Austin Cindric and Ryan Preece made the field for the Daytona 500 after the first of two Duels. The race provided plenty of excitement, with Alex Bowman blowing an engine and Aric Almirola going on to make the winning pass on the last lap.
When all was said and done, however, Ryan Preece and Austin Cindric fought their way into the Great American race. Preece made the field thanks to his fifth-place finish in what was a thrilling end to the first race, while Cindric qualified for the race based off his qualifying speed.
Unfortunately for Ty Dillon and Gaunt Brothers Racing, he came out at the losing end, finishing sixth behind Preece and missing out on a spot in Sunday's race. It will mark the first time that Dillion has missed the Daytona 500 in five years.
However, there was no lack of sportsmanship as Austin Cindric went up to shake hands with Dillon after getting out of his car.
Austin Cindric and Ryan Preece's road ahead
Going back to Austin Cindric and Preece, they both have huge hills to climb in Sunday's 500-mile race, but just getting to compete in the Super Bowl of NASCAR is a feat in itself. It could also go a long way in helping both Gaunt Brothers and JTG Daughtery Racing reach longer term deals with sponsors.
There are a lot of factors working against the two men on Sunday, but the do-or-die nature of NASCAR racing at Daytona could offer them an advantage.