Budweiser Duels 2013 Results: Reaction, Leaders and Post-Race Analysis

Donald Wood@@Donald_WoodFeatured ColumnistFebruary 21, 2013

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 21:  Danica Patrick, driver of the #10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet, and Trevor Bayne, driver of the #21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford, lead the field to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Budweiser Duel 1 at Daytona International Speedway on February 21, 2013 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Jerry Markland/Getty Images

The 2013 Budweiser Duels are two of the more interesting races of the entire NASCAR season, and there is no better way to really get the official race weekend of the Daytona 500 off on the right foot.

Both Danica Patrick (pole winner) and Jeff Gordon (qualified second) raced in the duels, but had their positions locked in for Sunday’s race regardless of finishing positions.

The two 60-lap races determined the No. 3 through No. 32 starting positions for the Great American Race, and the top 15 finishers from each race (30 total) not already qualified for the Daytona 500 will have a chance to start Sunday’s race. 

This was the first season where being in the top 35 in the standings in 2012 did not save teams whose qualifying times weren't fast enough.

As seen by Thursday’s results, the Generation 6 cars and the shakeup in the way qualifying is handled have changed the way the duels at Daytona are run.

Budweiser Duel No. 1


Danica Patrick and the No. 10 team led the race to green from the pole position, but quickly fell toward the back of the pack to ensure her ride would make it to the Daytona 500 in one piece.

The racing was clean for the majority of the first duel, but a wreck on Lap 54 involving Carl Edwards, Trevor Bayne and Denny Hamlin marred the action. The warmer track temperatures and new cars were a big factor in the accident

Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 car won the event, building off his victory in the Sprint Unlimited race last weekend and setting the stage for an amazing sweep of the Daytona 500 if he could pull of the win Sunday.

The top five were rounded out by Greg Biffle, Juan Pablo Montoya, Jimmie Johnson and Kurt Busch, who have put themselves and their team in a great position for The Great American Race.

Results (via NASCAR.com)

1. Kevin Harvick, No. 29 - Chevrolet

2. Greg Biffle, No. 16 - Ford

3. Juan Pablo Montoya, No. 42 - Chevrolet

4. Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 - Chevrolet

5. Kurt Busch, No. 78 – Chevrolet

6. Tony Stewart, No. 14 - Chevrolet

7. Brad Keselowski, No. 2 - Ford

8. Casey Mears, No. 13 - Ford

9. Dale Earnhardt Jr , No. 88 - Chevrolet

10. Joey Logano, No. 22 - Ford

11. Bobby Labonte, No. 47 - Toyota

12. David Gilliland, No. 38 - Ford

13. Joe Nemechek, No. 87 - Toyota

14. Michael Waltrip, No. 26 - Toyota

15. Scott Speed, No. 95 - Ford

16. David Reutimann, No. 83 - Toyota

17. Danica Patrick, No. 10 - Chevrolet

18. Regan Smith, No. 51 - Chevrolet

19. Martin Truex Jr., No. 56 - Toyota

20. Denny Hamlin, No. 11 - Toyota

21. Brian Keselowski, No. 152 - Toyota

22. Carl Edwards, No. 99 - Ford

23. Trevor Bayne, No. 21 - Ford

Budweiser Duel No. 2


Jeff Gordon and the No. 24 car started on the pole for the second duel, but it was a pass-through penalty that put Gordon out of position for a win. As the second-place qualifier, though, the No. 24 team will still start the Daytona 500 on the outside pole.

Kyle Busch and the No. 18 team stole the show Thursday with a huge win in the second Budweiser Duel.

Duel 2 was much different than the first, with temperatures dropping as the sun began to sag in the sky. The temperature decline means the track begins to handle better, changing the way the car is performing.

With cars handling much better in the second race, there was far less trouble, and the lessons learned in both events can be applied to Sunday no matter what the weather is like.

Busch took the win after leading 19 laps, and the rest of the top five rounded out with Kasey Kahne, Austin Dillon, Clint Bowyer and Matt Kenseth.

Results (via NASCAR.com)

1. Kyle Busch, No. 18 - Toyota

2. Kasey Kahne, No. 5 - Chevrolet

3. Austin Dillon, No. 33 - Chevrolet

4. Clint Bowyer, No. 15 - Toyota

5. Matt Kenseth, No. 20 - Toyota

6. Mark Martin, No. 55 - Toyota

7. Paul Menard, No. 27 - Chevrolet

8. Jeff Burton, No. 31 - Chevrolet

9. Jamie McMurray, No. 1 - Chevrolet

10. David Ragan, No. 34 - Ford

11. Marcos Ambrose, No. 9 - Ford

12. Jeff Gordon, No. 24 - Chevrolet

13. Aric Almirola, No. 43 - Ford

14. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., No. 17 - Ford

15. Dave Blaney, No. 7 - Chevrolet

16. Josh Wise, No. 35 - Ford

17. Travis Kvapil, No. 93 - Toyota

18. Terry Labonte, No. 32 - Ford

19. Michael McDowell, No. 98 - Ford

20. J.J. Yeley, No. 36 - Chevrolet

21. Ryan Newman, No. 39 - Chevrolet

22. Mike Bliss, No. 19 - Toyota


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