Kyle Busch wins crash-marred Bud Shootout at Daytona
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The videos show two major wrecks during Saturday's running of the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona Internationasl Speedway, the second one highlighting the crash that took out fan-favorite Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images / for NASCAR / Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 M&M's Brown Toyota, edges out Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, to win the NASCAR Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday in Daytona Beach.
DAYTONA BEACH -- Kyle Busch won a crash-marred Budweiser Shootout tonight on the highbanks of Daytona Beach International Speedway with a final lap push past secondplace fisher Tony Stewart..
Busch came all the way from the final starting grid in a back-up car after a wreck in practice Friday, managing to avoid two big crashes in the shootout to claim his first victory in this non-points race under the lights. Busch beat Stewart to the checkered flag by .013 of a second, the closest finish ever in the shootout.
Marcos Ambrose finished third, followed by Brad Keselowski and Denny Hamlin in rounding out the top 5.
With NASCAR modifying rules changes from last season's boring two-car tendems, drivers went back to racing in packs and with restrictor plate racing on super stretches like that of Daytona, that meant the "big one" could come at any time.
"I had fun racing at Daytona again, which I haven't had for a while," Stewart said, having managed to avoid the wrecks. "This is better than having to sit there and stare at the back of a spoiler for 500 miles."
In this race, merely eight laps had gotten under way when the first big wreck occurred, with David Ragan's Ford turning Paul Menard's Chevy. That resulted in a chain reaction that collected Kasey Kahne, Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth, Juan Pablo Montoya, Michael Waltrip, Jeff Burton and Jeff Gordon.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. was out in front of the wreck, having just regained the lead. Earnhardt, the clear-cut favorite among the fans in the stands, led the first three laps.
Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images/for NASCAR / Matt Kenseth, driver of the No.17 Ford, Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the No. 88 Chevrolet, Martin Truex Jr., driver of the No. 56 Toyota, Joey Logano, driver of the No. 20 Toyota, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 29, crash during lap 55 of the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway.
Earnhardt's night would end on lap 55 with a chain-reaction wreck that started with contact between the cars of polesitter Martin Truex Jr., Ambrose and Joey Logano clobbered those three vehicles and eliminated Earnhardt, Kevin Harvick and Matt Kenseth.
Gordon managed to stay in the race, but his world would turn upside down, literally on lap 75 when another big wreck sent his car rolling in Turn 4 and sliding on the roof near the entrace to pit road.
Gordon was following Kyle Busch on the backstretch, and contact between the cars turned Busch's Toyota onto the apron. Busch made a dramatic save for the second time in the race, but Gordon slid up the track into the Chevrolets of Kurt Busch and Jamie McMurray. As all three cars contacted the outside wall, Jimmie Johnson's Chevrolet nosed beneath the right rear bumper of Gordon's car and turned it upside down.
The wreck left 11 cars on the lead lap and sent the race to overtime.
"With Gordon behind me, I don't know what the deal was there -- I'd like to talk to him about it," Busch said.
"When we came off (Turn) 2, he had me sideways, and then all the way down the backstretch, I was still sideways -- left, right, left, right, everywhere -- then we were off into 3 and he turned me sideways again. He was on the left side of my bumper instead of the right."
The first of the close calls for Busch, on Lap 48, strung the field out, leaving a 10-car pack fighting for the lead. Busch's Toyota twice turned sideways off the bumper of Johnson, and twice Busch saved the car from calamity despite running onto the apron in Turn 2.
Budweiser Shootout final results:
1. (2) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 82, $198550. 2. (15) Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, 82, $94800. 3. (21) Marcos Ambrose, Ford, 82, $54800. 4. (3) Brad Keselowski, Dodge, 82, $45800. 5. (16) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 82, $44800.
6. (7) Greg Biffle, Ford, 82, $43400. 7. (13) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 82, $42050. 8. (17) Clint Bowyer, Toyota, 82, $40025. 9. (11) Carl Edwards, Ford, 82, $38025. 10. (25) Juan Pablo Montoya, Chevrolet, 82, $36525.
11. (12) Jeff Burton, Chevrolet, 81, $36025. 12. (9) AJ Allmendinger, Dodge, 80, $35525. 13. (19) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 79, $35025. 14. (18) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, Accident, 74, $33525. 15. (14) Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, Accident, 73, $33025.
16. (4) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, Accident, 73, $32525. 17. (6) Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, Accident, 73, $30025. 18. (10) Joey Logano, Toyota, Accident, 54, $28025. 19. (1) Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, Accident, 54, $25025. 20. (8) Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, Accident, 54, $23025.
21. (23) Matt Kenseth, Ford, Accident, 54, $21025. 22. (22) Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, Accident, 54, $20025. 23. (24) Paul Menard, Chevrolet, Accident, 8, $18030. 24. (5) David Ragan, Ford, Accident, 8, $16030. 25. (20) Michael Waltrip, Toyota, Accident, 8, $15032.
Average Speed of Race Winner: 124.096 mph.
Time of Race: 1 Hrs, 39 Mins, 07 Secs.
Caution Flags: 5 for 22 laps.
Lead Changes: 26 among 13 drivers.
Lap Leaders: M. Truex Jr. 0; D. Earnhardt Jr. 1-3; J. McMurray 4; J. Logano 5; K. Harvick 6; D. Earnhardt Jr. 7-15; K. Harvick 16; J. McMurray 17; M. Truex Jr. 18-22; J. McMurray 23-25; J. Gordon 26-27; G. Biffle 28-33; A. Allmendinger 34; G. Biffle 35-36; J. Montoya 37; J. McMurray 38-42; M. Truex Jr. 43-44; J. Johnson 45; K. Harvick 46-47; J. Gordon 48-51; J. McMurray 52; G. Biffle 53-61; J. Gordon 62-71; Kyle Busch 72-73; T. Stewart 74-80; M. Ambrose 81; Kyle Busch 82;.
Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): G. Biffle 3 times for 17 laps; J. Gordon 3 times for 16 laps; D. Earnhardt Jr. 2 times for 12 laps; J. McMurray 5 times for 11 laps; T. Stewart 1 time for 7 laps; M. Truex Jr. 2 times for 7 laps; K. Harvick 3 times for 4 laps; Kyle Busch 2 times for 3 laps; J. Logano 1 time for 1 lap; A. Allmendinger 1 time for 1 lap; J. Montoya 1 time for 1 lap; J. Johnson 1 time for 1 lap; M. Ambrose 1 time for 1 lap.
Editor's Note: Information provided by NASCAR was used in this story.
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Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet newspaper serving the Daytona Beach-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com, launched in 2008, as Florida's first around-the-clock online newspaper. Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most experienced reporters with scores of regional, state & national journalism-industry awards for nearly 100 breaking news & investigative reporting stories in Florida, New York, Massachusetts & Connecticut. The first of Frederick's three books, "Creepy Ass Cracker" (842 pages, Xlibris), hits bookstores in July. The second book, "Wrestling ReWind is scheduled for publication in October. The third book, "The Day NASCAR Died: 15th Anniversary of Dale Earnhardt's death in the Daytona 500," is planned for publication in February 2016.
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