Tony Pizzaro and John Battista sit atop the front row, attempting to hold off the hungry make-it-or-break-it crowd from behind for 60 laps. Dakota Wilkins, Geno Sphere, Ben Geer, Philip Parker, Mike Carroll, Kevin Corbat, Scott Drake, Chauncey Redmond Jr., Jonathan Cheeseman, Scott Deutsch, David Baldinger, Glenn Kaufmann and Stephen Lowe attempt to make the Daytona 500 field by being the best four out of thirteen. Good luck!
Daytona Duel #1 Race Results
Dan Johnston and Zakk Miller took turns at the helm before disaster struck on lap 2. Kevin Corbat and Scott Jackson made contact in turn 3, sliding both cars into the apron with the #38 flying into oncoming traffic. Dakota Wilkins slammed the rear-end of Jackson's ATEUP chevrolet hard, flying head-first into the outside wall for a second massive blow. Matt Raboin knocked the passenger side of Wilkins and hit Tony Long in the aftermath. All four cars fell out of the race, with Wilkins unable to make the show due to the accident.
As the damages healed up, the racing began with John Tharp and John Battista dominating the event. Battista led laps 9 through 13 before Tharp made his move on the backstretch inside lane. Zach Michael, Mark Murphy, Dan Johnston and Donald Stewart all had their share of laps led before the halfway point, giving hope that the dominant cars won't run away with the show.
A debris caution on lap 26 saw John Tharp re-take the lead and dominate the rest of the event, leading 21 straight laps. With 12 to go, Tharp passed the lapped car of Stephen Lowe as the rest of the pack fell behind, leaving Battista enough momentum to pass entering turn 1 with the Red Bull draft help of Mark Murphy. He would only stay atop the heap for 1-lap.
Battista was freight-trained by Murphy and the rest of the pack, including Chauncey Rednond Jr. and Glenn Kaufmann who were fighting to make their first and last Daytona 500's. Tony Pizzaro made his mark at the front for one lap before Murphy re-took the spot, proving that the Danger Zone horsepower was no fluke during the Shootout.
It was certanly flukeless, as the Zach Michael Danger Zone mustang pushed Tharp back to the front coming to three laps remaining. The white flag lap saw Tony Pizzaro and John Battista's high-horsepower engines tag-team, still struggling to keep up with the independent John Tharp. From behind, Glenn Kaufmann and Geno Sphere were battling for the final spot in the Daytona 500.
Tharp would cross the line in first place after a completely dominating performance, leading 29 of the 60 laps en route to another Daytona victory. Congrats to Tharp for the victory and the Daytona 500 pole, and to Scott Drake (6th), Chauncey Redmond Jr. (9th), Philip Parker (11th), and Glenn Kaufmann (12th) for making the Daytona 500 field!
2022 Daytona Duel #1 Video (Part 1)
2022 Daytona Duel #1 Video (Part 2)