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Matt Kenseth wins Gatorade Duel No. 2

Posted by Michael Vega, Globe Staff  February 23, 2012 04:57 PM

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. --- Matt Kenseth gave his Roush Fenway Racing teammate Greg Biffle a last-lap head fake and hung him out to dry in the draft to win today's second 150-mile heat in the Gatorade Duel.

Biffle, who took the white flag of the 60-lap race, attempted to make a block on Kenseth when he went high in the trioval. But Kenseth, whose No. 17 Ford was being pushed by Jimmie Johnson's No. 48 Chevrolet, went inside and took the low line.

"We just had a big run there,'' Kenseth said. "Jimmie Johnson gave me a huge push there and that really worked nice for me the whole race there. Without that push it would have never gotten done. Greg lost his drafting partner and we were able to separate him and [Regan Smith] and we had such a huge run that Greg was kind of a sitting duck.''

Kenseth brought the pack with him and shuffled Biffle back to fifth.

"I wasn't sure I was going to stay committed to the bottom,'' said Biffle, who led three times for 39 laps. "But at the last minute I decided to jump up there and try it, but Matt is pretty smart. He was pretty far up. He wasn't coming down close to us where if I would've moved I could get in front of him. I had to move three lanes to get in front of him, so he did the right thing.''

Smith finished runner-up while Johnson was third and Elliott Sadler fourth.

Kenseth's enabled Roush Fenway Racing to have three cars start among the top four in the 43-car grid. Carl Edwards captured the pole position last Sunday and was joined on the front row by Biffle, who qualified second fastest. Kenseth will start fourth in Row 2 alongside Tony Stewart, who captured the third starting position after his victory in the first Duel.

Dave Blaney and Joe Nemechek raced their way into the field, capturing the two remaining transfer spots. For Blaney, who had to forfeit the points he accrued last season in the No. 36 Chevrolet to guarantee Danica Patrick's starting spot in the 500, his 12th place finish came with no small measure of satisfaction.

"I felt like we had the car and team to make it the whole time, so I wasn't worried about that side of it,'' Blaney said. "But when you can't make it on qualifying day, anything can happen. You can have a flat tire, anything that can happen. So I was more worried about that side of it.

"I don't care about the point thing,'' he said. "We'll go and try to make the races every week and that's what we'll do.''

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