The first Duel Race was great. It had a few wrecks, awesome excitement, and a great finish. The race to make the race showed three drivers fight it out with Max Papis and Michael McDowell coming out on top after Todd Bodine slammed the wall on the last lap. Before that, Reed Sorenson looked strong, and Michael Waltrip looked a lock to make it. Waltrip crashed out, and Sorenson had some type of mechanic problem that ended his weekend. It was exciting though to see Papis and Bodine fight it out, and to see McDowell race into the 500 in what was an 11th hour team entry for PRISM (or MSRP, whatever they want to be called this week). It was a great 1st duel. I'm not a Johnson fan, but I can respect that he's a great driver. I can respect that he wants to win. It was great to see that type of close 500 finish 3 days before the 500.
The second duel looked to be stronger with who was trying to make the 500. Bliss, Speed, Labonte, Mears, Almirola, Blaney and Gilliland. Gilliland Crashed out, leaving 6 drivers for 2 spots. Speed and Labonte were in on time. After about 40 laps suddenly they showed that only Bliss, Speed, B-Lab, and Mears where left. Where did Blaney and Almirola go? Suddenly Finch racing's 09 chevy was just gone. Almirola was a favorite to make the race, since the 09 has two top 5s (4th in '07 with Mike Wallace, 3rd in '02 with Geoff Bodine) in the 500 and a win at Talledega. What happened? Labonte and Speed really didn't have to race the Duel, but they were determined to make it by duel finish. I feel a little sorry for Mears. He fought hard to try to get in. Instead Speed starts 11 spaces higher in the 500, and Waltrip gets in on his qualifing time. It was exciting to watch Mears, Labonte and Speed fight it out in the end. Speed needs a much more improved season this year. Anything lower than a 25th place in points should be looked at as a disappointment. So it was encouraging to see him try. It just seemed that with nothing really going on in the race that they could have told us what happened to Almirola, Said, Cope and the others.