Kenseth Wins Second Duel On Late Pass
Matt Kenseth took the lead with 2.5 miles to go and went on to win the second Gatorade Duel qualifying race at Daytona International Speedway on Thursday afternoon.
The winning pass came against teammate Greg Biffle, who went high to block Kenseth. Kenseth dipped low and shot under Biffle.
“We just had a big run there,” Biffle said. “Jimmie Johnson gave me a huge push there and that really worked nice for me the whole race there. Without that push it would have never gotten done. Greg (Biffle) lost his drafting partner. We were able to separate him and the 78 and we had such a huge run that Greg was kind of a sitting duck. I was going so fast with Jimmie’s push that we were able to make it past.”
Regan Smith finished second and Jimmie Johnson was third.
Driving their way into Sunday’s Daytona 500 were Joe Nemechek and Dave Blaney.
“Flawless race car,” Blaney said.
The race went wreck-free.
Biffle started the race from the pole. Three laps in, he was passed for the lead by Roush Fenway Racing teammate Kenseth.
Joey Logano, with help from Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch, took the lead on lap 13. Five laps later, Kenseth pushed Busch to the lead.
On lap 23, Biffle moved back to the lead. He held it as he pitted under green for fuel and right-side tires on lap 43. When the pitting cycled through, still had the lead.
Heading into the final five laps the running order and running in line, was Biffle, Smith, Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson.
Kenseth jumped to the lead at the white flag.
“I wasn’t sure I was going to stay committed to the bottom, but at the last minute I decided to jump up there and try it, but Matt is pretty smart,” Biffle said. “He was pretty far up. He wasn’t coming down close to us to where if I would have moved I could get in front of him. I had to move three lanes to get in front of him, so he did the right thing.”
Elliott Sadler finished fourth and Biffle was fifth.
Kenseth’s victory was his first in a Duel. It was the first for a Roush Fenway Racing car.
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