Kenseth Powers Roush Fenway to First Gatorade Duel Win at Daytona
Duel victory continues Roush Fenway’s strong run at Daytona Speedweeks
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 24, 2012) – Matt Kenseth used a gutsy, last-lap move to overtake teammate Greg Biffle and power Roush Fenway Racing to its first ever victory in the Gatorade Duel Daytona 500 qualifying race in Thursday’s second duel session at Daytona International Speedway. With the victory, Kenseth will join Roush Fenway teammates Carl Edwards and Biffle in the front of the field when the green flag drops on Sunday’s ‘Great American Race.’ Edwards and Biffle will start one-two after sweeping the pole in last Sunday’s Daytona 500 pole day.
“Thankfully our Best Buy Ford Fusion was really fast,” said Kenseth after the race. “Doug Yates and those guys have given the Fords really good engines this weekend. Once we got up to the front if I could stay toward the bottom and keep somebody sort of close to my back bumper we had a lot of speed which makes it a lot easier.
“We just had a big run there,” added Kenseth on his last lap pass. “Jimmie Johnson gave me a huge push there and that really worked nice for me the whole race there.”
Moving into its 25th anniversary season, the victory continued an RFR strong-hold at the 2012 Daytona Speedweeks that has seen the team now sweep the front row on pole day, post the fastest laps in each day’s Sprint Cup practice sessions and lead the most laps in Saturday night’s Budweiser Shootout all-star event (with Biffle). In addition, Biffle led a race-high 39 laps in the second duel session, before finishing fifth in the race.
Edwards and Biffle will start first and second, with Kenseth starting on the second row in fourth for the Daytona 500 on Sunday. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. qualified eighth last Sunday, finished 11th in today’s duel race and will make his Daytona 500 debut on Sunday. Defending Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne, driving the Wood Brothers’ No. 21 Ford, will look to repeat his victory from a year ago after qualifying in on speed on pole day and finishing 12th in today’s first duel session. Edwards was fifth in the day’s first duel as well.
Daytona 500 starting lineups will be finalized later this afternoon.