Kenseth Beats Out Harvick, Kahne in Thrilling First Duel

Photo- Getty Images
Photo- Getty Images

A very competitive first Budweiser Duel ended with Matt Kenseth beating Kevin Harvick and Kasey Kahne out by a nose. Kenseth earned the third starting spot for Sunday’s Daytona 500.

Austin Dillon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Kenseth were the leaders throughout the race. Dillon led early, then Earnhardt Jr. led for the middle portion of the race, and Kenseth led just about the entire second half.

The fight to make the Daytona 500 field was a close battle through all 60 laps. Josh Wise, Alex Bowman, and Cole Whitt made the race based off of their finishing positions. However, drivers including Parker Kligerman, Reed Sorenson, and Joe Nemechek have to wait out the second Duel to find out whether or not they made the race. Michael McDowell did not place high enough and he will not make the Daytona 500.

Kenseth’s win marked the second victory for Joe Gibbs Racing during SpeedWeeks as Denny Hamlin won last weekend’s Sprint Unlimited. JGR can sweep all races before the Daytona 500 if Hamlin is able to return to victory lane in the second Duel.

By Jason Schultz

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Results via ESPN.com

POS DRIVER CAR MANUFACTURER LAPS MONEY START LED PTS BONUS PENALTY
1 Matt Kenseth Toyota 60 9 31 0 0 0
2 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet 60 10 1 0 0 0
3 Marcos Ambrose Ford 60 6 0 0 0 0
4 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet 60 4 14 0 0 0
5 Josh Wise Ford 60 22 0 0 0 0
6 Aric Almirola Ford 60 7 0 0 0 0
7 AJ Allmendinger Chevrolet 60 14 0 0 0 0
8 David Gilliland Ford 60 16 0 0 0 0
9 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 60 3 0 0 0 0
10 Tony Stewart Chevrolet 60 18 0 0 0 0
11 Cole Whitt Toyota 60 20 0 0 0 0
12 Greg Biffle Ford 60 2 0 0 0 0
13 Danica Patrick Chevrolet 60 13 0 0 0 0
14 Alex Bowman 23 Toyota 60 24 0 0 0 0
15 Brian Vickers Toyota 60 19 0 0 0 0
16 Joey Logano Ford 60 8 0 0 0 0
17 Parker Kligerman Toyota 60 17 0 0 0 0
18 Austin Dillon 3 Chevrolet 60 1 14 0 0 0
19 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Ford 60 5 0 0 0 0
20 Kyle Busch Toyota 60 11 0 0 0 0
21 Michael McDowell Ford 59 21 0 0 0 0
22 Joe Nemechek Toyota 59 23 0 0 0 0
23 Reed Sorenson Chevrolet 20 15 0 0 0 0
24 Kevin Harvick 4 Chevrolet 0 12 0 0 0 0
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