The Bluegreen Vacations Duels are a pair of preseason qualifying races that determine a large portion of the field and starting lineup for the 2020 season-opening Daytona 500 (Sunday, Feb. 16 at 2:30 p.m. ET on FOX/FOX Sports App, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Check out the programming schedule, how the Duels work and how the Daytona 500 lineup is set.
When is Daytona 500 qualifying?
Sunday’s single-car qualifying (12:30 p.m. ET, FOX) for the Daytona 500 allows all 43 cars on the entry list to take a single timed lap at the 2.5-mile superspeedway. Only the top two qualifiers have their position locked in for the “Great American Race,” though. The top two fastest speeds are guaranteed to start 1-2; the rest of the lineup will be set via the results of Thursday’s Bluegreen Vacations Duels.
What is the Duels format?
There are two separate Duel races, each being 60 laps for 150 miles in length. The race lineup for each of the Duels is determined by qualifying speeds from Sunday’s single-lap Daytona 500 qualifying session, with drivers ranking first, third, fifth, etc. on odd number positions making up the lineup of Duel 1 and the even-finishing positions making up the lineup for Duel 2.
How do the Duels set the Daytona 500 lineup?
The front row for the Daytona 500 is determined by the two fastest single-lap qualifying runs from the initial session. The Duels determine where teams will line up for the majority of the remaining spots on the starting grid.
For the start of “The Great American Race,” drivers competing in the first Duel race will line up on the inside row (odd-numbered starting positions) based on the order in which they finish the Duels, and the drivers in the second Duel are placed on the outside row (even-numbered starting positions) in the same order for the Daytona 500.
Note: All Charter teams are guaranteed spots in the Daytona 500.
Can Open Teams make the Daytona 500?
Open slots in the Daytona 500 are filled by the two best finishing Open Teams (one from each race) in their respective Duels. If there are any starting positions remaining to be filled upon completion of the Duels, the remaining positions will be filled in order based on final qualifying results.
How important are the Duels for drivers locked into the front row?
The Duels are the first chance to earn points in the NASCAR Cup Series standings heading into the first race of the season, essentially rewarding good performances with a slight leg up before the season-opener. The top 10 drivers from each Duel earn those points.
While the front row drivers are a lock after the qualifying session, those drivers will need to avoid major damage, engine failures or other major mechanical issues to keep their starting position for the Daytona 500.
How are points awarded?
Points are awarded in a similar manner as stage points, seen throughout the 36 races during the Cup Series season. The winner of each Duel will be awarded 10 points, the second-place driver will gain nine points and continue this trend down to the 10th-place driver, who will get the final point.
What happens if the Duels are rained out?
If both Duels are canceled due to weather conditions, NASCAR officials will determine the four Open teams that would advance based on qualifying results.
If only the second Duel is canceled, the highest-finishing Open Team from the first Duel will earn a spot on the starting grid, while the remaining three Open slots will be filled based on qualifying results.
In the event of a complete rainout of the Duels where the event is not rescheduled, the full field will be set according to the NASCAR Rule Book.