Jimmie Johnson bounced back from a practice crash on Wednesday and drove his back-up car to a victory in one of two Gatorade Duels for the 52nd running of the Daytona 500. Washington state native, Kasey Kahne, picked up the win in Duel No. 2. Both races were decided by less then .1-second.
Courtesy: NASCAR Media Relations
DAYTONA BEACH, FLA. -- Kasey Kahne held on at the end to win the second Gatorade Duel by a narrow margin over Tony Stewart and Juan Pablo Montoya.
The final lap had a huge crowd on its feet cheering as the leaders sped through the tri-oval and a slew of "go-or-go-homers" battled for two coveted spots in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 back in the field.
Two drivers had to beat eight others to claim a starting spot in NASCAR's biggest race. Mike Bliss, driving a Tommy Baldwyn Chevrolet, held off Casey Mears and others to finish 13th and grabbed the first of two spots. Red Bull Racing’s Scott Speed finished one spot back to take the other spot. Speed's effort cleared the way for Michael Waltrip to make the Daytona 500 on qualifying speed after misfortune prevented him from making the field in the first qualifying event.
Bobby Labonte claimed the final starting spot with a provisional awarded to former champions.
Trailing Kahne, Stewart and Montoya were Kurt Busch, Elliott Sadler, Martin Truex Jr., Joey Logano, Marcos Ambrose, David Reutimann and Brian Vickers.
Dale Earnhardt Jr., led from the front row but encountered tire problems and finished 27th.
Gatorade Duel at Daytona #1
DAYTONA BEACH, FLA. -- Michael McDowell summed up how drivers feel when they make the Daytona 500.