NASCAR: Kurt Busch Wins 2017 Daytona 500 for Stewart-Haas
Kurt Busch won a Daytona 500 marred by accidents that damaged 35 of the 40 cars in the 2017 NASCAR Cup opener.
The Stewart-Haas Ford driver hit the front as both pole sitter Chase Elliott and then Kyle Larson ran out of gas while leading during the final 2 laps.
Mr. Busch kept out of the many incidents that took place in the middle part of the race and worked his way back up the field having dropped to the rear early on due to a pit lane speeding penalty.
The race, which was split into 2 stages of 60 laps and a third 80 lap stage under the new rules, had numerous cautions occurring late in the 2nd stage and early in the 3rd stage.
As the 3rd stage was 80 laps long, a number of teams wrongly calculated how much fuel was needed to finish amid all the yellows, leading to Elliott and Larson’s late heartbreaks.
Before the late drama it was Kevin Harvick, runner up in the first stage behind Kyle Busch and winner of the 2nd stage, who looked most comfortable going into stage 3.
Mr. Harvick was among a number of major contenders taken out of contention in a 16-car crash early in the third stage, along with reigning champion Jimmie Johnson and last year’s 500 winner Hamlin.
Mr. Elliott then looked the most likely winner as the Sun went down, before the fuel issues left him 14th and Mr. Larson 12th.
Underdogs Ryan Blaney of Wood Brothers, who was lucky to escape damage in an earlier crash, and AJ Allmendinger of JTG Daugherty came through to 2nd and 3rd, followed by Aric Almirola and Paul Menard.
A Roger Penske protege Blaney fared better than the team’s own drivers, with Joey Logano squeezed back to sixth in the final laps and Brad Keselowski another crash victim.
Toyota’s only Top-10 finisher was Michael Waltrip in eighth in his farewell race. Joe Gibbs Racing’s drivers were all caught up in accidents and Furniture Row’s Martin Truex Jr was yet another to run out of gas.
|1||Kurt Busch||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford||200|
|2||Ryan Blaney||Wood Brothers Racing||Ford||200|
|3||A.J. Allmendinger||JTG Daugherty Racing||Chevrolet||200|
|4||Aric Almirola||Richard Petty Motorsports||Ford||200|
|5||Paul Menard||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||200|
|6||Joey Logano||Team Penske||Ford||200|
|7||Kasey Kahne||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||200|
|8||Michael Waltrip||Premium Motorsports||Toyota||200|
|9||Matt DiBenedetto||Go FAS Racing||Ford||200|
|10||Trevor Bayne||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||200|
|11||Brendan Gaughan||Beard Motorsports||Chevrolet||200|
|12||Kyle Larson||Chip Ganassi Racing||Chevrolet||200|
|13||Martin Truex Jr.||Furniture Row Racing||Toyota||200|
|14||Chase Elliott||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||200|
|15||Michael McDowell||Leavine Family Racing||Chevrolet||200|
|16||Landon Cassill||Front Row Motorsports||Ford||199|
|17||Denny Hamlin||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||199|
|18||Cole Whitt||TriStar Motorsports||Ford||199|
|19||Austin Dillon||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||199|
|20||Elliott Sadler||Tommy Baldwin Racing||Chevrolet||199|
|21||Ryan Newman||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||198|
|22||Kevin Harvick||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford||197|
|23||Joey Gase||BK Racing||Toyota||196|
|24||Corey LaJoie||BK Racing||Toyota||193|
|25||David Ragan||Front Row Motorsports||Ford||188|
|26||Jeffrey Earnhardt||Circle Sport / TMG||Chevrolet||145|
|27||Brad Keselowski||Team Penske||Ford||143|
|28||Jamie McMurray||Chip Ganassi Racing||Chevrolet||141|
|29||Daniel Suarez||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||141|
|30||Ty Dillon||Germain Racing||Chevrolet||140|
|31||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||133|
|32||Clint Bowyer||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford||128|
|33||Danica Patrick||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford||128|
|34||Jimmie Johnson||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||127|
|35||Chris Buescher||JTG Daugherty Racing||Chevrolet||127|
|36||D.J. Kennington||Gaunt Brothers Racing||Toyota||127|
|37||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||106|
|38||Kyle Busch||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||103|
|39||Erik Jones||Furniture Row Racing||Toyota||103|
|40||Matt Kenseth||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||103|
Have a terrific week.
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