DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano won the Daytona 500 qualifying races in two Ford sweeps that have the new Mustang positioned for a strong showing in “The Great American Race.”
Harvick won the first of the 150-mile qualifying races Thursday night that set the field for NASCAR’s showcase event. Logano used a last-lap pass for the lead in the second one.
Both Harvick and Logano led podium sweeps for Ford, which this year is racing the Mustang in NASCAR’s top series. The qualifying races set the starting lineup for Sunday’s season-opening Daytona 500, and Ford drivers locked down the second through fourth rows.
“Cool to see a couple of Mustangs in victory lane already,” Logano said. “The big one’s still Sunday. It’s a confidence builder for everyone.”
William Byron and Alex Bowman, in Chevrolets for Hendrick Motorsports, swept the top two spots in time trials last week and represent the youngest starting row in Daytona 500 history. Byron is 21 and Bowman is 25.
Harvick’s victory was uneventful beyond Jimmie Johnson’s involvement in his second wreck of Speedweeks.
Photo: John Raoux / Associated Press
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Logano, meanwhile, was fourth on the final lap when he pulled out of line to try for the win. The reigning NASCAR champion got a solid push from Team Penske teammate Ryan Blaney to move to the front and earn his spot alongside Harvick in Sunday’s race.
Jenna Fryer is an Associated Press writer.
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