|Date: Feb. 15, 2018
Event: Can-Am Duel
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway (2.5-mile oval)
Format: Twin 150-mile qualifying races that set the field for the Daytona 500
Start/Finish: 9th/5th (Running, completed 63 of 63 laps in Duel No. 1)
Duel No. 1 Winner: Ryan Blaney of Team Penske (Ford)
Duel No. 2 Winner: Chase Elliott of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stewart-Haas Racing Finish:
● Kevin Harvick (Started 4th, Finished 2nd / Running, completed 60 of 60 laps in Duel No. 2)
● Clint Bowyer (Started 8th, Finished 4th / Running, completed 60 of 60 laps in Duel No. 2)
● Kurt Busch (Started 9th, Finished 5th / Running, completed 63 of 63 laps in Duel No. 1)
● Aric Almirola (Started 7th, Finished 20th / Accident, completed 8 of 63 laps in Duel No. 1)
● Busch’s No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford Fusion was loose early on in the race. During the first caution on lap 10 while running 11th, he pitted for four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment.
● Busch pitted on lap 14 to top off with fuel.
● On lap 39, Busch just missed an incident between Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and William Byron. He was in 10th positon and used the subsequent caution to pit for four tires and fuel.
● Busch started fifth on the final restart with two laps remaining and brought the No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford Fusion to a fifth-place finish.
● Duel No. 1 ran three laps past its scheduled 60-lap distance as a late caution sent the race into overtime.
● Busch will start 11th in the 60th Daytona 500. He is the defending Daytona 500 champion.
● Drivers earning odd-numbered positions from Sunday’s pole qualifying session were assigned to the first Duel race. Drivers earning even-numbered positions from pole qualifying competed in the second Duel race. The starting positions for each Duel race were based on qualifying times.
Kurt Busch, Driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“All the cars are dancing around pretty good. We would like the handling side to go away as the run goes on, but right now the cars are so edgy that you’re just holding on trying to watch others. If they make too big of a mistake, you will get wrapped up in it. I just played it patient tonight. I didn’t seal the deal on that last restart. We restarted fifth and finished fifth. Our car doesn’t have a scratch on it and we will go to work on our setup and I hope everybody else does too.”
The 60th Daytona 500 gets underway at 2:30 p.m. EST on Sunday, Feb. 18, with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its pre-race show at 1 p.m.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!