Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing Sweeps Daytona Duels

DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 17: Chris Buescher, driver of the #17 Fastenal Ford, takes the checkered flag under caution to win the NASCAR Cup Series Bluegreen Vacations Duel #2 at Daytona at Daytona International Speedway on February 17, 2022 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing made a strong statement Thursday; some of it at the expense of Joey Logano.

Brad Keselowski made a strong statement in his first outing in a points paying race as the new co-owner of Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing grabbing the lead from Ryan Blaney 4 laps from the end of Duel 1 to take the win.

“This is a great way to start,” Keselowski said. “We didn’t have a great Clash but that doesn’t count. That isn’t official and we got us 10 points to officially start the season and a trophy. That is a good way to go.”

Perhaps no one was happier than Kaz Grala however. Grala was one of two open cars needing to race into the Daytona 500 and for much of Duel 1 was a lap down and behind JJ Yeley the second car in the mix. Grala was even penalized for speeding on pit road during the lone round of pit stops just past the halfway point. He was able to overcome that though and when Yeley went a lap down on the final lap, Grala was able to charge past and grab the spot.

In Duel 2 it was all Joey Logano, until the final lap.  Chris Buescher had been second to Logano in the closing laps, and after taking the white flag was looking to get underneath Logano exiting Turn 2. Logano appeared to try and drop down to block, made contact with the front of Buescher’s Ford and was sent spinning into the backstretch wall. The caution flew with Buescher in the lead and the field was frozen. Michael McDowell was second.

“What a way to start Speedweeks out here, right,” Buescher said. “To put both RFK Ford Mustangs in Victory Lane, give Fastenal their first win on a Cup car. It’s not the big show, but we’ve got a really good hotrod here.”

Greg Biffle was the highest finishing open car and secured his spot for Sunday’s Daytona 500. After the first Duel ran caution free, the second Duel was less than a half a lap from both Duels running caution free for the first time since 2003. Timmy Hill joined Yeley as the second driver who won’t be racing in this year’s Daytona 500.

“I just made a mistake,” Logano said. “I knew the run was going to happen sometime on the last lap. I thought I was clear. I apologize to my race team. It was a dumb move. “

The sweep for RFK Racing was the first Duels sweep for a team since Hendrick Motorsports in 2015.

 

Photos: NASCAR at Daytona International Speedway Thursday Feb. 17, 2022

NASCAR Cup Series Race – Bluegreen Vacations Duel 1

Daytona International Speedway

Daytona Beach, Florida

Thursday, February 17, 2022

  1. (9)  Brad Keselowski, Ford, 60.
  2. (11)  Austin Cindric #, Ford, 60.
  3. (7)  Ryan Blaney, Ford, 60.
  4. (10)  Chase Briscoe, Ford, 60.
  5. (3)  Chase Elliott, Chevrolet, 60.
  6. (12)  Erik Jones, Chevrolet, 60.
  7. (1)  Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 60.
  8. (8)  Tyler Reddick, Chevrolet, 60.
  9. (13)  Kurt Busch, Toyota, 60.
  10. (4)  Ross Chastain, Chevrolet, 60.
  11. (5)  Daniel Suarez, Chevrolet, 60.
  12. (2)  William Byron Jr., Chevrolet, 60.
  13. (14)  Justin Haley, Chevrolet, 60.
  14. (18)  Landon Cassill(i), Chevrolet, 60.
  15. (16)  Todd Gilliland #, Ford, 60.
  16. (15)  Cole Custer, Ford, 59.
  17. (6)  Daniel Hemric(i), Chevrolet, 59.
  18. (19)  Kaz Grala(i), Chevrolet, 58.
  19. (21)  JJ Yeley(i), Ford, 58.
  20. (20)  BJ McLeod, Ford, 58.
  21. (17)  Noah Gragson(i), Chevrolet, 57.

Average Speed of Race Winner:  185.185 mph.

Time of Race:  0 Hrs, 48 Mins, 36 Secs. Margin of Victory:  .264 Seconds.

Caution Flags:  0 for  laps.

Lead Changes:  2 among 3 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   K. Larson 1-34;R. Blaney 35-56;B. Keselowski 57-60.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  Kyle Larson 1 time for 34 laps; Ryan Blaney 1 time for 22 laps; Brad Keselowski 1 time for 4 laps.

NASCAR Cup Series Race – Bluegreen Vacations Duel 2

Daytona International Speedway

Daytona Beach, Florida

Thursday, February 17, 2022

  1. (14)  Chris Buescher, Ford, 60.
  2. (11)  Michael McDowell, Ford, 60.
  3. (5)  Harrison Burton #, Ford, 60.
  4. (9)  Kyle Busch, Toyota, 60.
  5. (7)  Christopher Bell, Toyota, 60.
  6. (3)  Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, 60.
  7. (8)  Bubba Wallace, Toyota, 60.
  8. (16)  Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Chevrolet, 60.
  9. (6)  Joey Logano, Ford, Accident, 59.
  10. (13)  Kevin Harvick, Ford, 59.
  11. (15)  Corey LaJoie, Chevrolet, 59.
  12. (12)  Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 59.
  13. (19)  Greg Biffle(i), Chevrolet, 59.
  14. (1)  Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, 59.
  15. (4)  Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 59.
  16. (17)  Cody Ware, Ford, 59.
  17. (20)  David Ragan, Ford, 58.
  18. (10)  Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 58.
  19. (2)  Aric Almirola, Ford, 58.
  20. (21)  Timmy Hill(i), Ford, 56.
  21. (18)  Jacques Villeneuve, Ford, Electrical, 34.

Average Speed of Race Winner:  185.98 mph.

Time of Race:  0 Hrs, 48 Mins, 24 Secs. Margin of Victory:  Under Caution Seconds.

Caution Flags:  1 for 1 laps.

Lead Changes:  11 among 5 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   A. Bowman 1;J. Logano 2;A. Bowman 3-7;J. Logano 8-9;A. Bowman 10;J. Logano 11-14;A. Dillon 15-16;C. Buescher 17;R. Stenhouse Jr. 18;C. Buescher 19-33;J. Logano 34-59;C. Buescher 60.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  Joey Logano 4 times for 33 laps; Chris Buescher 3 times for 17 laps; Alex Bowman 3 times for 7 laps; Austin Dillon 1 time for 2 laps; Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 1 time for 1 lap.