3. A recent Daytona 500 winner is in jeopardy, too: Trevor Bayne became the youngest Daytona 500 winner in 2011 when he captured the Harley J. Earl trophy one day past his 20th birthday. He's competed in the ensuing two, but a third is no guarantee.
The Wood Brothers' No. 21 Ford contested just 12 races last season, all with Bayne, and finished 41st in owner points. Like Busch, he could make the field on qualifying time but posted the 26th-best attempt. Being involved in the seven-car crash Wednesday slightly damaged the nose of the car.
"It's definitely a different Speedweeks for me right now," Bayne said. "Normally, here with the Wood Brothers, we qualify in the top 10 or so, even the top three a couple times, but we just had a bad headwind."
A top-15 finish in Duel 2 makes things simple and he starts, coincidently enough, on the same row with Busch at 13th.
4. Tony Stewart: In the Sprint Unlimited, the three-time series champion got his first wreck out of the way since breaking his leg last August, and he crawled out of his No. 14 Chevrolet without assistance. He continues to check boxes en route to his resumption of points racing, and the Duels should constitute the most realistic simulation yet.
5. Power up: Hendrick Motorsports engineers confirmed their initial diagnosis that the catastrophic engine failures of Bobby Labonte, Danica Patrick and Stewart were a results of an issue specific to its qualifying procedures, not a part.
That alleviated concerns of a company-wide malady that could impact not only Hendrick's customers -- Stewart-Haas Racing and Labonte's Phoenix Racing -- but its four-car fleet of defending series champion and Daytona 500 winner Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Kasey Kahne.
SHR had detuned the engines of Patrick and Stewart to ensure durability during qualifying on Sunday. With a subsequent 7 to 8 percent reduction, Patrick qualified 25th and Stewart 35th. Because of being penalized for illegal engine changes, they will have nothing to race for in the Duels but should have a reliable power plant under them.