Daytona Duels 2023 results: Joey Logano, Aric Almirola take checkered flags at Daytona 500 qualifying races

By | February 16, 2023

Aric Almirola didn’t expect to be taking part in this week’s Daytona 500.

The Cup Series veteran had his sights set on retirement at one point last year, only announcing his intention to return to the Cup Series circuit in late August.

The Florida native has put together a solid career, climbing as high as fifth in playoff points ranking. For all of his impressive exploits, though, Almirola has yet to capture the big one — “The Great American Race.”

He gave his chances a boost on Thursday, blazing past the field to seal his spot on Row No. 2 Sunday. He’ll be joined by Team Penske’s Joey Logano, who captured Duel 1 earlier in the day.

It was a pair of races that proved diametrically different. The first one was clean, with drivers keeping things about as smooth as possible. Race 2 was a different story, especially after race leader Kyle Busch spun out.

It’s only a prelude of Sunday’s big race. But it was an entertaining one. Fans will be hoping they’ll catch a glimpse of even more action come the weekend.

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The Sporting News tracked live updates from Thursday’s Daytona Duel. Below are the highlights and results from Thursday’s qualifying races. Below is the action as it happened at Daytona International Speedway.

Duel 1 starting lineup

Pos. Driver Car No. Team
1 Alex Bowman 48 Hendrick Motorsports
2 William Byron 24 Hendrick Motorsports
3 Joey Logano 22 Team Penske
4 Ryan Blaney 12 Team Penske
5 Harrison Burton 21 Wood Brothers Racing
6 Bubba Wallace 23 23XI Racing
7 Chris Buescher 17 Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing
8 Ross Chastain 1 Trackhouse Racing
9 Kevin Harvick 4 Stewart-Haas Racing
10 Ty Gibbs 54 Joe Gibbs Racing
11 Christopher Bell 20 Joe Gibbs Racing
12 Jimmie Johnson 84 Legacy Motor Club
13 Michael McDowell 34 Front Row Motorsports
14 Erik Jones 43 Legacy Motor Club
15 Zane Smith 36 Front Row Motorsports
16 A.J. Allmendinger 16 Kaulig Racing
17 Austin Dillon 3 Richard Childress Racing
18 Ricky Stenhouse 47 JTG Daugherty Racing
19 Cody Ware 51 Rick Ware Racing
20 Ty Dillon 77 Spire Motorsports
21 Chandler Smith 13 Kaulig Racing

Duel 2 starting lineup

Pos. Driver Car No. Team
1 Kyle Larson 5 Hendrick Motorsports
2 Aric Almirila 10 Stewart-Haas Racing
3 Chase Briscoe 14 Stewart-Haas Racing
4 Austin Cindric 2 Team Penske
5 Kyle Busch 8 Richard Childress Racing
6 Daniel Suarez 99 Trackhouse Racing
7 Chase Elliott 9 Hendrick Motorsports
8 Ryan Preece 41 Stewart-Haas Racing
9 Brad Keselowski 6 Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing
10 Tyler Reddick 45 23XI Racing
11 Martin Truex Jr. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing
12 Travis Pastrana 67 23XI Racing
13 Denny Hamlin 11 Joe Gibbs Racing
14 Noah Gragson 42 Legacy Motor Club
15 Justin Haley 31 Kaulig Racing
16 Austin Hill 62 Beard Motorsports
17 Todd Gilliland 38 Front Row Motorsports
18 B.J. McLeod 78 Live Fast Motorsports
19 Riley Herbst 15 Rick Ware Racing
20 Corey LaJoie 7 Spire Motorsports
21 Conor Daly 50 The Money Team Racing

Daytona Duels 2023 live updates, highlights

(All times Eastern)

9:50 p.m.: Final results from Duel 2:

9:45 p.m.: The checkered flag is waved and it’s Almirola who notches the win. He’ll be on the second row on Sunday.

Daly nabs the last open car slot. Floyd Mayweather may have his champion.

9:44 p.m.: Almirola makes his move, pacing past Gilliland. Must be said, Gilliland made a daring save to give himself a chance on Sunday.

9:42 p.m.: Austin Cindric, the darling of Daytona in recent years, nabbed the top spot from Almirola. He’s got Todd Gilliland on his backside. Just three laps to go.

9:36 p.m.: Larson had Keselowski on his tail with 11 laps to go. Lots of risk here for the No. 5 car, especially with a driver as aggressive as Keselowski on his bumper.

Almirola holds the top spot.

9:34 p.m.: Hill’s car headed to the garage. If he’s unable to continue, that will push Daly into Sunday’s race.

9:29 p.m.: Pastrana’s car is out. Looks like he got a taste of Busch’s wreck. That means the final open spot will be between Hill and Conor Daly.

9:24 p.m.: CAUTION! Suarez sends Busch into the wall, wrecking the race leader and starting a chain reaction that flows down the track. Hill was involved, which could prove problematic in his efforts to qualify for Sunday’s main event.

9:18 p.m.: Hamlin, Brad Keselowski and Tyler Reddick are trying to make their way up the track on the outside. Keselowski with a push on Hamlin which takes the No. 11 car up to 11th. 24 laps to go.

9:13 p.m.: At the halfway point of tonight’s (second) race, Busch has the lead by a tenth of a second over Daniel Suarez. Racers still sticking in that single file line, although you can’t imagine that will remain the same as we approach the end of the race.

9:08 p.m.: Denny Hamlin trying to make a surge on the outside. Despite that, it’s been fairly orderly through the first 23 circuits around the track. Busch holding firm in first place.

9:03 p.m.: Further in the back, open car drivers Austin Hill and Travis Pastrana are poised to take part in Sunday’s big race. Pastrana already clinched a spot after putting up a top-two open car time in yesterday’s time trials. He’s currently in 19th place, one spot behind Hill.

8:59 p.m.: Back to green after a slight delay. Larson, Kyle Busch and Almirola all making plays for first place.13 laps in and it’s Busch with the slightest of edges over Larson.

8:50 p.m.: CAUTION! First caution flag of the night waved after someone’s window went flying on Lap 7. Larson and Almirola at the top of the field early.

8:46 p.m.: Green flag waved! Kyle Larson leading the line in the second leg of Daytona Duels.

8:35 p.m.: Drivers are firing up their engines. Duel 2 set to kick off in a few minutes.

8:30 p.m.: Unofficial results from Duel 1:

8:10 p.m.: The slicing and dicing starts with two to go. Christopher Bell and Bubba Wallace move to the outside, which forces the leaders to block. Logano, with a push from his teammate Blaney, holds off Bell to win by less than half a car length. The reigning series champ will start third in the 500. Zane Smith races his way in.

8:05 p.m: Zane Smith is six laps away from racing into Sunday’s main event. He’s in the lead pack and well ahead of Chandler Smith.

8 p.m.: Down to the final 10 laps. No one’s willing to mix it up and cost themselves their primary car for the 500.

7:55 p.m.: The race has been broken up into two packs of cars. The lead pack is fronted by Logano and Kevin Harvick with 18 to go.

7:45 p.m.: The leaders, made up of Toyotas and Fords, make their pit stops on Lap 30. Joey Logano emerges from the stop with the lead.   

7:40 p.m.: Green-flag pit stops for the Chevrolet cars on Lap 23. They’ll work to get back into the draft after coming off pit road. Chandler Smith is nailed for speeding, costing him big in his bid to race into the 500.

7:35 p.m.: One-third of Duel 1 (20 laps) is down. Ryan Blaney leads the field, whch is now racing mostly single file. Blaney’s BFF Bubba Wallace is right behind him in second.

7:30 p.m.: Pole-sitter Alex Bowman drops to the rear of the field rather than risk a wreck that will cost him his spot up front on Suday.

7:25 p.m.: Everyone’s behaving themselves in the opening laps, with the field racing two by two from front to back and not doing much bump drafting. 

7:15 p.m.: Someone was fired up to give the command to drivers before Duel 1:

Daytona Duels 2023 start times

  • Duel 1: 7 p.m. ET
  • Duel 2: 8:45 p.m. ET (approx.)

Duel 1 will consist of odd-number finishers (one, three, five, etc.) from time trials. Duel 2 will feature the trial’s even-numbered participants.

Daytona Duels 2023 TV channel

  • TV networks: FS1 (U.S.), TSN (Canada)
  • Live stream:, Fox Sports App, fuboTV

Thursday’s races will be broadcast on FS1 nationally. Mike Joy (play-by-play) will lead the call; he’ll be joined by analysts Clint Bowyer and Larry McReynolds, who will offer occasional musings from the booth.

The races can be streamed on Fox Sports platforms or fuboTV, which offers a free trial