Duel in Daytona: Clint Bowyer and Michael Waltrip Speed to Second and Third at Gatorade Duel 2

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Clint Bowyer was a flat out beast on the track.

Oakley’s head-to-toe NASCAR star smashed his way to a second place finish at the Gatorade Duel competition, Duel 2, in Daytona Thursday.

On the week of the heralded Daytona 500 race, which is set to go down on Sunday, Clint utilized the Shootout as a test run and a crash course on how to stay in front at the finish at Daytona International Speedway.

Dishing out an assist for eventual winner Jeff Burton, he crossed the finish line .005 seconds behind Burton and will start sixth in Sunday’s race.

Fellow Oakley driver and racing legend Michael Waltrip, whose teams include the newly formed Waltrip-Pastrana Team (with Travis Pastrana – as he transitions into four-wheel racing), sped his way into a third place finish and a solid spot in the 500.

“It was real fun to race up near the front mixing it up with Clint (Bowyer) and Kyle (Busch), Mike said. “I’ve got to explain to Clint that I’m a little old. I couldn’t quite see whether I was clear of him or not yet. So, I got in him a little bit, but he seemed to keep going in a good direction and it worked out for all of us up in the front. I drug the brake a little bit for a lap or two. I could’ve got up beside Clint and those boys, but I didn’t know what to do. I thought maybe on the last lap that I would make that run and then they just squirted away a little bit too much.”

Sunday will mark a whopping 25 Daytona 500 races for Waltrip.

“A quarter of a century of running this race — I don’t take that lightly,” he continued. “I never took for granted running one of them let alone 25 of them. It’s quite an honor to not only be in it, but it looks like we can be a part of the show. The car was really fast and it handled great. The end went really well. I feel good about our car — I really do. And we’ve got more power coming — that’s a great feeling too.”