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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- In time trial qualifying on Wednesday, Joey Logano won the pole for the 66th running of the Daytona 500, while Michael McDowell joined him on the front row in second spot. Now, the rest of the 40-car field for "The Great American Race" will be set through a pair of the only qualifying races on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule.

Thursday night's Bluegreen Vacations Duel at Daytona will determine starting spots 3-40 for the Daytona 500, splitting the 42 entries into two separate 60-lap, 150-mile races. 

It's a unique format during the long season that no other race utilizes. Top drivers are all vying for positioning and hoping to avoid starting at the back of the pack for Sunday's race. 

Prime starting position and some championship points are on the line for most of the field, while four drivers -- including a NASCAR Hall of Famer -- will have to race it out for the two remaining starting spots available in the field.

How to watch the Bluegreen Vacations Duel

Date: Thursday, Feb. 15
Location: Daytona International Speedway -- Daytona Beach, Fla.
Time: 7 p.m. ET
Stream: fubo (try for free)

How Daytona 500 qualifying works

With the front row qualifiers having settled their starting spots through time trial qualifying, the rest of the field will determine their Daytona 500 starting positions based on how they finish in the Duel qualifying races. Duel 1 sets the inside row for the Daytona 500, while Duel 2 sets the outside row based on each driver's finishing position. The winner of Duel 1 will start third for the Daytona 500, the winner of Duel 2 will start fourth, and so forth. If Logano or McDowell win their respective Duel races, the second-place finisher will qualify third or fourth, respectively, and so forth.

In addition to Daytona 500 starting positions, the first championship points of the 2024 season are on the line in both races. The winner of each Duel race will receive 10 points toward the regular-season championship, second place will receive nine points, and so on until 10th place receives a single point. Unlike in all other races, the winner will not receive any playoff points.

The 36 chartered cars in the NASCAR Cup Series field are all guaranteed a Daytona 500 starting spot, leaving four spots in the field for "Open" non-chartered cars to attempt to qualify. By virtue of being the fastest two Open cars in time trials Wednesday, Anthony Alfredo and David Ragan have both already locked themselves into the Daytona 500. Alfredo and Ragan can fall back on their qualifying speeds regardless of where they finish in their Duel, or they can improve their starting position by being the highest-finishing Open car in their Duel.

NASCAR Hall of Famer and seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, as well as B.J. McLeod, face multiple scenarios where they can make the Daytona 500 field. They can either make the field by racing their way in, or by falling back on their qualifying speeds provided the Open cars faster than them in time trials finish as the highest Open car.

  • Jimmie Johnson will qualify for the Daytona 500 if he is the highest-finishing Open car in Duel 1, OR if either Anthony Alfredo, David Ragan or B.J. McLeod is the highest-finishing Open car in their Duel race,
  • B.J. McLeod will qualify for the Daytona 500 if he is the highest-finishing Open car in Duel 2, OR if Anthony Alfredo or Jimmie Johnson are the highest-finishing Open car in Duel 1 AND if David Ragan is the highest-finishing Open car in Duel 2.

Because they were the two slowest Open cars in time trials, J.J. Yeley and Kaz Grala cannot fall back on their qualifying speeds and must be the highest-finishing Open car in their Duel. If that does not happen, they will fail to qualify for the Daytona 500.

Daytona 500 Duel Race 1 starting lineup

  1. #22 - Joey Logano
  2. #5 - Kyle Larson
  3. #9 - Chase Elliott
  4. #3 - Austin Dillon
  5. #1 - Ross Chastain
  6. #38 - Todd Gilliland
  7. #41 - Ryan Preece
  8. #17 - Chris Buescher
  9. #48 - Alex Bowman
  10. #99 - Daniel Suarez
  11. #62 - Anthony Alfredo
  12. #43 - Erik Jones
  13. #31 - Daniel Hemric
  14. #19 - Martin Truex Jr.
  15. #54 - Ty Gibbs
  16. #47 - Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  17. #7 - Corey LaJoie
  18. #84 - Jimmie Johnson
  19. #45 - Tyler Reddick
  20. #77 - Carson Hocevar (R)
  21. #44 - J.J. Yeley

Daytona 500 Duel Race 2 starting lineup

  1. #34 - Michael McDowell
  2. #2 - Austin Cindric
  3. #24 - William Byron
  4. #8 - Kyle Busch
  5. #21 - Harrison Burton
  6. #15 - Riley Herbst
  7. #14 - Chase Briscoe
  8. #10 - Noah Gragson
  9. #12 - Ryan Blaney
  10. #16 - A.J. Allmendinger
  11. #4 - Josh Berry (R)
  12. #6 - Brad Keselowski
  13. #60 - David Ragan
  14. #23 - Bubba Wallace
  15. #51 - Justin Haley
  16. #20 - Christopher Bell
  17. #11 - Denny Hamlin
  18. #71 - Zane Smith (R)
  19. #42 - John Hunter Nemechek
  20. #78 - B.J. McLeod
  21. #36 - Kaz Grala (R)

So who wins the Daytona 500 2024? And which longshot has the potential to stun NASCAR? Visit SportsLine now to see the 2024 NASCAR at Daytona picks and best bets from a NASCAR insider who called Chastain and Suarez's breakthrough wins in 2022, and find out.