DAYTONA BEACH, Florida (41NBC/WMGT) – Two of NASCAR’s young stars won the Can-Am Duel races Thursday night at Daytona to earn second row starting positions for Sunday’s Daytona 500.
Ryan Blaney took the checkered flag in the first 60-lap race, edging out Joey Logano and Darrell Wallace Jr. for his first win for Penske Racing.
Blaney and Logano’s Penske teammate Brad Keselowski, a favorite to win the 500 Sunday, crashed out with two laps to go and finished 16th.
Seven-time series champion Jimmie Johnson cut a left rear tire on lap eight, spinning and collecting Aric Almirola. Keselowski, Johnson and Almirola will all use backup cars and start at the rear of the field Sunday.
Unadilla’s David Ragan finished seventh.
Another Georgia driver, Chase Elliott of Dawsonville, led 34 of 60 laps in the second race on his way to the win. Kevin Harvick was second. Erik Jones was third.
Alex Bowman and Denny Hamlin will start on the front row Sunday after setting the fastest times in the second round of Pole Qualifying last Sunday. The rest of the 40-car field will line up based on their duel race finishing positions, with the race one finishers on the inside row and the race two finishers on the outside row.
The green flag drops Sunday just before 3 p.m.