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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.




Related Pictures

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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)
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)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS, finished fourth and Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet SS, finished twelfth Saturday, August 23, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/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)
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)
Danica Patrick, driver of the #10 GoDaddy Chevrolet, Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row Chevrolet, Trevor Bayne, driver of the #21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford, Justin Allgaier, driver of the #51 Brandt Professional Agriculture Chevrolet, and Michael Annett, driver of the #7 Allstate Peterbilt/Pilot Chevrolet, are involved in an incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, leads the field at the start of the Nationwide Childrens`s Hospital 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 16, 2014 in Lexington, Ohio.  (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
AJ Allmendinger and Marcos Ambrose lead the field to a restart at Watkins Glen International on Sunday, August 10 2014. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
AJ Allmendinger leads Marcos Ambrose at Watkins Glen International on Sunday, August 10 2014. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Regan Smith prepares to stand in for Tony Stewart at short notice at Watkins Glen International on Sunday, August 10 2014. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/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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