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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.




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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)
Paul Menard, driver of the #27 Serta/Menards Chevrolet SS, finished ninth and Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 Dow Great Stuff Chevrolet SS, finished 28th Saturday, August 23, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, finished fifth Saturday, August 23, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Doublemint Toyota, Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 STP Ford, and Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-hour Energy Toyota, are involved in an on-track incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 ENEOS Chevrolet, is involved in an incident during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images)
Ryan Blaney, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Ryan Blaney, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Ryan Blaney, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Nationwide Series Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, qualified for seventh position Friday, August 22, 2014 for Saturday evening`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. Busch is 23rd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #19 DrawTire Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 200 presented by ZLOOP at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #19 DrawTire Ford, poses with the trophy in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 200 presented by ZLOOP at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #19 DrawTire Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 200 presented by ZLOOP at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #19 DrawTire Ford, leads Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 Dollar General Toyota, and the rest of the field during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 200 presented by ZLOOP at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Chris Buescher, driver of the #60 Nationwide Children`s Hospital Ford Mustang Ford takes the chequered flag to win the Nationwide Children`s 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 16, 2014 in Lexington, Ohio.  (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Chris Buescher, drives the #60 Nationwide Children`s Hospital Ford Mustang Ford during the Nationwide Children`s 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 16, 2014 in Lexington, Ohio.  (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Chris Buescher, driver of the #60 Nationwide Children`s Hospital Ford Mustang Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the Nationwide Children`s Hospital 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 16, 2014 in Lexington, Ohio.  (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/Getty Images)
Chris Buescher, driver of the #60 Nationwide Children`s Hospital Ford Mustang Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the Nationwide Children`s Hospital 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 16, 2014 in Lexington, Ohio.  (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/Getty Images)

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