The race to make the race: The Duels at Daytona breakdown

Six drivers and teams will be sent home.

Before the 500 mile dash for the Harley J. Earl Trophy, there are two 150 mile sprint races to decide the final starting order for Sunday's main event. Beyond that, these races also send six teams home with little to show for their valiant efforts.

The Duels can either make or break a team, either setting a foundation for the owner to build on or cause it all to crumble and collapse. Here's an outlook on today's races with a rundown of who is safe and who is going to have to fight for the right to race tonight.

Locked In (13)

Front Row: Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson

Speed: Carl Edwards, Jamie McMurray, Aric Almirola, Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

2014 Owner Points: Kevin Harvick, Ryan Newman, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, Matt Kenseth

Champion's Provisional: Tony Stewart 

How to lock yourself in

Finish top 15: There are multiple ways to lock yourself into the Daytona 500, but none of them are easy. The top 15 finishers from each Duel are automatic locks, filling positions from 3rd to 32nd.

33rd to 36th: Positions 33rd to 36th go to the four fastest cars in qualifying who are not yet locked in. You saw the four names listed above, so who are the next in line should one or all of those four finish inside the top 15 tonight? In order, it would be Michael Waltrip, Kyle Busch, Ty Dillon and Austin Dillon.

37th to 42nd: Positions 37 to 42 go to the six highest cars in the 2014 owner standings not guaranteed a spot in the field already. The drivers first in line for this are Trevor Bayne, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, and A.J. Allmendinger.

43rd: 43rd goes to the champion's provisional, that being Stewart. Should he not need it, it would then go to Kurt Busch and Bobby Labonte. If none of them need the PC, then we go to the highest car in last year's owner's points not already locked in.

Be part of something big

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Event Daytona 500
Track Daytona International Speedway
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Jeff Gordon , Matt Kenseth , Bobby Labonte , Tony Stewart , Michael Waltrip , Kevin Harvick , Kurt Busch , Ryan Newman , Jimmie Johnson , Jamie McMurray , Trevor Bayne , A.J. Allmendinger , Carl Edwards , Brad Keselowski , Denny Hamlin , Aric Almirola , Ricky Stenhouse Jr. , Joey Logano , Austin Dillon , Kyle Busch , Ty Dillon
Article type Analysis