Hendrick Motorsports in Thursday's Daytona Duels
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kasey Kahne will race in the first Daytona Duel on Thursday, Feb. 20 at Daytona International Speedway, while their Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson will compete in the second 150-mile qualifying race.
With the exception of the front row, which was decided during NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying last weekend, the Duels determine where drivers will line up for the season-opening Daytona 500. Race coverage of the twin qualifying events begins at 6 p.m. ET on Thursday on FOX Sports 1. Check local listings.
Here is a look at Hendrick Motorsports in the Duels:
DUEL NO. 1
Time: 7 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1, MRN Radio (Green flag 7:22 p.m.)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the No. 88 National Guard Chevrolet SS
Starting spot: Fourth.
Duel notes: Since arriving at Hendrick Motorsports in 2008, Earnhardt has lined up 10th or better in his Duel race and this year will be no different. When starting seventh or better, the driver of the No. 88 National Guard Chevrolet SS has averaged a finish of 6.9, which typically gives Earnhardt a starting spot inside the top 15. Overall, Earnhardt has averaged a finish of 5.0 in his 14 career Duel appearances on the strength of three wins (2003, 2004 and 2008), nine top-three finishes and 12 top-10s. Earnhardt most recently finished ninth in this event in 2013 and went on to earn runner-up honors in the 2013 Daytona 500.
Kasey Kahne, driver of the No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet SS
Starting spot: 10th.
Duel notes: Kahne hasn’t had the most luck in the Daytona 500, but he has reached Victory Lane at the 2.5-mile superspeedway. In 2010, Kahne started 14th and led three laps en route to winning the second Duel. Kahne has finished 10th or better in the last six Duel events and most recently took runner-up honors in 2013 after starting the qualifying race from the third position.
Duel No. 2
Time: approximately 8:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1, MRN Radio (Green flag approximately 9:01 p.m.)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet SS
Starting spot: Fourth.
Duel notes: Gordon has five wins, 11 top-five finishes and 17 top-10s in 21 previous Daytona 500 qualifying events. In the last nine Daytona 500 qualifying features, Gordon has earned the best driver rating (111.5) and also led the most laps (137) according to NASCAR’s loop data.
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS
Starting spot: Seventh
Duel notes: Johnson has lined up deeper than 10th in the Daytona qualifying races only once in his Sprint Cup career. That was 2006, when he started the first Duel from 29th and rallied to finish fourth. He then went on to win his first Daytona 500 crown. This year, Johnson will line up 14th in the second Duel. Overall, the driver of the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS has scored one win (2010) and seven top-five finishes in 12 Duel appearances.