Kurt Busch celebrates with crew members after winning the Nationwide Series NASCAR auto race at Daytona International Speedway, Friday, July 6, 2012, in Daytona Beach, Fla. Photo: Terry Renna / AP
James Finch, Kurt Busch’s car owner, has never doubted his driver’s ability to wheel a race car and on Friday night his confidence was rewarded in a stunning final lap charge that took him to victory lane in the Subway Jalapeno 250 at Daytona International Speedway.
Busch, who was suspended for one race a month ago for challenging Sporting News reporter Bob Pockrass, drove Finch’s unsponsored No. 1 Chevrolet to Gatorade Victory Lane and in the process he put on an impressive show.
“I don’t care about me right now,” Busch said. “Tonight is about Phoenix Racing.”
Busch was involved in a 16-car pileup with just 35 laps left in the race but that didn’t slow the 2004 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion down.
The race went into over time, where Busch started fourth but got himself out front in turn three. He was able to hold off the 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series champion off for his second Nationwide Series win of the season and first with Phoenix Racing. His first win came earlier this season with Kyle Busch Motorsports at Richmond International Raceway.
The race set a record with 42 lead changes and 16 different leaders, besting the previous mark set at Daytona earlier this season.
Kurt Busch led the most with 23, while Patrick was next with 14.
There was also plenty of wrecks as well.
One was involving NASCAR’s media darling, Danica Patrick. Her No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet slammed head first into the inside retaining wall with 16 laps remaining. She would finish 31st. Her in-car camera would show her steering wheel popping up. Luckily she would remove her hands from the wheel prior to this happening.
“Yeah, bummer,” she said. “It kind of felt like the IndyCar days when you are close a couple of times. It’s just frustrating when that’s the case. What are you going to do? There was an accident happening in front of me, and the best thing that you can do is try and get around it. I haven’t seen a replay, but I know there was an accident in front of me.”
The next race for the NASCAR Nationwide Series is next Saturday afternoon at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
In the meantime, keep an eye out for penalties coming from Joey Logano, who failed post race inspection, and Austin Dillon, who failed post qualifying inspection.