Almirola Finishes Second in Duel
Smithfield Driver Starts 62nd Running of the Daytona 500 in Fifth
Date: Feb. 13, 2020
Event: Bluegreen Vacations Duel
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway (2.5-mile oval)
Format: Twin 150-mile qualifying races that set the field for the Daytona 500
Start/Finish: 4th/2nd (Running, completed 60 of 60 laps in Duel No. 1)
Duel No. 1 Winner: Joey Logano of Team Penske (Ford)
Duel No. 2 Winner: William Byron of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
● Clint Bowyer (Started 7th, Finished 15th / Running, completed 60 of 60 laps in Duel No. 1)
● Kevin Harvick (Started 6th, Finished 4th/ Running, completed 60 of 60 laps in Duel No. 2)
● Cole Custer (Started 7th, Finished 5th/ Running, completed 60 of 60 laps in Duel No. 2)
● Almirola started his Duel from the fourth position and ended the 60-lap race in second.
● He drove the Smithfield Ford Mustang to second at the beginning of the race.
● On lap two, multiple cars pitted, leaving Almirola in second behind teammate Clint Bowyer.
● He drove to pit road on lap 31, but the caution was called before he entered.
● Almirola pitted the No. 10 Ford on lap 35 for four tires and fuel to restart fifth.
● He drove to second place by lap 40.
● Almirola drove at the front of the field for the remainder of the race pushing Ford teammate Joey Logano.
● On the final lap, he held the Smithfield Ford in second place.
● Almirola will start fifth in the Daytona 500. It will be his 10th appearance in the Great American Race.
● Drivers earning odd-numbered positions from Sunday’s pole qualifying session were assigned to the first Duel race. Drivers earning even-numbered positions from pole qualifying competed in the second Duel race. The starting positions for each Duel race were based on qualifying times.
Aric Almirola, driver of the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“Our cars are so good. I’m so proud of Mike Bugarewicz and all the guys on our Smithfield team. It’s a great way to start Speedweeks for us. Mike has been telling me all winter long that this car is really, really good and he’s excited about it, and then we were the fastest qualifying Ford Mustang. It drove so good tonight and drafted really well. I was able to be very aggressive bump drafting and pushing, and I just felt really good. I felt really comfortable, so I’m ready to go for Sunday.”
The 62nd running of the Daytona 500 takes place at 2:30 p.m. EST on Sunday, Feb. 16, with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its pre-race show at 1 p.m.