Daytona Duel: Brandon Whitt race notes

About the Race . . . Tony Stewart went on to win his second race of the 2007 Daytona Speedweek events when he edged out Dale Earnhardt Jr. for the win. Stewart who dominated the Bud Shootout went on to prove once again why he is the man to beat...

About the Race . . .

Tony Stewart went on to win his second race of the 2007 Daytona Speedweek events when he edged out Dale Earnhardt Jr. for the win. Stewart who dominated the Bud Shootout went on to prove once again why he is the man to beat out on the high banks of Daytona International Speedway. Stewart was among five drivers to lead the 63 lap event and accumulated the most lead laps at 37. The win was a milestone achievement for Joe Gibbs Racing, as Stewart's trip to victory lane marked the 100th professional victory for the organization.

Tracking the No. 72 Dutch Quality Stone race team . . .

The No. 72 Dutch Quality Stone team was one of 61 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup (NNCS) teams heading to Daytona in hopes of gaining a spot in the most anticipated race of the year, the Daytona 500. The team, in their sophomore year of competition, came into Daytona with two different scenarios on how to make the 43-car field; a strong qualifying run or racing their way into the field with just two available positions in each of the Gatorade Duel's. Despite all the hard work and promising performance, the No. 72 Dutch Quality Stone team would fall short and have to make their way back home.

With three starts under his belt at the famed Super Speedway, Brandon Whitt was anxious to put what he learned to use. Qualifying for the Gatorade Duel's got under way on Sunday and Whitt posted a time of 49.869 sec., 180.473 mph. The qualifying effort placed Whitt and the No. 72 Dutch Quality Stone Chevrolet in the 30th position for Thursday's Gatorade Duel (race one).

"We gave it our best. The car is much better in the draft so I think we'll be fine heading into the Duel's," Whitt remarked after his qualifying run.

As the first Gatorade Duel got under way, Whitt battled a loose handling race car. A caution flag would fly just 11 laps into the race, enabling the team to come in and make some adjustments. With two right side tires, fuel and one round on the track bar, Whitt restarted the race in the 19th position.

Back out on track, the handling problems would continue to plague the No. 72 Chevy. The loose handling condition was not remedied and Whitt would come down pit road three more times throughout the 63 lap event for adjustments.

The No. 72 Dutch Quality Stone Chevrolet gained momentum with just 20 laps to go and sat as high as the 15th position until Whitt was hung out to dry and lost the drafting help he needed to secure one of the transfer spots in the Daytona 500.

CJM Racing would have to settle for a 21st finishing position as the checkered flag flew.

"When I ran in the draft we were strong. It was when I got shuffled back and lost the pack I knew we might be in trouble," explained Rookie of the Year contender Whitt. "I learned a lot out there today and am just sorry we wont be sticking around for the big race. We knew what we were up against and we'll take what we've learned and head to California next weekend."

-credit: cjm racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Tony Stewart , Brandon Whitt