Originally written on Race Review Online  |  Last updated 11/17/14
Nascar_sprint_cup_b061

 

Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 51 Phoenix Construction Services Chevrolet for Phoenix Racing, was a solid fixture in the top-10 until just past the halfway point of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 Saturday night at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.

But a multi-car accident on lap 92 of the 160-lap contest proved to be the beginning of the end of the bid by 2004 Sprint Cup champion Busch for his second victory in as many nights at the 2.5-mile superspeedway and led to a disappointing 35th-place finish.

Busch, who drove the No. 1 Phoenix Racing Chevrolet to victory in the NASCAR Nationwide Series Subway Jalapeno 250 Friday night at Daytona, wasted little time moving forward from his 35th starting position tonight. He reached the top-10 before the race was seven laps old and stayed there until the fateful incident on lap 92.

He found a hole between the inside and outside lines of traffic and began advancing positions until he came upon Aric Almirola on the low side and Trevor Bayne on the high side. Busch had room between the two before Bayne appeared to make a quick move to the left to try and close the gap. At the same time, Almirola washed up the track and contacted Busch’s left-front quarter panel, sending Busch up the track into the left side of Bayne’s car.

Busch immediately dove into the pits to begin repair work on front-end and right-side damage. When the race restarted on lap 96, Busch was in 34th place and the first car a lap down to the leaders after multiple stops to try and fix the wounded race car. But almost immediately, Busch radioed to his crew that the car did not feel stable, at which time he was directed to the garage for major repair work on the front-end suspension.

By the time the repairs were complete, Busch was 27 laps down and in 37th place when he rejoined the race on lap 135. He gained two spots before the checkered flag flew on lap 160.

“I guess I had way too good of a Daytona in 2011 (finishes of 14th and fifth) and just wasn’t meant to have a good one this year,” said a disappointed Busch on the radio during the closing laps. “It’s the law of average, I guess. You just spin the roulette wheel, see who comes out of it and spin it again. That’s how it works, I guess.”

“Kurt was just racing hard,” said Phoenix Racing Sprint Cup crew chief Nick Harrison, who also directed the Nationwide Series win Friday night from atop the pit box. “The way you race in packs here, it’s really tight. When guys are trying to battle over the same territory, that sort of stuff just happens. It was unlucky and he’s down on himself a little bit, but he’s fine. He knows it’s just part of this racing. That’s just emotion coming out of him. He wanted to win and he wanted to sweep the weekend, and that’s what we love about him.”

Tony Stewart won the Coke Zero for 400 to score his 47th career Sprint Cup win, his third this season and his fourth at Daytona. With the victory, Stewart moved into 14th on the all-time NASCAR Sprint Cup win list. He previously was tied with NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Buck Baker. The win was Stewart’s 18th all-time at Daytona, which includes non-points Sprint Cup events, NASCAR Nationwide Series events and IROC races. The victory places Stewart second on the track’s all-time win list, 16 behind the legendary Dale Earnhardt (34).

Jeff Burton finished second behind Stewart in the runner-up spot as the race ended under caution, while Matt Kenseth, Joey Logano and Ryan Newman rounded out the top-five. Carl Edwards, Kasey Kahne, Brad Keselowski, Michael Waltrip and Bobby Labonte comprised the remainder of the top-10.

There were six caution periods for a total of 23 laps, with 14 drivers failing to finish the 160-lap race.

With round 18 of 36 complete, Busch dropped one spot to 25th in the championship standings with 365 points, 311 behind series leader Kenseth.

The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the LENOX Industrial Tools 301 on Sunday, July 15 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. The race starts at 1 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by TNT beginning with its pre-race show at noon.

TSC

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Larry Bird jokes about pose of Dominique Wilkins’ statue

Barry Switzer urged Cowboys to draft Murray with great quote

SF Giants file brief in support of gay marriage to Supreme Court

Jay Cutler available to teams in trade

Brian Hoyer praises Johnny Manziel for checking into rehab

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Dockett: I would have signed with Cardinals for less money

Report: Darrelle Revis' decision to come down to Patriots, Jets

Maurice Jones-Drew announces his retirement from NFL

Ndamukong Suh is biggest prize, risk in free agency

Associated Press will have 'robots' writing game stories

Jaworski on Winston: 'I would not take him at that No. 1 pick

WATCH: Craig Sager emotional in warm welcome back to TNT

Likeliest landing spots for Ndamukong Suh

Tigers pitcher Alfredo Simon drives a chrome Mercedes

WATCH: Ronda Rousey breaks guy's ribs who doubts her ability

Michelle Beadle’s campaign to be cast in ‘Sharknado 3′ pays off

Ten teams who have tightened the belt

Dodgers will have a tough time dumping Andre Ethier

Brian Cashman: Derek Jeter should be final Yankees captain

Tom Brady, Rory McIlroy to play round at Augusta National

No one knows who will win the 2014-15 NBA MVP

Giants TE on plane that slid off runway in New York

TSN to stop airing tweets after trade deadline debacle

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Larry Bird trash talks Dominique Wilkins’ statue

Likeliest landing spots for Suh

Jay Cutler available to teams in trade

Ronda Rousey breaks guy's ribs

Ten teams who have tightened the belt

Mayweather waited for Pacquiao to get old, right?

Maurice Jones-Drew announces his retirement from NFL

Ndamukong Suh is biggest prize, risk in free agency

AP will have 'robots' writing game stories

Manning officially returning to Broncos

No one knows who will win the MVP

Pop rips notion of NBA Finals in July

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.