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CUP: Daytona Thursday Notebook

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[THURSDAY 9:21 am ET]

It’s a busy day today at Daytona International Speedway as Speedweeks revs up. There are two rounds of NASCAR Nationwide Series practice this morning, from 9-9:50 a.m. ET and 10:15-11:50 a.m. SPEED will televise NASCAR Camping World Truck Series practice live from noon to 12:50 p.m.

At 2 p.m., it’s the Budweiser Duel 150 qualifying races, which SPEED will also televise live.

Here’s how the Daytona 500 starting lineup will be set in today’s Duel:

The two fastest qualifiers in last Sunday’s Daytona 500 time trials set starting positions one and two. That means Danica Patrick will be on the pole for the 500, flanked by Jeff Gordon. Patrick will start from the pole of Duel No. 1, with Gordon on the pole for Duel No. 2.

The highest 15 finishers in each Duel race – excluding the already locked-in front row – will earn a spot in the Daytona 500, and fill positions 3-32.

Based on their finishing position in the first Duel race, the top 15 will line up on the inside row (odd-number starting positions).

Based on their finishing position in the second Duel race, the top 15 will line up on the outside row (even-number starting positions).

Positions 33-36 will go to the four fastest cars from qualifying that have not already earned a spot.

Positions 37-42 will be provisional positions, and go to the highest six cars in 2012 owner points that have not already qualified via the Duel or Coors Light Pole qualifying.

The 43rd starting position will be assigned to any car owner who has the most recent eligible past NASCAR Sprint Cup champion who did not make the field by any other method, providing the driver had competed in the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. If the 43rd position remains unused, it will be assigned to the next highest car in 2012 owner points not already locked into the field.

BUDWEISER DUEL NO. 1 STARTING LINEUP

ROW 1 — Danica Patrick, Trevor Bayne

ROW 2 — Tony Stewart, Denny Hamlin

ROW 3 — Joey Logano, Dale Earnhardt Jr.

ROW 4 — Juan Pablo Montoya, Casey Mears

ROW 5 — Carl Edwards, Martin Truex Jr.

ROW 6 — Jimmie Johnson, Brad Keselowski

ROW 7 — Kevin Harvick, Greg Biffle

ROW 8 — David Gilliland, Michael Waltrip

ROW 9 — Kurt Busch, Scott Speed

ROW 10 — Regan Smith, Bobby Labonte

ROW 11 — David Reutimann, Joe Nemechek

ROW 12 — Brian Keselowski

BUDWEISER DUEL NO. 2 STARTING LINEUP

ROW 1 — Jeff Gordon, Ryan Newman

ROW 2 — Kasey Kahne, Kyle Busch

ROW 3 — Matt Kenseth, Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

ROW 4 — Paul Menard, Austin Dillon

ROW 5 — Clint Bowyer, Jeff Burton

ROW 6 — Jamie McMurray, Marcos Ambrose

ROW 7 — Aric Almirola, Mark Martin

ROW 8 — David Ragan, Josh Wise

ROW 9 — Michael McDowell, Terry Labonte

ROW 10 — Dave Blaney, JJ Yeley

ROW 11 — Travis Kvapil, Mike Bliss

Tom Jensen is the Editor in Chief of SPEED.com, Senior NASCAR Editor at RACER and a contributing Editor for TruckSeries.com. You can follow him online at twitter.com/tomjensen100.