Johnson wins Duel 2, Patrick rebounds from wreck

Daytona Beach, FL ( – Jimmie Johnson won the second
Budweiser Duel twin-qualifying race on Thursday night, while Danica Patrick
bounced back from an accident in the closing laps to finish 10th and make the
starting field for Sunday’s Daytona 500.

Running in a tight pack of cars, Denny Hamlin bumped Patrick from behind and
spun her out between turns 3 and 4 on lap 57 of this scheduled 60-lap race.
Bobby Labonte, Brian Scott and Ryan Newman were also caught up in the crash,
which forced a green-white-checkered finish.

On Wednesday, Hamlin and Patrick were involved in a wreck during the early
minutes of practice when Hamlin bumped into Patrick, causing her to make hard
contact with the wall. She was forced to go to a backup car and had to start
the second Duel from the rear of the 24-car field.

Patrick suffered damage to her car but was able to continue in the Duel. She
charged from 18th to 10th on the final lap to make the starting field for the
Daytona 500.

After the Duel had concluded, Patrick confronted Hamlin and had words with him
on pit road.

“I don’t want to have these issues, but if we’re going to have these issues,
then we’re going to have to deal with them,” an angry Patrick said. “We can’t
be putting ourselves out of the race on someone else’s expense. Nothing has
happened to (Hamlin). I like to race hard, but there’s no point being out
there and wrecking each other. I wanted to let him that I was disappointed.”

Johnson, who had already secured the second starting position for the Daytona
500 in last Sunday’s qualifying, started on the pole and led a total of 40
laps in the second Duel. He held off Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Kyle Busch and
Carl Edwards at the finish for the win.

Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jeff Gordon, Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr.,
the winner of the first Duel race earlier in the evening, will start 1-2-3,
respectively, for the Daytona 500. Earnhardt is the defending champion of the
Daytona 500.

“To have the week that we’ve had with the front row being secured and the wins
tonight, it’s been a great start to Speedweeks,” Johnson said. “What a race
car I have. This thing is bad fast. I’m looking forward to Sunday’s race.”

Kyle Busch finished second and earned the fourth starting position for the
Daytona 500, while his new JGR teammate, Edwards, placed third and claimed the
sixth starting spot.

Other drivers who locked into the Daytona 500 and their finishing positions in
the second Duel include: Greg Biffle (4th), Martin Truex Jr. (5th), Reed
Sorenson (6th), Ryan Blaney (7th), Justin Allgaier (8th), Mike Wallace (9th),
Newman (11th), Kurt Busch (12th), David Gilliland (13th), David Ragan (14th),
Austin Dillon (15th) and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (16th).

Ragan and Dillon also recovered from accidents in the Duel to race their way
into the Daytona 500. Ragan spun out and hit the inside retaining wall when he
made contact with Justin Allgaier coming out of turn 4 on lap 20. Dillon was
involved in a wreck with Alex Bowman, Sam Hornish Jr. and Jeb Burton on the
frontstretch on lap 37.