Harvick, Kyle Busch win Daytona qualifiers

Feb. 21, 2013 at 9:26 PM
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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Feb. 21 (UPI) -- Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch won Thursday's two qualifying races for the Daytona 500 and will make up the second row of Sunday's Sprint Cup season opener.

The field for the 500-mile race was set Thursday after Danica Patrick and Jeff Gordon had secured spots in the first row during Sunday's pole qualifying.

Patrick became the first woman to win the pole for any race on NASCAR's premier circuit and will start out front in the series' highlight race on Sunday.

Harvick won the first of the 60-lap qualifying races Thursday, holding off Greg Biffle by 0.16 seconds. Juan Pablo Montoya finished third, followed by Jimmie Johnson and Kurt Busch. Defending Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski finished seventh.

Michael Waltrip qualified for the race by finishing 14th in the first qualifier. The 2001 and 2003 Daytona 500 champion failed to qualify last year.

Kyle Busch claimed the second race by 0.09 seconds over Kasey Kahne. There were no caution flags in the race, which took just 46 minutes, 24 seconds to complete. It was the second-quickest Daytona 500 qualifying race in history.

Austin Dillon finished third in the second race and will make his first Daytona 500 start. Clint Bowyer wound up fourth, followed by defending Daytona 500 champion Matt Kenseth.

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