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Joey Logano Utilizes Aggressive Side Drafting to Win Duel No. 1 at Daytona

Joey Logano will roll off the starting grid from the third position in Sunday’s Daytona 500, and he will also start the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season with 10 championship points as he captured the win in the Bluegreen Vacations Duel No. 1 at Daytona on Thursday night.

RELATED: Full 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Bluegreen Vacation Duel No. 1 at Daytona race results

The race was rain delayed, but once things finally went green the field looked happy to drive conservatively to the finish.

However, things got kind of crazy around the mid-way point of the race, when the Ford teams opted to pit. Nobody gave Ryan Blaney the memo, so when he finally got word, he knifed his No. 12 Ford Mustang toward the pit lane from the outside lane.

There was only one problem — Daniel Suarez, who drives a Toyota, was working his way around the line of Ford cars that were slowing for pit road.

Suarez and Hamlin made contact, which sent Suarez into the wall and out of the race (click here to watch video of the crash). Suarez would be eliminated from the Daytona 500 starting field in the No. 96 Gaunt Brothers Racing Toyota.

As the race drew to a close, it was an epic drafting duel between Joey Logano, and polesitter Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Logano began side drafting Stenhouse’s right rear quarterpanel on the exit of every turn, which is a gutsy move as it could cause the other car to break loose. However, Logano utilized the move masterfully, and when the inside lane — which was led by Stenhouse — broke apart on the final lap it was all Logano the rest of the way.

Aric Almirola held off a furious last lap charge from Ryan Newman to finish second.

Newman was third, Brad Keselowski finished fourth and Bubba Wallace took Richard Petty’s No. 43 car to a fifth-place finish.

Reed Sorenson — driving the No. 27 car for Premium Motorsports — locked a place in the Daytona 500 starting grid by way of speed. Justin Haley finished ahead of Sorenson. As a result, Haley, who was locked in on speed, had now raced his way to a better starting position.

Toby Christie View All

Toby is the Founder, Editor and go-to man for He is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, Toby is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award winning writer, and has followed NASCAR as a fan since 1993.

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