Tha Sports Junkies 101

Kurt Busch Wins 59th Daytona 500


It was a true test of survival, and Kurt Busch passed it Sunday to win the 59th Daytona 500. This came after leader Kyle Larson ran out of gas on the last lap. Ryan Blaney finished 2nd, followed by AJ Allmendinger, Aric Almirola, and Paul Menard rounding out the top 5.

Chase Elliott and Dale Earnhardt Jr. led the field to green and particularly a clean start to the race. Rookies Daniel Suarez and Erik Jones made crucial mistakes on early stops. But it wasn’t as bad as Corey LaJoie locking up the brakes and hitting the wall entering pit road on lap 30. He would march on after beating the NASCAR’s new repair clock. It was the only yellow during the 1st Stage as Kyle Busch won it.

Luck for Kyle however would go downhill in a hurry. On lap 105, his left rear tire went down, sending him into a spin. Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jones, and Matt Kenseth were collected in the incident. The race was red flagged for 17 minutes for clean up. Dale Earnhardt Jr’s and Kenseth’s days was also done as the crews failed to make repairs under the 5 minute clock.

The rest of the second stage went off with little incident as Kevin Harvick took the win and the max points. But, once again the stage winner found trouble on lap 127 when the first big on happened. Jimmie Johnson was spun entering turn four, sending Kevin and all of Stewart Hass Racing scrambling for repairs. 17 cars in all were involved. The defending CUP Champion Johnson’s day was over as a result of the crash.

The carnage only continued several laps later when a second big wreck happened. Another 12 cars were swept in a turn 4 crash that included Keselowski, McMurray, Elliott, and Hamlin. McMurray appeared to have started both big wrecks by aggressively bumping another car.

The battle for the finish however was more of fuel mileage instead of dodging wrecks. Chase Elliott had the field firmly in his control in a single file order. That was, until 3 to go when he ran out of gas leading the race. From there. Kyle Larson took the lead and then ran out with a half a lap to go. Kurt Busch then rocked past the 42 to win his first Daytona 500.

“I have a lot of people who have believed in me over the years and supported me over the years,” Busch said after the race. “This is what it’s all about.” This was Stewart-Haas Racing’s first Daytona 500 win, and as noted above Kurt’s first as a driver.

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races into Atlanta next weekend for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500.