Earnhardt jr, Kyle Busch share Daytona Duel wins

Dale Earnhardt jr scores a popular victory in the opening Can-Am Duel

Dale Earnhardt jr scores a popular victory in the opening Can-Am Duel

Dale Earnhardt jr has taken an emotional win on the 15th anniversary of his father’s tragic death at Daytona.

Earnhardt jr took victory in the opening leg of the Can-Am Duels, claiming the 60-lap race from Joey Logano.

The win co-incided with the date his legendary father, a seven-times Sprint Cup champion, was killed on the final lap of the Daytona 500 in 2001.

Earnhardt jr, a two-times Daytona 500 champion, dominated by leading 43 of the 60 laps.

“I was daydreaming a little bit,” Earnhardt Jr. said.

“I’m guilty of daydreaming a little bit about winning this race tonight because of the day.

“That was special to me. Glad nothing bad happened, that we didn’t tear our car up, because that would have been embarrassing on a day like this.”

Ryan Blaney took third place ahead of Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin were next in front of Daytona 500 polesitter Chase Elliott.

Kasey Kahne, Greg Biffle, Chris Beuscher and Ricky Stenhouse jr completed the top 10.

Cole Whitt brought out the only caution of the race after his spin in the Toyota late in the race before eventually retiring 13 laps from the end with a mechanical problem.

Subsequently Whitt missed securing a spot in the 500 field.

Kyle Busch takes victory in the second of the Duels

Kyle Busch takes victory in the second of the Duels

In the second Duel, Joe Gibbs Racing’s Kyle Busch clinched the win after leading 35 of the 60 laps.

It was a routine event until the final lap when Jimmie Johnson hit the wall before Matt Kenseth, Martin Truex jr, Kurt Busch, AJ Allmendinger and Danica Patrick all become all involved.

There was heavy damage to the Toyota of Kenseth, who is scheduled to start beside Elliott on the front row of the Daytona 500.

Kenseth could be forced to start from the rear of the field if the damage cannot be fixed and he reverts to the back-up car.

Both David Gilliland and Reed Sorenson have missed out on starting berths for the signature Sprint Cup opener.

Unofficial Daytona 500 starting line-up

1. 24 Chase Elliott Hendrick Motorsports
2. 20 Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Racing
3. 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Hendrick Motorsports
4. 18 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing
5. 22 Joey Logano Team Penske
6. 1 Jamie McMurray Chip Ganassi Racing
7. 21 Ryan Blaney Wood Brothers Racing
8. 41 Kurt Busch Stewart-Haas Racing
9. 4 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing
10. 19 Carl Edwards Joe Gibbs Racing
11. 11 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing
12. 95 Ty Dillon Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing
13. 5 Kasey Kahne Hendrick Motorsports
14. 42 Kyle Larson Chip Ganassi Racing
15. 16 Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Racing
16. 10 Danica Patrick Stewart-Haas Racing
17. 34 Chris Buescher Front Row Motorsports
18. 14 Brian Vickers Stewart-Haas Racing
19. 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Roush Fenway Racing
20. 93 Matt DiBenedetto BK Racing
21. 3 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing
22. 46 Michael Annett HScott Motorsports
23. 6 Trevor Bayne Roush Fenway Racing
24. 38 Landon Cassill Front Row Motorsports
25. 2 Brad Keselowski Team Penske
26. 48 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports
27. 7 Regan Smith Tommy Baldwin Racing
28. 78 Martin Truex Jr. Furniture Row Racing
29. 23 David Ragan BK Racing
30. 47 AJ Allmendinger JTG Daugherty Racing
31. 15 Clint Bowyer HScott Motorsports
32. 13 Casey Mears Germain Racing
33. 32 Bobby Labonte Go Green Racing
34. 43 Aric Almirola Richard Petty Motorsports
35. 44 Brian Scott Richard Petty Motorsports
36. 83 Michael Waltrip BK Racing
37. 27 Paul Menard Richard Childress Racing
38. 31 Ryan Newman Richard Childress Racing
39. 59 Michael McDowell Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing
40. 26 Robert Richardson Jr. BK Racing

VIDEO: Dale Earnhardt jr

VIDEO: Kyle Busch

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