be a part of. I am proud to be driving that Blue Oval and these Roush Yates motors. We are ready to rock and roll. I can’t wait for the 500.”
Justin Haley advanced to the Daytona 500 on speed this past Sunday, but was still the top open-car at the end of the night. The second to advance by speed was Reed Sorenson, who finished 18th overall on the night.
“Well, it is a big deal,” Sorenson said. “The money that comes in from this race for a small team is a big deal to kind of get the ball rolling financially.
“Yeah, these guys worked really hard over the winter. This is probably the best motor I’ve had to try to race my way in. So, I was excited about that, that we were able to put the effort in to have an engine here. So, I’m just proud of everybody and I’m looking forward to Sunday. I think it will be fun.”
Two drivers failed to qualify in via the first Bluegreen Vacations Duel. Chad Finchum and the No. 49 team finished 20th on the night, and Daniel Suárez ended up on a wrecker after contact with Ryan Blaney, coming home in 22nd.
The incident was the only caution of the night, where a pack of Fords had decided to pit suddenly, forcing Suárez to make evasive maneuvers.
The move collected Ryan Blaney, and ended Suárez’s night.
“There was not communication,” Suárez said. “The 2 (Brad Keselowski) car all of a sudden started to slow down, and obviously it was either wreck him or go to the right, and I thought the 12 (Ryan Blaney) was going to give me a little more room, but obviously he didn’t.”
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