William Byron was battling Kevin Harvick for the lead on the final lap of Thursday night’s Bluegreen Vacations Duel No. 2 at Daytona, and both drivers had a great amount of help.
It looked neck and neck as Jimmie Johnson was in tow behind the No. 24 car and Matt DiBenedetto was pushing Harvick with his No. 21 Ford.
Then heading down the backstretch of the final lap, Kurt Busch — the third car in line behind Byron and Johnson pulled out and broke up both lines trying to forge a path to the front.
As a result, Byron cruised to the finish line to win Duel No. 2, while the rest of the field was left to battle for second in a three-wide mess.
Byron not only gets the trophy for winning the race, but he also will now start fourth in the Daytona 500 on Sunday and he will also start the season with 10 NASCAR Cup Series championship points.
Johnson held on for second, while Kyle Larson, Kevin Harvick and rookie Cole Custer rounded out the top-five in Duel No. 2.
Timmy Hill raced his way into the Daytona 500 as he passed Brendan Gaughan late for 16th, while Gaughan finished 17th. Gaughan also made the field for the Daytona 500 based on his qualifying speed from last Sunday.
JJ Yeley, who was driving Rick Ware Racing’s No. 54 car, slammed into the wall after a tap from Corey LaJoie and will miss the Daytona 500 as a result.
Toby is the Founder, Editor and go-to man for TobyChristie.com. 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.