Mayfield more than happy to be here

Strike one for the little guys, as drivers such as Jeremy Mayfield, AJ Allmendinger and Scott Riggs raced into Sunday's Daytona 500.

Updated: February 12, 2009, 9:57 PM ET
By Terry Blount | ESPN.com

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Kyle Busch held off Mark Martin in a whale of a last-lap battle Thursday to win the second Gatorade Duel qualifying race.

Nice show. The brash young guy edged the old sentimental favorite, both knowing they needed only to keep the cars clean for their free ride into the Daytona 500.

But the emotion of the day, the drama that tells the real story of what this season is all about, took place a little farther back.

Jeremy Mayfield finished ninth, and AJ Allmendinger ...

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