DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – After Chase Elliott won the first Duel, his Hendrick Motorsports teammates looked to make it a clean sweep in Duel No. 2.
And it looked like Dale Earnhardt Jr. was headed that way until he was passed just before the white flag waved thanks to some big momentum on the outside line. Denny Hamlin ultimately won the second Duel.
“I don’t know what I could’ve done differently to defend that,” Earnhardt said. “Any which way I would’ve went, he was going to go the other way and probably get by me.”
Earnhardt led the Hendrick Motorsports teammates with a sixth-place finish. Jimmie Johnson was next in 13th after recovering from some damage late in the race. Kasey Kahne followed Johnson to the finish line in 14th.
UPDATE: Due to the damage, Johnson will drive a backup No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet SS in Sunday's Daytona 500.
Below is a look at how the second Duel played out for the three Hendrick Motorsports teammates.
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 FARMERS INSURANCE CHEVROLET SS
RECAP: Rolling off the grid fourth, Kahne maintained a top-five position for much of the first 10 laps, settling into third on Lap 8. Just before the competition caution on Lap 25, Kahne moved into second place. He returned to the track in third after a competitor ahead of him elected not to take fresh tires, but he was second again by Lap 35. He maintained that position until there were just eight laps remaining when he got caught in the middle in three-wide racing and fell back in the pack. With four laps remaining, Kahne made a big move in the middle between two competitors to gain positions, and before the checkered flag waved he moved up to 14th.
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET SS
RECAP: Johnson started the second Duel in seventh, but within five laps he had settled into the top five. On Lap eight he fell to 15th, but by the competition caution he had made his way back to 11th. Following a competition caution, Johnson continued pushing forward, jumping to third by Lap 38. On Lap 40, he moved into the runner-up position, but with 14 laps to go, Johnson made contact with the wall due to a tire going down after some contact with a competitor. Thanks to quick repairs by the No. 48 team on pit road, Johnson returned to the track on the lead lap in 15th, and he found 13th before the checkered flag waved.
DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 88 NATIONWIDE CHEVROLET SS
RECAP: The outside pole-sitter for the Daytona 500, Earnhardt started the second Duel from the pole position. And he took advantage, leading all but two of the first 25 laps prior to a competition caution. He restarted second after a competitor ahead of him elected not to take fresh tires, but he retook the lead by Lap 31. He continued to hold off competitors for the remainder of the race until just before the white flag waved, when a big run allowed a competitor to pass the No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, and without help on the inside lane, Earnhardt fell back to sixth before taking the checkered flag.