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Busch survives wrecks to pip Stewart

Kyle Busch had a torrid night of it at the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway, but it ended with a win over Tony Stewart - by just 0.013s.
If Kyle Busch was hoping for a nice, quiet and calm start to his 2012 season after all the controversy, frustration and disappointment that consumed him at the end of last year, then Saturday night's Budweiser Shootout curtain raiser was perhaps not what the doctor ordered. But if he wanted a stunning win against all the odds that will inevitably boost his confidence into high orbit, then he couldn't have asked for anything better.

Busch had picked second place on the grid in the blind draw setting the starting order for the non-championship race, but an accident in practice on Friday sent him to the back-up car which obliged him to start from the back along with with brother Kurt and Penske duo Brad Keselowski and AJ Allmendinger. But with only 25 cars running in this exhibition event getting back to the front was by no means an insurmountable problem for any of the quartet.

Polesitter Martin Truex Jr. was struggling to hold off Jamie McMurray and Dale Earnhardt Jr. for the lead before Kevin Harvick took over on lap 6. Behind them, pack racing was re-emerging as the dominant race style du jour after least year's obsession with the controversial two-car tandem drafting style seen last season; but this meant that the field was vulnerable to a big wreck being started by a small incident at the head of the line.

And that's exactly what happened on lap 9: contact from David Ragan spun the #27 of Paul Menard which then sucked in the cars of Kasey Kahne, Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth, Juan Montoya, Michael Waltrip, Jeff Burton and Jeff Gordon. Menard, Ragan and Waltrip were done for the day while Hamlin and Kahne fell off the lead lap as they recovered from the fall-out; Jeff Burton would also end up dropping a lap with a subsequent cut tyre.

"I just got into the back of Menard," admitted Ragan. "You're pushing a little bit, and I guess he was pushing whoever was in front of him, and when you've got the meat in between the sandwich, you usually get wrecked."

It left Menard pining for the good old days of two car-drafting: "The tandem drafting seemed to be a lot easier to pass" and "a lot less chaotic", he said. "This is pretty damn chaotic, but we'll fix it."

Gordon's car was slightly damaged but it didn't stop him finishing the first 25-lap segment of the Shootout in second place behind Jamie McMurray. During the shceduled ten minute hiatus before segment 2, cars were able to get new tyres, refuel and get routine chassis adjustments.

Behind McMurray and Gordon for the restart were Carl Edwards, Jimmie Johnson, Greg Biffle, Joey Logano, Kyle and Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick and Clint Bowyer. Biffle had taken over the lead by lap 31 when the next caution came out, for a spat between Michael Waltrip Racing team mates Clint Bowyer and Martin Truex Jr. which saw Bowyer get spun out.

As usual with pack racing, the lead ebbed and flowed over the next few laps: Biffle led at the restart, then Montoya popped up for a lap in front, then McMurray held the lead for a spell before Truex, Johnson, Harvick and Jeff Gordon all came on strong.




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Drivers are introduced prior to the start of the NASCAR Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway on February 18, 2012 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Paul Menard (#27 Peak/Menards Chevrolet), David Ragan (#34 Front Row Motorsports Ford), Mark Martin (#55 Aaron`s Toyota), Greg Biffle (#16 3M Ford) and Matt Kenseth (#17 Best Buy Ford) crash during the NASCAR Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway on February 18, 2012 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth (#17 Best Buy Ford), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (#88 Diet Mountain Dew/National Guard Chevrolet), Martin Truex Jr. (#56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota), Joey Logano, (#20 The Home Depot Toyota) and Kevin Harvick (#29 Budweiser Chevrolet) crash during the NASCAR Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway on February 18, 2012 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Brown Toyota, edges out Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, to win the NASCAR Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway on February 18, 2012 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Daniel Suarez, driver of the #18 ARRIS Toyota, leads the field to the green flag to start the NASCAR XFINITY Series Subway Firecracker 250 Powered By Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on July 4, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Bobby Gerhart, driver of the #85 Lucas Oil Chevrolet, is involved in an on-track incident during the NASCAR XFINITY Series Subway Firecracker 250 Powered By Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on July 4, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Brennan Poole, driver of the #42 DC Solar Chevrolet, Aric Almirola, driver of the #98 Fresh from Florida Ford, Blake Koch, driver of the #8 Celsius Healthy Energy Cola Toyota, Chris Buescher, driver of the #60 Bit-O-Honey Ford, Dakoda Armstrong, driver of the #43 WinField Ford, and Regan Smith, driver of the #7 Fire Alarm Services Chevrolet, are involved in an on-track incident during the NASCAR XFINITY Series Subway Firecracker 250 Powered By Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on July 4, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Sarah Crabill/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #33 Rheem Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR XFINITY Series Subway Firecracker 250 Powered By Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on July 4, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #33 Rheem Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Subway Firecracker 250 Powered By Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on July 4, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Sarah Crabill/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #33 Rheem Chevrolet, celebrates after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Subway Firecracker 250 Powered By Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on July 4, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #33 Rheem Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Subway Firecracker 250 Powered By Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on July 4, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #33 Rheem Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Subway Firecracker 250 Powered By Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on July 4, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Austin Dillon driver of the #3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS, qualifies second Saturday July 4, 2015, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. Dillon was awarded second position based on his practice lap from Friday. Sprint Cup qualifying was canceled Saturday due to weather. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Austin Dillon driver of the #3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS, qualifies second Saturday July 4, 2015, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. Dillon was awarded second position based on his practice lap from Friday. Sprint Cup qualifying was canceled Saturday due to weather. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s/Budweiser Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 3, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Stars and Stripes Chevrolet, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 4, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Stars and Stripes Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 3, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, walks through the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 3, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

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Sidthekid - Unregistered

February 19, 2012 7:57 PM

The Nascar nerds might not like him for whatever reason, but that display last night was some of the finest driving you will EVER see. Awesome race won by a simply awesome driver!



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