NASCAR Duels 2020: Joey Logano, William Byron Win Ahead of Daytona 500

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistFebruary 14, 2020

Joey Logano crosses the finish line to win the first of the two NASCAR Daytona 500 qualifying auto races at Daytona International Speedway, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020, in Daytona Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Terry Renna)
Terry Renna/Associated Press

The starting grid for the 2020 Daytona 500 is now set after Joey Logano and William Byron won in the Bluegreen Vacations Duel.

Logano kicked things off with a win in Duel 1 on Thursday night at Daytona International Speedway, putting him in the No. 3 slot for Sunday's race. Byron finished first in Duel 2 and will end up in the fourth spot.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. won the pole during qualifying on Sunday and will start in the front row alongside Alex Bowman.

         

Duel 1 Results

1. Joey Logano (22)

2. Aric Almirola (10)

3. Ryan Newman (6)

4. Brad Keselowski (2)

5. Bubba Wallace (43)

6. Austin Dillon (3)

7. Martin Truex Jr. (19)

8. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (47)

9. Christopher Bell (95)

10. Chris Buescher (17)

     

Duel 2 Results

1. William Byron (24)

2. Jimmie Johnson (48)

3. Kyle Larson (42)

4. Kevin Harvick (4)

5. Cole Custer (41)

6. Erik Jones (20)

7. Matt DiBenedetto (21)

8. Kurt Busch (1)

9. Ross Chastain (77)

10. Tyler Reddick (8)

     

Each of the duels consisted of a 60-lap race totaling 150 miles, giving drivers a chance to show what they can do over a short stretch. The battles also provided the top 10 with the first NASCAR Cup Series points of the season in addition to starting position at the Daytona 500.

Stenhouse led for 27 laps despite already knowing his spot for the upcoming race.

However, it was Logano who pulled away with a win after being in front for 19 of the 60 laps.

The cars were battling threewide for positioning, but the No. 22 held them off by a few car lengths.

The other big story in the first duel came with Daniel Suarez, who was trying to get one of the final spots in Daytona but was forced to exit early due to a crash with Ryan Blaney:

Justin Haley and Reed Sorenson benefitted from Suarez' wreck, earning spots in the field for Sunday.

In Duel 2, another hopeful saw his hopes of competing in the main race come to an end with a crash. This time it was J.J. Yeley, who hit the wall after 41 laps:

It opened up a spot and helped Brendan Gaughan and Timmy Hill make the field.

At the front of the pack, Kevin Harvick had control for most of the night and appeared ready to win the duel after leading for more than half the race.

However, it was Byron who took over with three laps remaining and held off the crowded field at the end:

Kurt Busch made a move to the front toward the end and almost wrecked Harvick but couldn't do enough to get in front. 

While the duels were a good way to help kick off the season, the real challenge will come Sunday at 2:30 p.m. ET.

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