The Great American Race, the Daytona 500 is set to run this Sunday near the famous Florida Beaches where NASCAR was born. For the stars and cars who fancy "going fast and turning left" this is the Super Bowl of their sport. There is no race quite like the Daytona 500 and getting into the race is done differently than any other race on the motorsports calendar.

59th Annual DAYTONA 500
Getty Images

For racers in the Daytona 500, there are two ways to qualify. You can take the traditional route of running a time trial and earning the fastest speed. Or, if you aren't one of the top two qualifiers, you're going to have to race your way into the field.

Those two qualifying races were held on Thursday at the World Center of Speed and they did not disappoint. Each race is 125 miles long. On the 2.5-mile superspeedway at Daytona that equates to 60 laps. And, with only the top two fastest times from the time trials guaranteed a spot in the race, the action can get pretty heated.

In Duel 1, actually, in the first Bluegreen Vacations Duel at Daytona, that's the race's official name. Joey Logano managed to hold off charges from several drivers and earn his spot in the starting field.

Meanwhile, the fireworks really got started in the second Bluegreen Vacations Duel at Daytona. And naturally, when you mention fireworks and NASCAR the name Kyle Busch will surface. He's a lightning rod for action on and off the track and this time the action took place on the backstretch of the famed motorsports complex.

Okay, so it wasn't Kyle's night at Daytona. Duel two was won by Aric Almirola and that solidified his starting spot for the big race on Sunday. But if the "Duels" showed us anything about the racing we'll see at Daytona and Talladega the other Superspeedway on the NASCAR circuit we can expect more multi-car crashes.

The cars are so evenly matched and the racing is so close all that it takes is a slight bump or a wiggle and suddenly millions of dollars of race cars are turned into wadded-up pieces of steaming sheet metal. Let's hope that won't be the case when the green flag drops on Sunday, but you know it will be.

Daytona 500
(Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Meanwhile, the full field has been set for Sunday's Daytona 500. Alex Bowman will start from the pole position. Kyle Larsen the other fastest qualifier on time will start second. The Duel winners Joey Logano and Aric Almirola will start in positions three and four.

Kyle Busch did earn a spot on the starting grid. He will start in the 36th position but with a very fast race car. Also joining Busch toward the rear of the field is seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmy Johnson who returns to stock cars after spending the season racing open-wheel cars in the Indy Racing League. Johnson starts 39th and a driver that many people know more for stunts, Travis Pastrana will start in 40th position.

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