NASCAR: Bluegreen Vacations Duel preview

Profile Picture: Brandon Coppinger

February 12th, 2020

After a wild Busch Clash on Sunday, the NASCAR Cup Series will turn to the Bluegreen Vacations Duel races Thursday night at Daytona. If you’re not familiar with the Duel races, they’re qualifying events for the Daytona 500. Where a driver finishes in the Duel races will determine his starting position for the Great American Race.

The only drivers currently locked into positions are Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Alex Bowman. Those two set the fastest times Sunday and have locked in starting positions first and second for the Daytona 500. Everything else is up for grabs.

Let’s look at the handicapping angles you can use for these two races.

Bluegreen Vacations Duel #1

All three Penske cars will be in this heat—Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, and Ryan Blaney. If they hook up together, go ahead and kiss the race goodbye. Penske cars have been dominant over the years on superspeedways, and all three drivers have won at either Daytona or Talladega. All three should run well and help one another secure great finishes.

And as we saw Sunday, manufacturers are going to work together. In this race you have nine Chevrolets, eight Fords, and five Toyotas. Because Penske will be so strong, you have to wonder if it will be an advantage to the other Ford drivers.

Bluegreen Vacations Duel #2

This race could be more wide open. This Duel will feature 10 Chevrolets, nine Fords, and two Toyotas. Erik Jones was able to capture the checkered flag Sunday, but he and Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch will be outnumbered in their Toyotas. Can they get any help?

Some of the Fords in the race are not top-quality cars, which means the Chevrolets should be able to control the heat. I can definitely see some new blood—like William Byron—winning this race, or an older veteran—like Kurt Busch—getting it done. Regardless, it should be a Chevrolet in victory lane.

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