NASCAR Cup Series Duels At Daytona Preview

NASCAR Cup Series Duels At Daytona Preview
Credit: Getty Images

As Speedweeks continue to roll on its officially race day. Later tonight will be the Duels at Daytona. These races will determine where each driver will start in the Daytona 500 with the exception of the front 2 qualifiers. This is also a race where underfunded teams will look to race their way into the Daytona 500.

The goal is also to make sure drivers don’t wreck because these are the cars being run on Sunday. These races have a lot to gain or lose for everyone.

How The Field Is Set

The field is based on the qualifying positions. The first duel race will be the inside lane (odd-numbered positions of the row). The second duel race is the outside lane (even-numbered positions). This means each field will be 22 cars per race.

The teams that qualified first and second have secured their starting positions and as long as they run a clean race they will keep those spots. Eight teams will look to race their way into the Daytona 500.

Who Locked In Their Starting Position?

Last night two Hendrick Motorsports drivers clinched the front row spots for the Daytona 500. Alex Bowman won the Busch Pole running a 191.261 MPH run. The other driver to clinch a spot in the front row is William Byron. Byron ran a 190.219 lap.

This means they have nothing more to gain from their races tonight except practice in the draft. Otherwise, there is more to lose than gain for the two Hendrick Motorsports drivers.

Who needs to race their way in?

With Ryan Preece and David Ragan posting the fastest laps of the open cars they have clinched their spots in the Daytona 500. This means six drivers will have to race their way into the 500 with only two spots remaining. In the first duel race, NASCAR XFINITY star Austin Cindric will attempt his first Daytona 500 starting 10th.

Ty Dillon will also be in Duel 1 looking to advance to the 500. Dillon will be trying to advance while he will start 17th in Duel Race 1. The next driver needing a spot is Timmy Hill. Hill is be starting 20th.

Following Duel 1 we will see the other three drivers looking to make the Daytona 500. The first open driver in Duel Race 2 is Kaz Grala starting 10th tonight.

The next open driver is Garrett Smithley who will be starting from the 18th position.

Lastly will be another XFINITY star is Noah Gragson. He will be starting last due to failing qualifying inspection which kept him from qualifying.

Where To Watch & Listen

Tonight’s races will be seen on Fox Sports One and in Canada, it will be seen on TSN. Coverage will begin following NASCAR Truck Series practice at 6:30 with NASCAR Raceday. Then at 7pm, the first race will begin. Then following duel race 1 will be the second duel race.

Both races can also be heard on the Motor Racing Network.  Prerace coverage will begin at 6pm with the races right afterward. There will be a lot on the line in tonight’s races and it is surely gonna be an action-packed night.


About Sean Cuccaro 45 Articles
I am someone who grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania. I plan on moving to New York City to pursue a career in Sports Journalism. I grew up loving sports. I am a huge Steelers, Yankees, Knicks and Fighting Irish fan. I am also a diehard NASCAR fan. Sports always have and will define who I am as a person
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