Matt Kenseth, Denny Hamlin win Budweiser Duels at Daytona

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Feb. 20 (UPI) -- Matt Kenseth and Denny Hamlin each claimed a Budweiser Duel victory Thursday at Daytona International Speedway, earning top positions for the Daytona 500.

In Budweiser Duel I, Kenseth edged out Kevin Harvick by 0.022 seconds with Kasey Kahne just 0.063 seconds behind in a photo finish.


Kenseth, who won the Duel and the Daytona 500 in 2012, led 31 of 60 laps.

Harvick had the lead on the last turn on the final lap, but Kenseth overtook him down the stretch. Harvick garnered fifth position in Sunday's Daytona 500.

Kahne will start in the seventh spot.

Marcos Ambrose claimed fourth place, followed by Dale Earnhardt Jr.

In the night's second race, Hamlin took the win after a wild last-lap crash, in which Clint Bowyer rolled over David Ragan's car and did a mid-air flip before landing upright.

The crash began when Jimmie Johnson ran out of gas down the stretch and slammed into the wall after being was bumped from behind by Jamie McMurray. Johnson collided with McMurray again before his No. 48 car caught fire on the infield grass.


There were no injuries in the mishap.

Martin Truex Jr., who had already secured the second starting spot for the Daytona 500 in last week's time trials, was also involved. As a result, he will start the race in the back of the field, while Kenseth and Hamlin will move up to the second and third starting positions.

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