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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)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet SS qualified for eleventh position September 19, 2014 for Sunday`s Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Earnhardt, Jr. is in the Chase which continues with the Challenger 16 for this and next week`s race. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Designate A Driver Chevrolet SS qualified for third position September 19, 2014 for Sunday`s Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Harvick is in the Chase which continues with the Challenger 16 for this and next week`s race. (Photo by Christa L Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, celebrates setting the pole position during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 19, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet, speaks at a press conference following practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 19, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, smiles at Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-hour Energy Toyota, during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 19, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Jared Wickerham/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 19, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Designate a Driver Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 19, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet, prepares for practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 19, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Jared Wickerham/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Marcos Ambrose in the Richard Petty Motorsport garage at Sonoma Raceway on June 20, 2014 (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, leads the field after a restart during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 14, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 14, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, places his name in the top twelve on The Chase Grid after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 14, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 14, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, puts the winner`s sticker on his car in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 14, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via 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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