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Monday, 27 February 2017 00:36

Kurt Busch Wins Wild Daytona 500

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The Monster Energy car goes to victory lane in the first official Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race.

Kurt Busch passed Kyle Larson on the final lap to win a wild Daytona 500 on Sunday from the Daytona International Speedway.

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

Bryan Nicodemus

My name is Bryan Nicodemus.  I'm from Pittsburgh, PA, and I am currently a sophomore at Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania.  I am majoring in Public Relations, and I hope to work in NASCAR someday.  Follow me on Twitter: @mmarkaholic55