Is there a value to Daytona 500 qualifying races?

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What is the value of Daytona 500 qualifying races? Eric Chemi of CNBC says they’re irrelevant in terms of what will happen race day.

Chemi writes: “According to data provided to CNBC by PitRho, a racing analytics and software firm, we can see exactly how little value qualifying matters to the race outcome. For example, the average Duel result of a driver who finished in the top 10 of the Daytona 500 (10.6) was basically the same as the average Duel result of the drivers who finished at the bottom (11.5).’’

Tonight’s Budweiser Duels will set the starting lineup for Sunday’s Daytona 500. There are 49 cars vying for 43 spots. Thirteen drivers are guaranteed starting spots regardless what happens tonight.

Those who could be in jeopardy of making the race – depending on what happens in both races – include Danica Patrick, Justin Allgaier, David Ragan and Landon Cassill. Clint Bowyer also could be in trouble but it would take a lot for him to miss the race. Technically, Dale Earnhardt Jr., could miss the race after his time was disallowed in qualifying, but the chances of that happening are extremely remote.

Read more of Eric Chemi’s work at CNBC.