Sunday, February 26, 2017

Kurt Busch Wins Wild Daytona 500

Originally written for CLNS Radio.

Kurt Busch passed Kyle Larson on the final lap to win a wild Daytona 500 on Sunday from the Daytona International Speedway.
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Busch made the winning pass coming off turn 2 after getting a big run on Larson’s 42 car.  The win was Busch’s first Daytona 500 victory after finishing runner-up three times before.  Busch said he used that experience to get to victory lane on Sunday.

“The more that becomes unpredictable about Daytona, the more it becomes predictable,” Busch said.  “The more that I’ve run this race, the more that I’ve just thrown caution to the wind and let it rip…that’s what we did.”

There were a lot of unknowns going into the weekend.  The Daytona 500 was the first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race to use the new race format announced earlier in the year, and no one knew how the Stewart-Haas cars would perform following their offseason switch to Ford.  Busch showed that SHR didn’t miss a step with their switch when he pulled into victory lane.

“I can’t believe this homecoming to Ford,” Busch said.  “The strategy today; who knew when to pit when; what segments were what; everybody’s wrecking as soon as we were done with the second segment.”

“Unbelievable to have all of this teamwork build these SHR Fords, and here we are in victory lane.”

Chase Elliott won the pole and was strong throughout the whole race, but ran out of gas with less than two laps to go while leading the field.  Larson knew he was going to be close at the end of the race because he and Elliott were on the same strategy.

“I got worried when Chase ran out,” Larson said.  “I knew we’d be close because we pitted the same time, have the same engines.”

“I didn’t think I’d have a shot to win the Daytona 500 just yet.  I don’t feel like I have the experience enough on this kind of stuff, but I feel like I learned a lot today.”

Unofficial results:
1. Kurt Busch
2. Ryan Blaney
3. AJ Allmendinger
4. Aric Almirola
5. Paul Menard
6. Joey Logano
7. Kasey Kahne
8. Michael Waltrip
9. Matt DiBenedetto
10. Trevor Bayne
11. Brendan Gaughan
12. Kyle Larson
13. Martin Truex Jr.
14. Chase Elliott
15. Michael McDowell
16. Landon Cassill
17. Denny Hamlin
18. Cole Whitt
19. Austin Dillon
20. Elliott Sadler
21. Ryan Newman
22. Kevin Harvick
23. Joey Gase
24. Corey LaJoie
25. David Ragan
26. Jeffrey Earnhardt
27. Brad Keselowski
28. Jamie McMurray
29. Daniel Suarez
30. Ty Dillon
31. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
32. Clint Bowyer
33. Danica Patrick
34. Jimmie Johnson
35. Chris Buescher
36. DJ Kennington
37. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
38. Kyle Busch
39. Erik Jones
40. Matt Kenseth

Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

No comments:

Post a Comment