Kurt Busch Wins Dramatic Daytona Nationwide Race

Photo Credit: Andrew Coppley/CIA

Posted by Candice Corrigan, follow @candicecorrigan

July 7, 2012

Kurt Busch came out victorious in the NASCAR Nationwide Subway Jalapeno 250 Friday night at Daytona International Speedway on a green, white checkered finish that left Austin Dillon spinning across the start-finish line.

Dillon still managed to finish in the fourth position, preceded by Busch, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Michael Annett.

The wild finish was to be expected after the previous events of the evening. The “big one” happened on lap 66 after laps of shuffling and three-wide racing. The wreck collected at least ten drivers including Kevin Harvick, Elliott Sadler, Kurt and Kyle Busch, Clint Bowyer and Michael Annett. 

At lap 83, Jeffrey Earnhardt got a bump from Stenhouse Jr., sending Earnhardt spinning. As drivers checked up, Danica Patrick’s No.7 car went flying toward the wall, ending in a vicious crash that left the steering column closer to the ceiling of the car than the driver. Patrick walked away, but her mangled GoDaddy.com Chevrolet was helped to the garage to join the other mangled machines that did not survive Daytona’s destruction.

On the green, white checkered finish, Stenhouse Jr. pushed Busch to finish the 101 lap shootout and claim the victory for the sponsor-less Phoenix Racing team.

Busch’s Nationwide win was the second of the season, his first coming at Richmond International Raceway in April. Busch and crew chief Nick Harrison’s genuine excitement was evident in their post-race interviews.

“It means a lot to me, but it means more to these guys,” said Busch. “I’m happy to deliver in one of just the few short races that we run together in the Nationwide series.”

“There’s heart and passion out there that these big teams don’t got,” Busch’s crew chief, Nick Harrison, said.

The 100-lap shootout broke a Nationwide record at Daytona with 42 lead changes among 16 different leaders.

Elliott Sadler remains the points leader by four points over Austin Dillon. Sadler, Dillon, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Michael Annett qualified for the first Dash 4 Cash Program payout at New Hampshire Motor Speedway next weekend. The highest finisher out of the group will receive a $100,000 bonus.

Joey Logano’s car failed post-race inspection after the front of his No. 18 Toyota was found to be too low. Penalties for the infraction should be announced next week.