News & Multimedia

Gatorade Duel - Last Chance For Some

Courtesy of Speed.com

For some, it’s a last chance to shine before the Daytona 500. For others, it’s simply a last chance.

Forty-nine Sprint Cup drivers will compete in a pair of 150-mile qualifying races – the Gatorade Duel – Thursday afternoon (2 p.m. ET on SPEED) at Daytona International Speedway.

The races will play a significant role in determining the starting grid for Sunday’s 500. Although all drivers linked to a team that finished in the top 35 in owner points last season are assured of a spot in the 500, Thursday’s races will be the last shot for a group that includes some big names.

Looking to race their way into the 500 Thursday will be Michael Waltrip, Bill Elliott, Kenny Wallace, Dave Blaney, Joe Nemechek, Michael McDowell, Robert Richardson Jr., Robby Gordon and J.J. Yeley.

The only specific positions solidified in the 500 field are first and second. Carl Edwards won the pole Sunday with a speed of 194.738 mph, and his Roush Fenway Racing teammate Greg Biffle took the other front row spot at 194.087. Other drivers assured themselves of positions on the grid in Sunday qualifying, but Edwards and Biffle are the only drivers with locked-in spots.

The front-row starters always face somewhat of a dilemma in the qualifying races – run for the win or drive conservatively and protect what obviously is a good car.

But Edwards says here is no debate.

“I know how good our backup car is,” he said. “I also know you can’t give these other guys any advantage. If I were to not race and not understand the dynamics that are going to happen during the daytime here at this race track with this package, I’d be giving them something. I have to go out there as a driver and mix it up, race, see how our car handles.”

Biffle expressed similar feelings.

“Certainly the primary concern is to protect the race car,” he said. “We know that we want to start the race with this 500 car. We got a lot of work into it.

“Secondly, we need to get in competition with this car, see how it drives, see what adjustments we need to make to it, what we want to do to it.

“I’m sure at some point we’ll be back in a little bit of traffic, but we don’t want to get back in the latter part of this event three-wide or something, back where guys are fighting for their life to try to get in the 500.”

Edwards, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Marcos Ambrose, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Trevor Bayne will start in the first five in the first race. In the top five on the grid in race two are Biffle, Casey Mears, Jeff Gordon, Martin Truex Jr. and Mark Martin.
 

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
Gatorade Duel - Last Chance For Some
 
Gatorade Duel - Last Chance For Some
For some, it’s a last chance to shine before the Daytona 500. For others, it’s simply a last chance.
Read More
Related Media
Graham Rahal
 
Monday Racing Roundup: Rahal Thrills Ohio Fans, Inches Closer to Montoya
Rahal's surge in the second half of the Verizon IndyCar Series season continued with his second win in five weeks. Rahal, who started 13th in the 90-lap race in the No. 15 Steak 'n Shake Honda for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, closed to nine points of Verizon IndyCar Series championship front-runner Juan Pablo Montoya with two races left in the season. There are 10 entries mathematically eligible for the title.
Read More
Kyle Busch
 
Reorder 2016 Tickets Now to Get Special Deals for Crown Royal Presents the "Your Hero's Name Here" 400 at the Brickyard
As a special thank you to the world’s greatest race fans, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is offering special pricing for selected days to those who reorder their 2016 Crown Royal Presents the “Your Hero’s Name Here” 400 at the Brickyard tickets by Monday, Aug. 10.
Read More
Sherwin-Williams
 
Sherwin-Williams Joins IMS, INDYCAR as Official Partner in Multi-Year Agreement
Sherwin-Williams, an industry leader in paint and coatings, will serve as the Official Paint and Finishing Partner of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, INDYCAR, the Verizon IndyCar Series, Indianapolis 500 Mile Race, Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal 400 at the Brickyard as part of a multi-year partnership agreement.
Read More
Kyle Busch
 
Kyle Busch Wins 2015 Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard
Kyle Busch scored one of the biggest wins of his career on Sunday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, holding off Joey Logano in a green-white-checkered finish to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard.
Read More
Lauren Holliday
 
Indianapolis' Women's World Cup Hero Excited for Pace Car Drive
The Indianapolis native used that speed with her feet to lead the United States women’s national soccer team to two Olympic gold medals, and most recently, the 2015 Women’s World Cup championship.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 644
Reserve one of our hospitality suites for your next event!
To start planning your event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway please fill out our Information Request Form or contact Laura Wyamn at (317) 492-8557 or email at lwyman@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
Curious about the hot topics for the 8th annual @RedBullINDY #IndyGP? Here ya go! http://t.co/XHw1YXPuEu http://t.co/kRKptSlb8F
about 2 hours ago