Ford won both Duel races for the second straight year as Joey Logano and Aric Almirola took the checkered flags tonight.
Tonight’s two victories extends a streak that has seen Ford win 9 of the last 12 Duel races.
Ford has now won a Duel race in six straight seasons.
Logano has won three times during his streak while Almirola has two.
Duel #2 Ford Finishing Results:
1st – Aric Almirola
2nd – Austin Cindric
4th – Brad Keselowski
7th – Todd Gilliland
10th – Ryan Preece
15th – Chase Briscoe
20th – Riley Herbst
ARIC ALMIROLA, No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang – VICTORY LANE INTERVIEW – “It feels great, but it’s just part one of the job. We want to get that win on Sunday, but it still feels really good to go to victory lane. It’s a great way to start Speedweeks. Everybody on this race team has done a great job building a really fast race car. Drew Blickensderfer and all these guys do a great job. I felt like last year we had a lot of miscues and didn’t execute all the time the way we needed to and I was so thankful when I had the opportunity to come back because I felt like we had a lot of unfinished business, so here we go.”:
DESCRIBE THE LAST FEW LAPS. “It was a track position race all day and I certainly didn’t want to lose the track position. I wanted to get back to the lead. I wanted to control the finish. I didn’t want to wait on other people behind me to help me make the moves I needed to make. I wanted to make the move and I was able to get a run. The 5 gave me a really good push. The 38 got out a little bit too far and I got a good run on him and was able to pull off a good move. It has to happen with a fast race car. Doug Yates builds incredible engines and gives us the horsepower. We have all the resources at Stewart-Haas Racing, all the people back at the shop do a great job. It feels good.”
YOU’VE BEEN IN VICTORY LANE HERE BEFORE. HOW DOES THIS FEEL? “It feels good. I dreamed about just being a racer on this racetrack. I never even let my dreams go that far to come to victory lane. I’ve talked about it a lot this week, I’ve been in this victory lane a lot more than I ever dreamed possible, but it’s never been for the Daytona 500. I’ve got my second Duel win, which is great, but the job to get done is on Sunday, so we’re gonna keep focused. We’re gonna enjoy this, but we’re gonna stay focused for Sunday.”
AUSTIN CINDRIC, No. 2 Discount Tire Ford Mustang – “We definitely had some speed in our Discount Tire Ford. I think the theme for the whole night is Fast Fords. Hopefully, that transfers over to Sunday. I’m proud of that effort for everyone inside the Ford Pro group and Roush Yates, everybody. That’s a big testament to the work done in the offseason. We didn’t have that speed last year. It was fun to run up front all race and have a little bit of speed and make some decisions – some good and some not so good. Overall, I’m proud of the evening. There’s some good stuff to look at for Sunday’s race.”
YOU’LL LOOK AT THIS RACE AND PREPARE FOR SUNDAY WITH WHAT WENT RIGHT AND WRONG? “Absolutely. You want to be ready for when you have that opportunity and any practice you can get at the front of the field is pretty beneficial.”
BRAD KESELOWSKI, No. 6 Nexlizet Ford Mustang – “Without having practice you just don’t know what you’ve got. I felt we had good speed. We needed a little bit more handling, but, all in all, we worked the field pretty well and got a solid result.”
THE FIRST DUEL WAS MORE SINGLE FILE, BUT THIS ONE YOU GUYS MIXED IT UP. “Oh, we mixed it up all right. Every year there is a Duel that’s crazy and a Duel that’s normal. When you’re in the second Duel and you see the first Duel is pretty calm it’s like, ‘Oh, here it comes.’ It was a hairy Duel.”
FIRST TIME IN THE CAR THIS WEEK OTHER THAN QUALIFYING. WHAT DID YOU LEARN? “The car is always changing and there’s always little nuances. We have a handful of things to take away from today.”
DID ANYTHING CHANGE FROM LAST YEAR? “There are definitely some changes, so we’re going to work through them.”
TODD GILLILAND, No. 38 Gener8tor Skills Ford Mustang – “It was really disappointing. I thought we had a good shot at it there. I thought we positioned ourselves pretty good… I was just really loose. When I was at the top, I was sideways the whole time. I didn’t think I needed to be up there but there was no way to get out. I mean, we almost had it there. I kind of got pushed at the bottom there… the No. 5 was pushing me hard, which you have to do. That’s racing.”
WOULD YOU HAVE DONE ANYTHING DIFFERENTLY? “I don’t know. I was legit just hanging on the whole time. That’s part of it, you know? We hadn’t made a lap on-track until today. We have two days of practice coming up, and I feel really confident. Hopefully we didn’t do any damage to our car first off, and second off we can continue this.”
RYAN PREECE, No. 41 HaasTooling.com Ford Mustang – “Once we lost track position, it was tough to get it back. Honestly, I’m still OK with 10th – just because of points. We have a car that we can work on for the 500. I think knowing that, we have to be aggressive and move forward because once you get control of the top-five, you can’t let it go. It’s too hard to make moves and move forward. I can tell you, we can’t give up track position. We need to keep it. It’s as simple as that. That’s what it’s going to take.”
CHASE BRISCOE, No. 14 Mahindra Tractors Ford Mustang – “I told my wife at the end of the first one that, ‘Well this one is calm so ours is going to be chaos.’ I feel like that’s just always how these go. For us, we had a really good starting spot in third. We were just really loose. I felt like I was going to crash at any point. We got a caution early and decided to try to work on it, and then we got on the other side. We were pretty committed to try to qualify on the front row, and when you do that, your handling suffers big. Balance wise, we’re way off. It sucks that we qualified sixth and now we’re going to start like 30th in the 500, but fortunately we can change our car overnight and get it to where it drives pretty good. Our car did a lot of things well other than handle as far as into the draft, but if we can get that we should be pretty good.”
RILEY HERBST, No. 15 Sunny D Ford Mustang – “They wrecked in front of me, and I didn’t have anywhere to go. It was good up until then, and it was fun. We were learning, learning and learning until we weren’t.”
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