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From the Marbles

Your handy cheat sheet for the 2014 Budweiser Duel qualifying races for the Daytona 500

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The Budweiser Duel qualifying races at Daytona are unique, as it is the only occasion that NASCAR runs races to decide the starting grid for a race. But the ways drivers can make Sunday's Daytona 500 in the Duel can get a tad complicated.

So we're here to help. Or at least make it so that you may want to leave this post open for reference when the two Duel races are being run Thursday evening.

After Dave Blaney withdrew Wednesday evening following the vicious practice crash on the frontstretch, 48 cars are vying for 43 spots, so five cars will go home.

13 of those 48 cars are guaranteed not to miss the race. They are:

Austin Dillon (starting first in Daytona 500)
Martin Truex Jr. (starting second)
Greg Biffle (via Sunday's qualifying speed)
Carl Edwards (via Sunday's qualifying speed)
Ryan Newman (via Sunday's qualifying speed)
Brad Keselowski (via Sunday's qualifying speed)
Dale Earnhardt Jr. (guaranteed provisional via 2013 owner's points)
Jeff Gordon (guaranteed provisional via 2013 owner's points)
Jimmie Johnson (guaranteed provisional via 2013 owner's points)
Matt Kenseth (guaranteed provisional via 2013 owner's points)
Clint Bowyer (guaranteed provisional via 2013 owner's points)
Kyle Busch (guaranteed provisional via 2013 owner's points)
Tony Stewart (guaranteed provisional via winning 2011 championship)

The top 15 cars in each Duel are guaranteed to start the Daytona 500. (the first Duel fills out odd-numbered positions 3-31, while the second fills out even-numbered positions 4-32.) With the final seven positions (37-43) reserved for provisionals, spots 33, 34, 35 and 36 go to the fastest cars. Hence why Biffle, Edwards, Newman and Brad Keselowski are already guaranteed spots.

Got all that? Because provisionals are based off of the 2013 owner's points standings, Kasey Kahne isn't in the same position as, say, Michael McDowell. To miss the race, Kahne would need to finish outside the top 15 in his duel, have four drivers ahead of him during Sunday's front row qualifying session also miss out on the top 15 in their respective duels and have six -- or seven, if the Past Champion's Provisional isn't used -- drivers in the 2013 owner's standings also not finish in the top 15 and require a provisional.

We told you it was complicated. Here are who we think are the drivers in the most danger of missing the 500 and that five of the names below will fail to qualify for the race.

Duel 1:
Reed Sorenson
Parker Kligerman
Cole Whitt
Michael McDowell
Josh Wise
Joe Nemechek
Alex Bowman

Duel 2:
Landon Cassill
Eric McClure
Terry Labonte (could get Past Champion's Provisional)
Bobby Labonte (could get Past Champion's Provisional)
Ryan Truex
Morgan Shepherd

Or will it be someone who isn't on the list? You can find the starting lineup for the first Duel HERE and the second Duel HERE.

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Nick Bromberg is the editor of From The Marbles on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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