Date: Feb. 14, 2019
Event: Gander Outdoors Duels
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: 4th/2nd (Running, completed 60 of 60 laps in Duel No. 2)
Duel No. 1 Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Duel No. 2 Winner: Joey Logano of Team Penske (Ford)
● Kevin Harvick (Started 8th, Finished 1st/ Running, completed 60 of 60 laps in Duel No. 1)
● Daniel Suárez (Started 11th, Finished 11th / Running, completed 60 of 60 laps in Duel No. 1)
● Clint Bowyer (Started 4th, Finished 2nd / Running, completed 60 of 60 laps in Duel No. 2)
● Aric Almirola (Started 9th, Finished 3rd / Running, completed 60 of 60 laps in Duel No. 2)
● Clint Bowyer will start sixth in Sunday’s 61st Daytona 500. His best Daytona 500 finish is fourth, earned twice (2009 and 2010).
● Bowyer started fourth in the second Duel and moved to third at the drop of the green flag.
● He inherited the lead during the only pit cycle at lap 13 and never relinquished it until the final lap when Joey Logan passed him for the victory.
● Bowyer led twice for a race-high 41 laps in his Duel race.
● This was Bowyer’s third runner-up finish in 14 career Duel starts.
● Bowyer scored nine regular-season points.
● In the first Duel, SHR teammate Kevin Harvick earned the first win for Ford’s Mustang in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
● SHR collectively scored three top-five finishes in the Gander Outdoors Duels.
● Of the 120 laps available between the two Duel races, Harvick and Bowyer combined to lead 85 laps (70.8 percent).
● 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.
Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
WHAT COULD YOU HAVE DONE DIFFERENTLY AT THE END?
“I don’t know. I guess I could have gone down there and blocked a little bit, but when you are leading the train, you can’t see the runs that are coming behind you. All you can do is hear your spotter telling you that they are coming, but I can’t tell if he pulls out, how fast they are coming or anything else. They came with a big run, and by the time he got to me, I could have gone down there and blocked it and gotten myself wrecked. It was just one of those things. I thought we would still be able to connect and get back up through ‘em. It is what it is. We will start up front for the 500, which is the goal, and the car is still in one piece. The Mustangs are fast. That is two Mustangs winning both Duels, and we did all the right things. Like I said, if that was the Daytona 500 I would have pulled down there and blocked him and tried to do whatever, but he had a massive run. We will just get regrouped and talk about it and get a little better communication there. It wasn’t anybody’s fault, it is just once they pull out like that you can’t tell how fast they are getting on you until they pull out, and he was going pretty fast.”
The 61st Daytona 500 gets underway at 2:30 p.m. EST on Sunday, Feb. 17, with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its prerace show at 1 p.m.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!