NASCAR Media Site
Daytona Beach, Fla- We all knew someone was going to be the underdog of the Budweiser Duels. That feel good story is fun to watch as the emotion really comes out of them.
The first Budweiser Duel had some prime contenders. Could it be rookies Cole Whitt or Alex Bowman who finished 13th and 15th respectively and raced their way in?
Could it be David Gilliland who finished ninth?
My pick is Josh Wise.
What he did tonight was remarkable as he’s my underdog of not just tonight, but for the Daytona 500.
Wise, look racy all 60 Laps and had himself in position to actually win the race. He was in the top five following the pit stops and hung around in the end to finish sixth in the first duel as he was battling hand and hand with stars like Dale Earnhardt Jr., Marcos Ambrose, Kasey Kahne and Kevin Harvick.
His sixth place finish will have him starting 13th in Sunday’s Daytona 500 (1 PM ET/FOX/MRN) as he can realistically make some noise and steal a top five.
Wise said after the race, that this is the same car that Michael McDowell raced to ninth place finish in last year’s 500.
“Tonight was about execution and not making mistakes,” said Wise.
He did just that.
Wise won’t get any attention for this finish as the ending and thrilling race will steal all the headlines. But, he’s tonight’s hero for the small teams.
Eric Smith is the Lead Motorsports Writer for Race Review Online. He’s covered both NASCAR and IndyCar action since 2010 and has been credentialed to many races around the country. He’s also recognized as an accredited member of the media by both NASCAR and IndyCar. Follow him on Twitter @ericsportsguru
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