Joey Logano Wins Dual At Daytona #1 Thursday; Will Start Third In NASCAR Cup Series Opener

Story By: HOLLY CAIN / NASCAR – DAYTONA BEACH, FL – Reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion Joey Logano won Bluegreen Vacations Duel at Daytona qualifying race one at Daytona International Speedway Thursday night – the event setting the starting order for Sunday’s DAYTONA 500 (2:30 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

It was a Ford sweep at Daytona as Aric Almirola won race two, but the two races played out very differently.

Logano’s No. 22 Team Penske Ford led 25 of the 60 caution-free laps in the opening race, his Team Penske teammate Ryan Blaney led a race best 30 laps, finishing third – behind Logano, and Joe Gibbs Racing driver Christopher Bell, who crossed the finish line a mere .018-seconds after Logano.

The first Duel was relatively calm – with no caution periods. Fords dominated the race. RFK Racing driver Chris Buescher and 2021 DAYTONA 500 winner Michael McDowell rounded out the top five in their Ford Mustangs. Kevin Harvick, who is retiring at the end of the 2023 season, was sixth in the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford after riding Logano’s bumper for more than 20 laps at the race end.

“The execution of this race is everything,” Logano said, thanking his Team Penske team. “You know most likely there won’t be a caution, so you’ve got to do a good job on pit road cycling yourself to the front but then I’m sitting there as the leader and I’m thinking I’m a sitting duck this is not where you want to be. I was hoping they would start racing back there, which they did, and it ended up working out for me.

“When the 20 got to me, I saw Blaney was behind me and I thought, ‘that’s my buddy, I’ve got to stick with him.’ I knew the 20 would make the run to the outside and I probably wouldn’t be able to defend that and just waited for the 12 to push me through there. So good Penske effort there to get the Duel win.”

Toyota’s Bubba Wallace was sixth in the No. 23 23XI Racing Toyota followed by Zane Smith in the No. 36 Front Row Motorsports car. Smith’s effort was good enough to earn the first of the two open DAYTONA 500 starting positions.

“Those duels are a little nerve-wracking but I kind of just followed by teammate through there and he was a huge, huge help,” Smith said of McDowell. “That was really my gameplan to just stick to what Michael does, he’s obviously very successful at superspeedways.”

Chandler Smith, driving a third Kaulig Racing Toyota, finished 18th in the opening Duel and joins Hill in not making the 2023 DAYTONA 500 field.


NASCAR Cup Series Race – Bluegreen Vacations Duel 1 at DAYTONA
Daytona International Speedway
Daytona Beach, Florida
Thursday, February 16, 2023

1. (3) Joey Logano, Ford, 60.
2. (11) Christopher Bell, Toyota, 60.
3. (4) Ryan Blaney, Ford, 60.
4. (7) Chris Buescher, Ford, 60.
5. (13) Michael McDowell, Ford, 60.
6. (9) Kevin Harvick, Ford, 60.
7. (6) Bubba Wallace, Toyota, 60.
8. (15) Zane Smith(i), Ford, 60.
9. (5) Harrison Burton, Ford, 60.
10. (2) William Byron, Chevrolet, 60.
11. (8) Ross Chastain, Chevrolet, 60.
12. (14) Erik Jones, Chevrolet, 60.
13. (17) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 60.
14. (12) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 60.
15. (16) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 60.
16. (18) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Chevrolet, 59.
17. (1) Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, 59.
18. (21) Chandler Smith(i), Chevrolet, 59.
19. (10) Ty Gibbs #, Toyota, 59.
20. (19) Cody Ware, Ford, 59.
21. (20) Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 59.

Average Speed of Race Winner: 187.63 mph.
Time of Race: 0 Hrs, 47 Mins, 58 Secs. Margin of Victory: 0.018 Seconds.
Caution Flags: 0 for laps.
Lead Changes: 4 among 3 drivers.
Lap Leaders: A. Bowman 0;R. Blaney 1-5;R. Chastain 6;R. Blaney 7-31;J. Logano 32-60.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): Ryan Blaney 2 times for 30 laps; Joey Logano 1 time for 29 laps; Ross Chastain 1 time for 1 lap.

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