Harvick, Busch win Duels at Daytona

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 21:  Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M's Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Budweiser Duel 2 at Daytona International Speedway on February 21, 2013 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

DAYTONA BEACH, FL – FEBRUARY 21: Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M’s Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Budweiser Duel 2 at Daytona International Speedway on February 21, 2013 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

The field for Sunday’s Daytona 500 has been set after the conclusion of the Duel qualifying races Thursday.

Kevin Harvick picked up right where he left off winning the first Duel. Harvick, who won the Sprint Unlimited, last Saturday took the lead after a round of pit stops and in a repeat of the Unlimited held off Greg Biffle, who finished second in that race, to score his first Duel victory in 11 starts.

Pole sitter Danica Patrick led the field to the green but dropped back soon after surrendering the lead to 2011 Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne.  After one round of pit stops, Harvick found himself at the point on lap 37 and never looked back.

“When those guys were coming up through there we were kind of 10th or 12th in that pack.  I saw them coming on the bottom and we were able to kind of break that top line up a little bit and get them spread out,” Harvick said. “Finally, a couple of holes to jump up into then the bottom would come back.  We would get past a couple more there at the end especially after that pit stop I figured the bottom was going to be the place; since we didn’t have the biggest pack to make the least amount of time so that the pack behind us could make up the least amount of time.  Luckily, it all played out our way.  Hopefully, we can do it one more time.”

The only incident came with 8 laps to go. With Harvick leading a four car breakaway behind them as part of a 17 car pack, Denny Hamlin got loose coming out of turn 2. Hamlin turned down into the back of Carl Edwards setting off a crash the involved Bayne. Hamlin was able to continue while Bayne and Edwards were forced to retire. MORE>>>

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