22 Feb 2013

Harvick, Kyle Busch win Daytona qualifying races

4:51 pm on 22 February 2013

Kevin Harvick positioned himself as one of the favorites for Sunday's Daytona 500 in Florida by winning the first of two qualifying races to claim the inside lane in the second row for the season-opening NASCAR race.

Danica Patrick had already clinched pole in qualifying trials last weekend to become the first woman to achieve that distinction, with Jeff Gordon alongside her on the first row.

Patrick played it safe on Friday, racing with the pack early in the first 'Duel', one of two 150-mile, 60-lap races that finalised the grid for the Daytona 500, before easing back and finishing 17th out of 23 drivers, staying out of trouble to save her car for the race.

Harvick, who five days ago won The Sprint Unlimited exhibition race at the Daytona International Speedway, passed leader Trevor Bayne on Lap 37 and led the remaining 23 laps.

Kyle Busch won the second race to secure the fourth spot on the grid alongside Harvick.