NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Kyle Busch Wins Can-Am Duel No. 2, Multiple Cars Crash on Last Lap

It was a Joe Gibbs Racing takeover as Kyle Busch grabbed the victory in the Can-Am Duel No. 2 at Daytona International Speedway on Thursday, Feb. 18.

He and JGR teammates of Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards ran 1-2-3 for a majority of the opening 35 laps.

“Myself, Matt [Kenseth] and Carl [Edwards] , we ran up in the top 3 most of the race and then pit stops kind of changed the order around a little bit,” Busch said. “There at the end, again, with guys going for positions and trying to race a little bit to get themselves a better starting spot. It got a little hectic I would say.”

With Kenseth being forced into a back-up car after crashing out on the final lap, Busch advances to the front row for Sunday’s Daytona 500.

“I think I get to start on the front row now,” Busch said in realization. “I didn’t win this race to qualify myself for the fourth starting position. With our teammate [Kenseth] having trouble there at the end of the race, they’ll have to go to a back-up car.”

Starting second, Busch trailed Kenseth before the No. 20 driver picked up debris on the front grille, handing the lead to Busch.

“I thought we had a shot at the race,” Kenseth said. “I got some debris on the grille and got it hot so I had to let Kyle [Busch] by. Then we came off pit road 1-2 and we were able to hold that for a while until the [No.] 48 got me shuffled.”

In two separate single-file lines, the lead pack approached lapped vehicles of Reed Sorenson and Robert Richardson, Jr. before Jimmie Johnson and Martin Truex, Jr. sparked a multi-car crash in turn 1, calling the race official on the last lap.

ding
“Dinger” was left disappointed after the last-lap mayhem [Photo: Zach Catanzareti]
“We’re racing in split-seconds decisions,” Johnson, who will go to a back-up No. 48 machine, said. “It’s hard to put a whole lot of blame on somebody when you’re racing in split seconds.”

Truex suffered extensive damage to his No. 78 Toyota, also leading to a back-up car for Sunday.

“Just riding along there taking the white in a pretty decent spot and they just wrecked in front of me,” Truex said. “So there’s not much you can do. It was really the first we had really done some serious racing and drafting with it. I was really pretty happy with it. Unfortunate to be in the wrong place, wrong time again on the last lap.”

AJ Allmendinger was also swallowed up in the accident.

“I just saw cars crashing,” Allmendinger said. “We had a good run on the outside and felt like we did a good job to maximize everything we could to get out there and have a chance at a top-5 finish. It’s just sad that we wasted that car now for no reason.”

Shortly before the accident, second-place runner Casey Mears ran out of gas in his No. 13 Geico Chevrolet, snatching the possible win from the restrictor plate ace.

Ryan Newman was pulled behind the wall on lap 31 after a sour engine cooked his chances at a superior starting position for Sunday.

The unfortunate drivers who were unable to keep with the head packs and who were unable to qualify themselves into the Daytona 500 were David Gilliland and Reed Sorenson. Both drivers were stranded in the rear before coming home short on Daytona 500 glory.

On the other side of the emotion scale was Robert Richardson, Jr., who finished 18th, which was good enough based on his qualifying speed from Pole Day on Sunday.

Completing the top 10: Jamie McMurray in second, followed by Kurt Busch, Carl Edwards, Ty Dillon, Kyle Larson, Danica Patrick, Brian Vickers, Matt DiBenedetto and Michael Annett.

2016 Can-Am Duel 2 At Daytona Results

FinishStartCar NumberDriverTeam Laps CompletedStatusLaps Led
1218Kyle BuschM&M's Toyota60Running35
2101Jamie McMurrayMcDonald's Chevrolet60Running0
3541Kurt BuschMonster Energy Chevrolet60Running0
4419Carl EdwardsARRIS Toyota60Running0
5895Ty DillonCheerios Chevrolet60Running0
61142Kyle LarsonTarget Chevrolet60Running0
71410Danica PatrickNature's Bakery Chevrolet60Running0
82214Brian VickersBass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet60Running0
91293Matt DiBenedetto (R)Dustless Blasting Toyota60Running0
101646Michael AnnettPilot/Flying J Chevrolet60Running0
111738Landon CassillFlorida Lottery Ford60Running0
121935David GillilandFront Row Motorsports Ford60Running0
13348Jimmie JohnsonLowe's Chevrolet59Running0
142178Martin Truex, Jr.Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet59Running0
151547A.J. AllmendingerKroger/Scott Products Chevrolet59Running0
16120Matt KensethDollar General Toyota59Running23
17613Casey MearsGEICO Chevrolet59Running0
181826Robert Richardson, Jr.Stalk It Toyota59Running0
19943Aric AlmirolaSmithfield Ford59Running2
201383Michael WaltripMaxwell House Toyota59Running0
212040Reed SorensonCRC Brakleen Chevrolet56Running0
22731Ryan NewmanCaterpillar Chevrolet31Engine0

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Charles Jenkins

Well, I guess that 59 lap parade and 1 lap of wrecking will do its part in getting that 18-34 demo that NA$CAR wants so much to become “race” fans. I sort of felt for Mike, DW, and Jeff having to describe what was going on when there were no “goings on” to describe. Then I remembered that this is the best that NA$CAR has ever been according to some and decided not to feel for the booth crew.
As Gina, Bill B and others have stated, it is nice not to be invested in it now. Just mildly interested – mostly from habit..

DoninAjax

I was thinking they would wreck on the second-last lap so Brian could get his GWC and get to try out his overtime line. There’s a lot of frustration in 150 miles of follow the leader.

How did Danica finish seventh when she spun driving past Johnson, Truex and Kenseth. She missed the wreck. She must be really talented to do that.

So I guess that puts Kyle beside Chase in row 1 when Kenseth drops back. Should be fun.

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