Chase Elliott headlines Can-Am Duels

Ahead of the start of the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup, Connor Ferguson looks at the field for the Can-Am Duels for the Daytona 500.

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DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 19: Pole winner, Chase Elliott, driver of the #24 NAPA Chevrolet, and Front Row winner Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, celebrate in Victory Lane after qualifying for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series 59th Annual DAYTONA 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 19, 2017 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

Race Info

Race: Can-Am Duels
Track: Daytona International Speedway
Laps: 60
Time: 7:00 p.m. & 8:30 p.m. ET
TV: Fox Sports 1

Chase Elliott headlines Can-Am Duels

The final week of speedweeks has arrived. From here on out, for the cup series at least, it’s all about racing.

The racing will start this Thursday with the Can-Am Duels – two 60 lap qualifying races to determine the starting order for the 59th running of the Daytona 500.

Because they qualified first and second on Sunday, Chase Elliott and Dale Earnhardt Jr. have solidified their spots on the front row of the 500. They will lead each respective field to the green flag Thursday.

This is the third year in a row that the No. 24 team will be taking the green flag at Daytona.

Penske Fords will show what they’ve got

The first duel of the day is headlined by the pair of Penske Fords in Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano. The teammates made up two of the top three practice times set in the only practice session so far.

Aside from that, the first duel is lacking storylines compared to the second.

Earnhardt Jr. returns to competitive racing

As for the second duel, Earnhardt Jr. will pace the field as he returns for his first competitive race since July 9, 2016. Junior missed the second half of the NASCAR season with concussion issues, but that clearly hasn’t affected him thus far, albeit it being a small sample size.

Earnhardt Jr. is followed by another driver who is making his return to the big stage in Clint Bowyer, who spent last year with HScott Motorsports. He starts second in the duel in his first event with Stewart Haas Racing.

Move down just one more spot on the grid and find Denny Hamlin: the defending Daytona 500 champion.
As for the rest of the field, Ty Dillon starts off his rookie of the year campaign in sixth, defending series champion Jimmie Johnson in seventh, and Michael Waltrip 17th as he prepares for the final race of his career.

Lineups

Can-Am Duel 1 Starting Lineup Can-Am Duel 2 Starting Lineup
Position Driver Position Driver
1 Chase Elliott 1 Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2 Brad Keselowski 2 Clint Boyer
3 Martin Truex Jr. 3 Denny Hamlin
4 Kevin Harvick 4 Kasey Kahne
5 Matt Kenseth 5 Ryan Newman
6 Kyle Busch 6 Ty Dillon
7 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 7 Jimmie Johnson
8 Daniel Suarez 8 Kyle Larson
9 Joey Logano 9 Ryan Blaney
10 Trevor Bayne 10 Erik Jones
11 Paul Menard 11 Kurt Busch
12 Jamie McMurray 12 Danica Patrick
13 Aric Almirola 13 Austin Dillon
14 Landon Cassill 14 A.J. Allmendinger
15 Matt DiBenedetto 15 Michael McDowell
16 Chris Buescher 16 David Regan
17 Brendan Gaughan 17 Michael Waltrip
18 Cole Whitt 18 Elliott Sadler
19 Reed Sorenson 19 D.J. Kennington
20 Joey Gase 20 Jeffrey Earnhardt
21 Corey LaJoie 21 Timmy Hill

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