Jeff Burton beat his Richard Childress Racing teammate Clint Bowyer to victory in the second Gatorade Duel as the 43-car field was set for Sunday's Daytona 500.
Bowyer pushed the Chevrolet of his teammate all the way from the final green flag waved with three laps to go, opening a gap that put them out of their rivals' reach on the final lap of the race. As they approached the start/finish line, Bowyer stepped out of line while trying to beat Burton on the outside, but missed victory by just five thousandths of a second.
"It's great to be in Victory Lane but we've got to keep it in perspective that this wasn't the Daytona 500," said Burton.
"You want me to tell you what's going to happen on Sunday? We're going to have 400 miles of some stuff happening, but then 100 miles of a lot of things happening. We're going to have six or seven cautions in the last 100 laps, it's going to be a short race to [the] checkered [flag] and that's what's going to happen.
"You're going to do things in the end that you didn't do in the first 400 laps, and we're going to have the same Daytona 500 that we've had for the past six or seven years. It's going to be different how we get there, but it's the same thing every time we come down here. We could have some crazy thing happening but I can almost guarantee that's what's going to happen."
While the RCR pair fought it out up front, behind them the yellow flags waved coming out of the final turn as Jeff Gordon hit the wall, igniting a chain reaction that ended up involving his drafting partner, impressive rookie Trevor Bayne, and also Roush Fenway's David Ragan.
Last year's Cup series runner-up Denny Hamlin was also involved in an incident while trying to avoid passing below the double-yellow line, while being pushed by his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch. Also involved in a separate incident were Trucks champion Todd Bodine and rookie Steven Wallace, the former missing the field while the latter was already locked in.
Michael Waltrip, who had already locked his way into the race before his duel, finished third ahead of Busch, while rookie Brian Keselowski was fifth after being pushed all the way into the Daytona 500 by his brother Brad, who recovered well after getting spun early in the race.
Following the patterns set during the final portion of the first duel, many drivers were able to push another one in tandem for plenty of laps as the field continues to learn the technique of the new style of racing in pairings at Daytona.
The race saw a total 22 lead changes, which set a new record for the Gatorade Duels.
The results of today's races meant Dave Blaney completed the 43-car field for Sunday's event via his 20th place in Duel 1.
Pos Driver Team/car Laps
1. Jeff Burton Childress Chevrolet 60
2. Clint Bowyer Childress Chevrolet 60
3. Michael Waltrip Waltrip Toyota 60
4. Kyle Busch Gibbs Toyota 60
5. Brian Keselowski K-Automotive Dodge 60
6. Jamie McMurray Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet 60
7. Brad Keselowski Penske Dodge 60
8. Denny Hamlin Gibbs Toyota 60
9. Martin Truex Jr Waltrip Toyota 60
10. Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Ford 60
11. David Reutimann Waltrip Toyota 60
12. Jeff Gordon Hendrick Chevrolet 60
13. Travis Kvapil Front Row Ford 60
14. Derrike Cope Max Q Toyota 60
15. Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Ford 60
16. Robert Richardson Jr Front Row Ford 60
17. Robby Gordon Gordon Dodge 60
18. Terry Labonte FAS Lane Ford 60
19. Trevor Bayne Wood Brothers Ford 60
20. David Ragan Roush Fenway Ford 60
Todd Bodine Germain Toyota 54
Steve Wallace Wallace Toyota 54
Joey Logano Gibbs Toyota 15
Casey Mears Germain Toyota 2