Ryan Blaney wins Duel No. 1 for Daytona 500

Ryan Blaney (12) makes his way through Turn 4 during qualifying for the Daytona 500 auto race at the Daytona International Speedway Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018, in Daytona Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Ryan Blaney snuck ahead of Joey Logano with less than three laps to go to win the first Daytona 500 qualifying race Thursday night at Daytona International Speedway.

Blaney made his move on his teammate a half-lap earlier but had trouble completing the pass. He got a big run down the backstretch as Brad Keselowski, another Team Penske driver, seemed caught in between helping Logano or Blaney as the two were side-by-side on the backstretch.

That didn’t work out for Keselowski. As he moved down the track Jamie McMurray went to Keselowski’s outside. As the driver of the No. 2 moved back up towards the wall McMurray had already occupied the space and Keselowski went crashing.

Blaney then held on to the lead on the ensuing green-white-checker restart.

Keselowski’s wreck was the fourth of the race. Jimmie Johnson got the wreckfest started after a cut tire sent him spinning into the wall. He took out Aric Almirola in the process.

The next two wrecks happened when drivers got loose as Ricky Stenhouse Jr. tried to pass them. William Byron’s car spun around when Stenhouse dove to his inside and then the same happened to David Gilliland. No contact occurred during either move; instead it was simply the aerodynamic impact of Stenhouse’s aggressiveness that sent each car spinning.

Here’s the finishing order from Duel 1. Alex Bowman will start on the pole for Sunday’s race after qualifying there during front row qualifying. Blaney will start third and the rest of the drivers in the race will start behind him on the inside row.

1. Ryan Blaney (starts 3rd in Daytona 500)
2. Joey Logano (5th)
3. Darrell Wallace (7th)
4. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (9th)
5. Kurt Busch (11th)
6. Ryan Newman (13th)
7. David Ragan (15th)
8. Daniel Suarez (17th)
9. Jamie McMurray (19th)
10. Chris Buescher (21st)
11. Ty Dillon (23rd)
12. Brendan Gaughan (25th)
13. Jeffrey Earnhardt (27th)
14. Alex Bowman (1st)
15. Justin Marks (29th)
16. Brad Keselowski (31st)
17. David Gilliland (33rd)
18. William Byron (35th)
19. Jimmie Johnson (37th)
20. Aric Almirola (39th)

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!