Johnson wins second Budweiser Duel 150; Hamlin spins Patrick but she still makes Daytona 500

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Having already qualified on the outside pole for the Daytona 500, Jimmie Johnson could have coasted in Thursday night’s second Budweiser Duel 150 at Daytona International Speedway.

That’s exactly what Johnson did, as the six-time Sprint Cup champion coasted to a green-white-checker victory – going four laps more than the scheduled 60-lap event – and leading a total of 40 laps en route to the win in the non-points race.

“To have the week we’ve had with the front row being secured and the win tonight, it’s been a great start to Speedweeks,” Johnson said. “It was just a fun day. What a race car. This thing is bad-fast. I’m looking forward to Sunday’s race.”

Kyle Busch finished second, followed by Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle, Martin Truex Jr., Ryan Blaney, Reed Sorenson, Mike Wallace, Justin Allgaier and Danica Patrick.

Johnson, who won four races last season, took the lead for good on Lap 41. He joined Hendrick Motorsports teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. as winners on the evening, as Junior won the first Duel race.

With three laps remaining in the scheduled 60-lap event, it appeared that almost every driver in the field had qualified for the Daytona 500 and just had to ride out the final laps.

For the second consecutive day, Danica Patrick spun with Denny Hamlin behind her. Also collected were Brian Scott and Bobby Labonte.

Patrick continued and finished 10th to make the 500.

Patrick and Hamlin had words after the race, but that’s as far as it went.

“First and foremost, the GoDaddy car is in the 500 and that’s what we wanted to accomplish today,” Patrick said. “The incident with Denny … he said he needs to run close to move forward, well, you’re turning me, and it happened in practice, too. When he cut across my rear bumper, it pulls the back end around.

“I don’t want to have these issues, but if we’re going to have these issues, then we’re going to have to deal with him.”

Hamlin then gave his point of view to reporters.

“I try to treat everyone as an equal,” Hamlin said. “If you’re in this Cup series, you deserve to be here. I got close to her and her car got loose again. I guess I’ll just have to give more room because once I get close enough to her, her car just gets out of control.”

When all was said and done on the evening, six drivers failed to make Sunday’s Daytona 500: Alex Bowman, Jeb Burton, Justin Marks, Ron Hornaday Jr., Brian Scott and Josh Wise.

Earlier, a four-car wreck nearly two-thirds of the way through the race brought out a red flag.

On Lap 38, it appeared rookie Jeb Burton clipped the right rear of Sam Hornish Jr., sending the latter spinning into the outside retaining wall and ultimately collecting the cars of Austin Dillon and Alex Bowman.

“(Hornish) came up a little bit and it got me really loose, and I got to weaving back and forth and I got back into (Hornish),” Burton said. “These cars are so on the edge and it’s very disappointing.

“I hate that we got tore up, but we’ll keep fighting.”

Ragan went for a single-car spin on Lap 20, bringing out the caution. Ragan suffered minor damage when his car bounced off the inside retaining wall.


1. Jimmie Johnson
2. Kyle Busch
3. Carl Edwards
4. Greg Biffle
5. Martin Truex Jr.
6. Ryan Blaney
7. Reed Sorenson
8. Mike Wallace
9. Justin Allgaier
10. Danica Patrick
11. Ryan Newman
12. Kurt Busch
13. David Gilliland
14. David Ragan
15. Austin Dillon
16. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
17. Brian Scott
18. Denny Hamlin
19. Michael Waltrip
20. Bobby Labonte
21. Sam Hornish Jr.
22. Jeb Burton
23. Alex Bowman
24. Josh Wise


1. Jimmie Johnson … 40 laps
2. Kyle Busch … 21 laps
3. Carl Edwards … 1 lap
4. Martin Truex Jr. … 1 lap
5. Austin Dillon … 1 lap

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COTA Truck starting lineup: Ross Chastain wins pole


Ross Chastain will start on the pole for Saturday’s Craftsman Truck Series race at Circuit of the Americas.

Chastain earned the top starting spot in Friday’s qualifying with a lap of 91.877 mph. He’ll be joined on the front row by Kyle Busch (91.490 mph).

More: COTA Truck starting lineup

Ty Majeski qualified third with a lap of 91.225 mph. Rookie Nick Sanchez (90.993) will start fourth, and Christian Eckes (90.937) will complete the top five.

Alex Bowman failed to make the race. Bowman had a flat right front on his qualifying lap.

Tyler Reddick leads Cup practice at COTA


Tyler Reddick posted the fastest lap in Friday’s Cup practice at Circuit of the Americas.

Reddick, who won two road course races last season, topped the field in his 23XI Racing Toyota with a lap of 92.989 mph. Kyle Larson was next, posting a lap of 92.618 mph around the 3.41-mile road course.

MORE: COTA Cup practice results

Ross Chastain, who won this race a year ago, was third on the speed chart in practice with a lap of 92.520 mph. He was followed by Kyle Busch (92.498 mph) and Daniel Suarez (92.461 mph).

Jordan Taylor, subbing for the injured Chase Elliott in the No. 9 car for Hendrick Motorsports, was 10th on the speed chart in practice after a lap of 92.404 mph.

Former world champion Jenson Button, driving for Rick Ware Racing, was 28th in practice with a lap of 91.759 mph. Former world champion Kimi Raikkonen, driving the Project 91 car for Trackhouse Racing, was 32nd in practice after a lap of 91.413 mph.

Seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, driving in his first race for Legacy Motor Club since the Daytona 500, was 36th in practice after a lap of 91.072 mph. IndyCar driver Conor Daly was last among the 39 cars in practice with a lap of 90.095 mph.

Cup qualifying is Saturday. The series races Sunday.


Saturday COTA Xfinity race: Start time, TV info, weather


Austin Hill, the dominant driver in the NASCAR Xfinity Series through the early weeks of the season, will be looking for his first Xfinity road course win Saturday.

Hill has won three of the season’s first five races, scoring victories at Daytona, Las Vegas and Atlanta.

Hill has been close in previous road course runs. He has a second at COTA, a third at Portland, a fourth at Road America and a ninth at Indianapolis.

MORE: Dr. Diandra takes a look at top Cup road course drivers

Kyle Busch and AJ Allmendinger own wins in the previous Xfinity races at COTA.

Allmendinger and three other Cup Series regulars — Aric Almirola, William Byron and Ty Gibbs — are scheduled to race in the Xfinity event.

Details for Saturday’s Xfinity race at Circuit of the Americas

(All times Eastern)

START: The command to start engines will be given at 5:08 p.m. … The green flag is scheduled at 5:19 p.m.

PRERACE: Xfinity garage opens at 2 p.m. … The invocation will be given by Jordan Thiessen of Pit Boss Grills at 5 p.m. … The national anthem will be performed by recording artist Payton Keller at 5:01 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 46 laps (156 miles) on the 3.41-mile track.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 14. Stage 2 ends at Lap 30.

TV/RADIO: FS1 will broadcast the race at 5 p.m. … NASCAR RaceDay airs at 4 p.m. on FS1. … Performance Racing Network coverage begins at 4:30 p.m. and can be heard at …SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the PRN broadcast.

FORECAST: Weather Underground — Mainly sunny. Temperature of 82 at race time. No chance of rain.

LAST TIME: AJ Allmendinger won last March’s Xfinity race at COTA. Austin Hill was two seconds behind in second place. Cole Custer finished third.

NASCAR Friday schedule at Circuit of the Americas


NASCAR’s new Cup Series aerodynamic package for short tracks and road courses will be tested in competition on a road circuit for the first time this weekend as the tour stops at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.

All three major national series will be in action at the 3.41-mile, 20-turn track this weekend. The schedule begins Friday with practice for all three series and qualifying for Xfinity and Trucks.

MORE: Drivers say North Wilkesboro’s worn surface will be challenging

The Friday practice was added for Cup teams because of the new competition package, providing 50 minutes of on-track time for adjustments. Teams also will be racing with a new tire compound this weekend.

Chase Elliott (2021) and Ross Chastain (2022) are winners from the previous Cup races at COTA. Elliott won the inaugural event in a race shortened by rain, and Chastain won after a last-lap battle with AJ Allmendinger and Alex Bowman. The victory was Chastain’s first in the series.

A look at Friday’s schedule:

Circuit of the Americas (Cup, Xfinity and Truck)

Weekend weather

Friday: Thunderstorms in the morning. Mostly sunny later. High of 87 with an 80% chance of rain.

Friday, March 24

(All times Eastern)

Garage open

  • 11 a.m. – 10:30 p.m. — Cup Series
  • 11:30 a.m. .- 6:30 p.m. — Truck Series
  • 1:30 – 8:30 p.m. — Xfinity Series

Track activity

  • 2:05 – 2:55 p.m. — Cup practice (No live broadcast; tape-delayed version airing at 8 p.m. on FS1)
  • 4:30 – 5 p.m. — Truck practice (No live broadcast)
  • 5 – 6 p.m. — Truck qualifying (No live broadcast; tape-delayed version airing at 9 p.m. on FS1)
  • 6:30 – 7 p.m. — Xfinity practice (FS1)
  • 7 – 8 p.m. — Xfinity qualifying (FS1)