It appeared to be a caution-free night racing in the Bluegreen Vacation Duels on Thursday (Feb. 17) night, until the leaders hit the backstretch on the final lap of the second one.
Chris Buescher drove toward the yellow line in an attempt to pass leader Joey Logano. The contact between the two sent Logano into the wall, and Buescher won the second Duel at Daytona International Speedway once the caution flew.
Buescher joined teammate Brad Keselowski as the RFK Racing duo swept the Duels and will make up the starting second row for the Daytona 500 on Sunday.
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) February 18, 2022
“I just made a mistake,” Logano told FOX Sports 1 after being released from the infield care center. “I didn’t think the run would come that quick. Even watching the replay, it happened faster than I thought it would. I knew the run would happen at some point on the last lap. I thought that was pretty early. I didn’t think it would happen there. The speed at which it happened was quicker than I thought. I thought I was still clear and I wasn’t. So, I apologize to my race team. I wrecked their car and tore up the No. 21 as well. Dumb move; we were in a position to at worst finish fourth and just blew it.”
As a result of the damage to Logano’s No. 22 Ford, his Team Penske crew pulled out his backup car for the race. Logano will drop to the rear of the field before the green flag.
Defending Daytona 500 winner Michael McDowell finished second. Rookie Harrison Burton came home third, though he suffered damage to his No. 21 Ford as Logano made contact with him as he careened toward the wall.
“I feel like our team worked really well together tonight,” Burton said post-race. “We were in position late and that’s all you can ask for. We had a really fast Ford. Gosh, hate that we got damaged, hate that Joey crashed. It was good to work on a repertoire with him and figure out what he does in the draft, what I do in the draft, and we’ve built something there. There’s something for me to get better at and I learned a lot and that’s all you can ask for.”
Although Greg Biffle endured a lengthy green-flag pit stop and was unable to finish on the lead lap, he advanced to the Daytona 500 by finishing 13th.
“It was a tough go. I got to thank Chevy, RCR and Hendrick engines and [crew chief] Jay Guy,” Biffle told FOX Sports 1 post-race. “The car drove so good and this was a last-minute deal. These team guys were thrown together. We had trouble getting fuel in the car. I ran out of gas with two laps to go. Everything happened tonight but we finished 14th. I’m glad the fuel stop wasn’t because I might’ve been in that wreck.”
Biffle will start 38th in his 15th Daytona 500. He has never won the famed race.
MBM Motorsports suffered a rough night in its attempt to have both its drivers qualify for the season opener. JJ Yeley barely failed to advance in the first Duel, and teammate Timmy Hill finished multiple laps down, joining Yeley as the two DNQs for the race.
The starting lineup for the Daytona 500 is now set. These 40 drivers will take the green flag for the race on Sunday, Feb. 20, at 2:30 p.m. ET, with TV coverage provided by FOX.
About the author
Mark Kristl joined Frontstretch at the beginning of the 2019 NASCAR season. He is the site's ARCA Menards Series editor. Kristl is also an Eagle Scout and a proud University of Dayton alum.
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