Budweiser Duel at Daytona 2013: Format and starting grid

John Harrelson

Aside from the top two positions, which were nailed down by Danica Patrick and Jeff Gordon on Sunday, every starting spot in the Daytona 500 will be up for grabs in the Budweiser Duel on Thursday.

The 2013 Budweiser Duel at Daytona is set to take place on Thursday at Daytona International Speedway. The races will determine the rest of the starting grid not already set after the qualifying sessions on Sunday, when Danica Patrick and Jeff Gordon locked down the top two positions.

Patrick and Gordon will still participate in the Duel, but they'll likely be taking it easy to avoid wrecking their cars, which would be the only thing keeping them from retaining their starting spots on Sunday. As such, it's the rest of the field that has something to prove in the pair of 60-lap, 150-mile races.

The first race includes the drivers who qualified in odd-numbered positions, meaning it will feature Patrick, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson, Brad Keselowski and others. The second race pits the even-numbered qualifiers against each other and will include, among others, Gordon, Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth and Clint Bowyer. Last year's second-race winner, Matt Kenseth, went on to win the 2012 Daytona 500.

The top 14 finishers in the opening race will start the Daytona 500 behind Patrick in the inside lane, while the first 14 in the second run will begin the big race on Sunday behind Gordon on the outside. After those top 30 are set, the remaining order will be determined by the fastest non-qualifiers by time, as well as the previous year's Sprint Cup standings.

Coverage of the Budweiser Duel will be provided by SPEED. The races are slated to begin at 2 p.m. ET.

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