Ryan Blaney Wins Can-AM Duel 1 at Daytona; Set to Start 3rd in Daytona 500

Written by Adrian Beecher
Daytona, FL – After a late pass on his teammate Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney in the No. 12 Menards Ford captured the Can-AM Duel 1 at Daytona. The victory earned Blaney a 3rd place starting position for the 60th Annual Daytona 500 on Sunday. Blaney was excited to get the win, yet was clearly focused on Sunday.

“There ain’t no points in this racing, not tonight. Sunday is the one I’m worried about. It’s nice to win this one, to be honest with you. It’s really, really cool to be in Victory Lane in anything at Daytona, whether it’s the Clash or a Duel race.

“Sunday, that’s when you go to the pay window. You get a cool trophy with this, but you don’t get a ring and your face on a trophy.”

Here’s how it all went down at Daytona.

Alex Bowman started out front in the 1st Can-Am Duel, however, elected to fall his way to the back of the field after the drop of the green flag. Byron had already claimed the pole in the qualifying session last Sunday.

Joey Logano in the No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford took over the lead of the race. Then on lap 8, Jimmie Johnson’s No. 48 Chevrolet got loose as a left rear tire went flat coming out of the tri-oval, This caused him to slide up the track into the No. 10 Smithfield Ford of Aric Almirola. Upon seeing the incident, Daniel Suarez in the No. 19 ARRIS Toyota, cut his wheel hard to the left and avoided major damage.

Johnson and Almirola both exited the race as their cars were junked. Suarez however just made multiple trips down pit road to tape up the right rear and front quarter panels. After yellow flag stops, Logano was still out in the front of the pack.

Penalties for speeding on pit road were handed out to the No. 1 McDonalds Chevrolet of Jamie McMurray and the No. 62 South Point Casio Chevrolet of Brendan Gaughan. The two of them would have to take to the restart at the back of the field.

On lap 39, Rickey Stenhouse in the No. 17 Fastenal Ford got to the tail of William Byron in the No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet. Stenhouse then pulled out to the left to side draft on Byron. Near the start-finish line going into the tri-oval, the air was sucked out from Byron’s car, causing Byron to spin. The front of the No. 24 scraped the outside wall, and a left rear tire went flat. This would end Byron’s day as he took the car behind the wall.

Ty Dillon in the No. 13 Geico Chevrolet was sent to the back of the field for having a jackman over the wall too soon during the yellow flag pit stops. All the while, Logano maintaining the lead throughout to this point throughout the race.

The Yellow flag would once again fly again as Stenhouse Jr. in the No. 17 once again got up on a car’s tail. This time it was the No. 92 Black’s Tire Service of David Gilliland. As Stenhouse pulled out to the left, Gilliland then spun out and hit head first in turn 2. This brought out the 3rd caution on lap 13.

After yellow flag stops, the field got back to green with just 9 laps to go and Joey Logano still at the front of the pack. Then with 3 laps left, Ryan Blaney in the No. 12 Menards Ford got a great run on Logano and was able to make the pass of Logano on the backstretch.

At the same time, the No. 1 of McMurray got a run on the No. 2 Discount Tire Ford. However, as McMurray made his way to the outside of Keselowski, who then made a move to cut him off. However, by that time McMurray was already there and Keselowski got into the side of the No. 1 and took a spinning ride on the backstretch going into turn three.

This sent the race into NASCAR Overtime, with Blaney in the lead. He would be able to hold on to the lead in the green, white, checkered overtime, capturing the victory in Can-AM Duel 1.

After the race, his teammate Logano spoke highly of Blaney’s overall growth in the sport.

“Blaney has gotten a lot better as a driver, knowing the information. Sitting in the meetings, listening to him now compared to a couple years ago when he first started, you listen to his feedback then to now, he’s just way more confident in the information he’s giving. He knows that it’s good.”

The teammates will look to capture a 3rd Daytona 500 victory for team Penske on Sunday in the 60th Annual Daytona 500. The last time Penske won was in 2015 when Joey Logano took the Checkered flag, the other time came in 2008 with Ryan Newman.

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