NASCAR: Kyle Busch wins Duel 2 for the Daytona 500 image

Kyle Busch won Duel 2 after opting for gas only during his one pit stop on Lap 41 and beating the rest of the pack off pit road.

Busch, who started fourth in Duel 2, will have the fourth spot on the grid for Sunday’s Daytona 500 due to his finish Thursday. “That was not our original plan. Our original plan was two tires, but he (Rogers) called it. They were just harping on me to make sure, don’t slide your tires. Because you don’t want to slide a left front (tire) and then have to take four,” said Busch after the race.

“So, I felt like I got a really good pit road entry. I felt like I ran good pit road speed all of the way down pit road and getting into my box was great. The guys just filled the tank for five seconds. It’s all we needed and we ended up back here. We got out front where it mattered most and got teamed up with a couple of Toyota’s which was great,” Busch said.

Jeff Gordon, who couldn’t improve on his starting position for Sunday’s season-opening race, led for the first 40 laps of Duel 2. He was sent to the back after getting a pass through penalty coming off pit road and was content to cruise for the rest of the race.

Gordon will start second Sunday to Danica Patrick, who played it safe Thursday in Duel 1. After posting the top time during qualifying, the only way Patrick would have lost that top spot is if she would have wrecked Thursday.

Finishing behind Busch in Duel 2 were Kasey Kahne, Austin Dillon, Clint Bowyer and Matt Kenseth, who was in second place entering the final lap.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race – Duel #2

1. (4) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 60, $58977.
2. (3) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 60, $43963.
3. (8) Austin Dillon(i), Chevrolet, 60, $38963.
4. (9) Clint Bowyer, Toyota, 60, $33963.
5. (5) Matt Kenseth, Toyota, 60, $31963.
6. (14) Mark Martin, Toyota, 60, $29563.
7. (7) Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 60, $28463.
8. (10) Jeff Burton, Chevrolet, 60, $27463.
9. (11) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 60, $27438.
10. (15) David Ragan, Ford, 60, $27413.
11. (12) Marcos Ambrose, Ford, 60, $27388.
12. (1) Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 60, $27363.
13. (13) Aric Almirola, Ford, 60, $27338.
14. (6) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, 59, $27313.
15. (19) Dave Blaney, Chevrolet, 59, $27288.
16. (16) Josh Wise, Ford, 59, $27263.
17. (21) Travis Kvapil, Toyota, 59, $27238.
18. (18) Terry Labonte, Ford, 59, $27188.
19. (17) Michael McDowell, Ford, 59, $27163.
20. (20) JJ Yeley, Chevrolet, 59, $27138.
21. (2) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 58, $27088.
22. (22) Mike Bliss, Chevrolet, 55, $27063.

Average Speed of Race Winner: 193.966 mph.
Time of Race: 0 Hrs, 46 Mins, 24 Secs. Margin of Victory: 0.093 Seconds.
Caution Flags: 0 for 0 laps.
Lead Changes: 6 among 5 drivers.
Lap Leaders: J. Gordon 0; R. Newman 1; J. Gordon 2-39; M. Ambrose 40; Kyle Busch 41-51; C. Bowyer 52; Kyle Busch 53-60.
Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): J. Gordon 1 time for 38 laps; Kyle Busch 2 times for 19 laps; C. Bowyer 1 time for 1 lap; R. Newman 1 time for 1 lap; M. Ambrose 1 time for 1 lap.
Top 12 in Points: K. Busch – 47; K. Kahne – 42; C. Bowyer – 41; M. Kenseth – 39; M. Martin – 38; P. Menard – 37; J. Burton – 36; J. Mcmurray – 35; D. Ragan – 34; M. Ambrose – 34; J. Gordon – 34; A. Almirola – 31.