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Nationwide: Kurt Busch pushed to Daytona win

Kurt Busch claimed victory at the end of the Subway Jalapeno 250 at Daytona International Speedway on Friday night, thanks to a final push from Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Kurt Busch was hoping that victory for the #1 Phoenix Racing car on Friday night at Daytona international Speedway might rustle up some sponsorship for the car in the near future, after the conspicuously bright orange and very battered car won the Subway Jalapeno 250 for owner James Finch.

"It's just the energy James Finch has for Daytona, he wanted his cars orange so they could be seen up front so that car could be recognized without a sponsor on it," said the ecstatic driver after a famous win in the car that he'd dubbed 'the great pumpkin' during the week. "And we drove an unsponsored car into victory lane tonight!"

Busch had already been to victory lane once in 2012, but that had been in the Kyle Busch Motorsport #54 car. This was his first win in Nationwide for his regular Cup team, Phoenix Racing, and came just weeks after his relationship with Finch and the organisation was put under strain after his latest brush with NASCAR authority saw him suspended from racing for a week after making comments to the media while under probation.

All that was forgotten on Friday night, however, when Busch claimed the chequered flag in Daytona - thanks in no small part to a final push from late drafting partner Ricky Stenhouse Jr. which put them ahead of Michael Annett and Austin Dillon. Busch's margin of victory over Stenhouse was ultimately listed as just 0.054s.

The race saw six cautions during its sub-two hour running time, and the number of lead changes was a new record at 42 and the number of different leaders on Friday equalled the existing record of 16.

Stenhouse Jr. had started from pole position after Austin Dillon's qualifying time was disallowed for a technical infringement and the #3 sent to the back for the start of the race. Stenhouse Jr. paired up with Danica Patrick for drafting, but the pair were quickly passed by Cole Whitt being pushed by Kevin Harvick down the backstraight.

Joey Lgano and Elliott Sadler had also paired up and took the lead on lap 4, while Kurt Busch found an early boost from his brother Kyle but the two failed to go in front before the first caution of the evening for the stalled #11 car of Brian Scott.

Penske team mates Sam Hornish Jr and Brad Keselowski paired up to take the lead for the restart, but Keselowski ended up switching to support Danica Patrick when she burst through into the lead on lap 18. The Busch boys took over for a period, with Mike Wallace and Kevin Harvick taking over briefly when climbing engine temperatures forced the brothers to switch running order on lap 31.

It was Wallace who triggered the second caution of the night when he spun in turn 2 on lap 41, and the Busch's teamwork was hit by a pit lane penalty for Kyle when a tyre got away from a crew member and the #54 got served with a drive-thru penalty. That left Kurt casting around for a new partner and he found it in the form of Austin Dillon who was back in the top four after his back row start.




Related Pictures

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Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 1 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Subway Jalapeno 250 Powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on Friday in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Mike Wallace, driver of the #01 G&K Services Chevrolet, and Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Dodge, spin out in front of Kurt Busch, driver of the #1 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet, and James Buescher, driver of the #30 Ron Jon Surf Shop/Quicksilver Chevrolet, after an incident in the NASCAR Nationwide Series Subway Jalapeno 250 Powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on Friday in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Team XTREME Racing #44 entry - driven in the Daytona 500 by Reed Sorenson (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 57th Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 22, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images via Getty Images)
Regan Smith, interim driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS finishes in sixteenth place in the Daytona 500 Sunday, February 22, 2015 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by HHP/Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS finishes in fifth place, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS finishes in 33rd place in the Daytona 500 Sunday, February 22, 2015 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. Gordon, who led for 87 laps,  was involved in a multi-car incident on the last lap. (Photo by HHP/Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS races to a third place finish with Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS who finishes in fifth place in the Daytona 500 Sunday, February 22, 2015 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by HHP/Alan Marler for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS pulls into his pit on his way to a second place finish in the Daytona 500 Sunday, February 22, 2015 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by HHP/Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, and Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Percision Chevrolet, lead the field during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 57th Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 22, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, and Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota, race three-wide during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 57th Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 22, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, takes the yellow and chequered flags to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 57th Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 22, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, poses with the The Harley J. Earl Trophy in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 57th Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 22, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, applies the winner`s decal in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 57th Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 22, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 57th Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 22, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 57th Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 22, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Smoke pours from the #2 Miller Lite Ford, driven by Brad Keselowski, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 57th Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 22, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, lead the field to the green flag for the running of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 57th Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 22, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Robert Reiners/Getty Images)
Ryan Reed, driver of the #16 Lilly/American Diabetes Association Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Alert Today Florida 300 at Daytona International Speedway on February 21, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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