+ AND NOW THE DAYTONA 500 Worst-case scenario, Scott Speed had his qualifying time to fall back on. Instead, Speed chose the direct route and raced his way into the Daytona 500. Driver No. 82 finished 14th in the second Duel 150-mile...
+ AND NOW THE DAYTONA 500
Worst-case scenario, Scott Speed had his qualifying time to fall back on. Instead, Speed chose the direct route and raced his way into the Daytona 500.
Driver No. 82 finished 14th in the second Duel 150-mile qualifying race Thursday at Daytona International Speedway, taking the second of two transfer spots and ensuring himself the 30th starting position in Sunday's season-opening Daytona 500. Five days earlier in Daytona 500 qualifying, Speed's No. 82 Red Bull Toyota was second fastest of the cars required to qualify on time.
That time guaranteed Speed a spot in the Daytona 500, but he clearly wanted more.
"We certainly learned a lot for what it will be like for the 500 and what we can do to the car to improve it," Speed said. "I think we expected to be a little bit better than we were. We were tighter than we expected. It gives us a chance to go back and tune on the thing before the 500 and that's a big advantage."
Good thing the qualifying safety net was there, because on lap 27 Speed redefined "checking up" and narrowly avoided the spinning car of David Gilliland, whose No. 49 crossed right in front of Speed.
"With these bigger restrictor plates, the corners are a little bit more like corners for us," he said. "It's going to make the racing interesting. I think most people were taking it easy today.
"We learned a few things to make our car better for Sunday, and hopefully we'll make the right changes for the Daytona 500."
Teammate Brian Vickers finished 10th. He started 18th and immediately charged to the front, running in the top three for much of the 60-lap sprint. Vickers was leading with seven laps to go before getting loose as Tony Stewart's car came up from behind.
He fell out of the draft and scraped the wall, but there was only cosmetic damage to the No. 83 Red Bull Toyota.
"It was really loose," said Vickers, who'll start 22nd in the Daytona 500. "I think everybody had a handful out there. I was trying to block Tony and he had such a run. Right when he got to me the car just got really loose and I saved it but I got in the wall."
-source: red bull racing team