Kenseth, Hamlin win qualifying races for Daytona 500

Daytona Beach, FL ( - Matt Kenseth won the first Budweiser Duel in a photo finish, while his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Denny Hamlin, claimed the victory amid a wild last-lap crash in Thursday night's second qualifier for the Daytona 500.

The first Duel at Daytona International Speedway ran caution free, and the second event had been without an incident until a multi-car wreck occurred on the final turn of the last lap. Clint Bowyer rolled on top of David Ragan's car and did a 360-degree roll in the air before it landed upright.

Jimmie Johnson, who won his second Daytona 500 and sixth Sprint Cup Series championship last year, triggered the pileup when he ran out of gas, causing Jamie McMurray to bump into the back of him. Johnson slammed into the outside wall and then came down the track before he collided into McMurray again on the infield grass. The front end of his No. 48 Chevrolet erupted into flames. There were no injuries.

Others involved in the crash were: Martin Truex Jr., who had already secured the second starting spot for the Daytona 500 in last Sunday's time trials, Carl Edwards, Justin Allgaier and Michael Waltrip, who is also Bowyer's team owner. Waltrip's car smashed into wall along the entrance to pit road.

Hamlin's win in the second Duel came five days after his victory in The Sprint Unlimited preseason race at Daytona.

Kenseth and Hamlin placed their JGR Toyotas on the second row for Sunday's 500-mile race. However, Kenseth and Hamlin will move up to the second and third starting positions since Truex will have to start from the rear of the field in a backup car.

Kenseth, a two-time Daytona 500 winner, nipped Kevin Harvick to the finish line by only 0.022 seconds, while Kasey Kahne crossed the line just 0.063 seconds behind. Kenseth led 31 of 60 laps. He won the Duel and the Daytona 500 two years ago.

Harvick grabbed the lead from Kenseth as they came out of the last turn on the final lap, but Kenseth quickly moved to the outside of him and then pulled ahead for good.

Harvick had earned the fifth starting position, but his No. 4 Stewart-Haas Chevrolet failed post-race inspection. His car exceeded the maximum split on the track bar.