Keselowski left Crew Penske to turn into an owner-driver for the previous Roush Fenway Racing group over the low season, and bought off to a successful begin by passing former team-mate Ryan Blaney with 4 excursions of the 60-lap race to go.
The 2012 Cup champion then held off his substitute within the #2 Penske Ford, Austin Cindric, to win the primary of Thursday evening’s two grid-setting qualifying races.
Blaney completed third, forward of Chase Briscoe (Stewart-Haas Ford) and Chase Elliott (Hendrick Chevrolet), whereas Daytona 500 poleman Kyle Larson completed seventh.
The victory means Keselowski will take third beginning place in Sunday’s 500, behind reigning Cup champion Larson and his Hendrick Chevrolet team-mate Alex Bowman after they secured front row spots in qualifying on Wednesday.
“I felt fairly good about our automotive,” stated Keselowski, who has by no means gained the Daytona 500.
“I give credit score to the opposite Fords – Ryan Blaney, Chase Briscoe, Austin Cindric – we had nice technique. We caught collectively and drove away and put ourselves in place to manage this race.
“It was nice to see all these Fords up entrance. Good job to all these guys. That is particular.”
Driving a Chevrolet for boxer Floyd Mayweather’s The Cash Crew Racing group, Kaz Grala edged J.J. Yeley on the ultimate lap to turn into the highest-finishing non-charter group and earn a beginning place in Sunday’s 500.
Kaz Grala, TMT Racing, Chevrolet Camaro Pit Viper Sun shades
Photograph by: Nigel Kinrade / NKP / Motorsport Images
The 23-year-old needed to begin the rear of the qualifying race on account of unapproved changes, and in addition needed to get well from a pass-through penalty after he was penalised for rushing on pit highway.
Noah Gragson, who had already clinched a beginning spot within the Daytona 500 primarily based on qualifying velocity, elected to fall to the again to keep away from any likelihood of getting in a wreck.
The second Duel race was gained by Keselowski’s team-mate Buescher, who will begin alongside his group co-owner on the second row of the 500 after a last lap wreck battling for place with Joey Logano.
Buescher, getting a push from 2021 Daytona winner Michael McDowell, dove beneath Logano’s Penske Ford getting into the again straight attempting for the lead on the final of 60 laps. Logano moved down to dam Buscher’s transfer, however was spun into the wall to convey out a warning.
Buescher was forward on the time of the warning and was declared the winner, forward of McDowell (Entrance Row Motorsports Ford) and rookie Harrison Burton’s Wooden Brothers Ford third.
Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota team-mates Kyle Busch and Christopher Bell accomplished the highest 5, whereas 13th was adequate for Biffle to make his first Cup begin for the reason that finish of his full-time NASCAR profession in 2016 with the NY Racing Crew Chevrolet.
Jacques Villeneuve, who already made the 500 field based on his qualifying speed, pulled into his pit stall earlier than the race began with a problem underneath the bonnet. He was in a position to be a part of the sector earlier than the race went inexperienced.