Ryan Blaney and Chase Elliott Win Their Respective NASCAR Can-Am Duels

NASCAR Can-Am Duels took place Saturday night, solidifying the grid spots for the other 38 entrants. Alex Bowman and Denny Hamlin had an easy evening as they were already confirmed spots 1 and 2 on the grid after their performance on Sunday with the qualifying.

Ryan Blaney and Chase Elliott Win Their Respective NASCAR Can-Am Duels

The First Duel

The first duel determined who will line up in the inside row, with the second race deciding the outside row. The first race started with Jimmie Johnson and Alex Bowman in the front row. To save his car and save his energy, Alex Bowman let the pack pass him, dropping him to 20th.

On lap 9, Jimmie Johnson spun out, taking Daniel Suarez and Aric Almirola with him. Suarez dodged most of the incident, being able to stay in the race while Johnson and Almirola were sent packing. Cars pitted after this accident, putting Joey Logano in the lead.

Another incident happened later on Lap 39, when #24 William Byron spun out, making slight contact with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. This took Byron out of the race.

As the race was nearing its end, David Gilliland spun out and hit a wall. Gilliland thought that Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was to blame on his situation citing his complaint on the radio, saying “Idiot. He won two of these and now he’s a hero”.

With 3 laps to go, Ryan Blaney gained the lead. Brad Keselowski spun out and hit the wall hard, making slight contact with McMurray. Keselowski did not finish the race. The race went to NASCAR Overtime, giving the drivers 2 laps to finish up the race.

Ryan Blaney was pressured by Wallace Jr. and Logano, but held on for the win. Wallace and Logano had a very close second place finish, with Logano creeping up on him at the very last second.

The Second Duel

The second race of the evening started with Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin in the front row. On lap 12 of this race, Kyle Larson, Matthew DiBenedetto and Erik Jones got in a crash. Erik Jones was able to finish the race, while Larson and DiBenedetto could not make it to the end.

Kevin Harvick held a lead after the caution, until Chase Elliott gained the lead around Lap 27 (Chase Elliott gained the lead during the commercial break). Chase Elliott battled Harvick until the last lap, but ended up winning the race.

The Duel winners Ryan Blaney and Chase Elliott will line up 3 and 4 at the Daytona 500. There are only projections out so far of the full starting lineup, but the rest of the lineup will soon be announced.

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