In duel one Jimmie Johnson stayed out on older tires as drivers like Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer, Kyle Busch, and Jamie McMurray pitted. He looked like a sitting duck and it looked like he was going to run second.
But in an exciting side by side finishing with Harvick, Johnson won his first due by .005 of a second.
The second duel's finish wasn't as close by maybe an inch and half.
Kasey Kahne held off Tony Stewart also winning his first Gatorade duel. This was the first time since 2003 that there were two new Gatorade duel winners: Dale Earnhardt Jr and Robby Gordon.
These were also the two best duel races I have seen probably in my 17 plus years being on this planet. And the best Daytona racing period.
Not too much hard hitting just good bump drafts that would help a competitor, long runs, and no big wrecks.
This 500 is shaping up to be a good one.
Look at the players. I will will take Johnson out of the list because he won only because he stayed out (by the way track posting is actually important at this plate track with handling being more important than ever)
Stewart, Kahne, Harvick, McMurray, and the Busch brothers are some strong players that stood out. Kahne won, Stewart got second, Harvick got second in his duel, Kyle Busch finished third in his duel, Kurt Busch fourth in his, and Jamie McMurray 6th in his.
Mark Martin and Dale Earnhardt Jr looked strong in their duels before going into protective mode.
Other guys like Ryan Newman, Juan Pablo Montoya, Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, Brian Vickers, Greg Biffle, and Clint Bowyer were also good and should run well on Sunday.
I am predicting only get this: three cautions and very early. The race will have over 100 laps of green flag and end under green. Much like the 2004 Daytona 500.
But expect cars to racing hard side by side. But It will probably come down to three cars in the very end because of being strung out and handling the best overall.
But still expect a fantastic finish similar to what we seen in the duels. Maybe one big one but that should be it. For some reason the drivers wreck in practice and not the race.
The Daytona 500 is the main attraction this weekend and I expect it will be the best show in town.