After an hour long delay due to a brief rain shower, the first Bluegreen Vacations Duel determined the odd number starting positions 3-40 for the Daytona 500. With Ricky Stenhouse Jr. locked into the pole position and Alex Bowman starting alongside him, Logano was able to claim the third starting position with his Duel 1 victory. This was not an unfamiliar scene, as Logano won Duel 2 in 2019.
In this duel, Logano took the win with a three car length lead. This lead was obtained with a strong No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford and huge pushes coming from Aric Almirola in the late laps of the 60-lap race.
“We (Logano and Almirola) were making some hay when we could get attached,” said Almirola, following the race.
Overall, Ford showed major strength in Duel 1 with Aric Almirola, Ryan Newman, and Brad Keselowski making up the rest of the top four. This was hardly a surprise given that Fords have won four of the last five duels.
With regards to claiming a spot in the coveted Daytona 500, Reed Sorenson was able to cruise his way into the big race with an eighteenth-place finish in the duel. His job became significantly easier after Daniel Suarez’s night ended on lap 32 following contact with Ryan Blaney; this contact occurred as Suarez swerved to avoid making contact with Keselowski.
As for the second Bluegreen Vacations Duel, William Byron took home his first duel win and claimed the fourth-place starting position for the Daytona 500. Though Kevin Harvick led for half the race, Byron was able to steal the lead in the closing laps with help from his teammate Jimmie Johnson.
The win from the No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet broke the strangle that the Fords held over the competition in Duel 1. Finishing in the top three behind Byron were the fellow Chevy drivers of Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Larson.
Aside from a stronger performance from the Chevrolets, the last spot for Sunday’s race was up for grabs. Timmy Hill battled closely with J.J. Yeley for the opening. However, Yeley made contact with the wall on lap 42 after a slight clip from Corey LaJoie. Therefore, the last seat would later be filled by MBM motorsports’ Hill.