|Joe Gibbs Racing drivers are favorites to win Bud Duels|
After watching Saturday's Sprint Unlimited and Sunday's qualifying session, it's fair to say the cars are running almost exactly like they did in 2014. In both events, we saw tempers flare with several wrecks, and with some drivers having to stay aggressive to give themselves a chance to make the Daytona 500, it's a good bet we'll see a couple more wrecks.
Daytona forecast: Wrecks, wrecks, more wrecks
Unlike in the Sprint Unlimited, the cars used in the Budweiser Duels will be the same ones used in the Daytona 500. Those involved in a wreck will have to use a back-up, and no driver wants that.
You might think we’d have more drivers win one of the Budweiser Duels and Daytona 500 in the same year, but it’s only happened nine times since 1959. The last driver to accomplish the feat was Matt Kenseth in 2012. Before him it was Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2004, and Dale Earnhardt did it in 1998 -- the only year he ever won the Daytona 500. Cale Yarborough is the only driver to do it twice (1977, 1984). The first driver to do it was Fireball Roberts in 1962. Others include Bill Elliott (1985), Bobby Allison (1988) and Sterling Marlin (1995).
Last season we saw Joe Gibbs Racing drivers Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth sweep the Bud Duels. Hamlin also won the Sprint Unlimited last year, and Kenseth won it Saturday. Between those two, Kyle Busch and new teammate Carl Edwards, they look to be the best bet to get at least one of the wins. Hamlin, Busch and Edwards are the top three favorites to win in Duel No. 2.
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