Kurt Busch holds on to win at Daytona

Associated Press  |  Last updated July 06, 2012

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - JANUARY 16: Kurt Busch speaks with the media during NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest at Daytona International Speedway on January 16, 2010 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images)
Kurt Busch won a wild Nationwide race at Daytona International Speedway on Friday night, holding off several challengers over the final hundred yards in a battered race car. Busch's victory was his second this season and first with Phoenix Racing. He won for his brother's team, Kyle Busch Motorsports, at Richmond. The race had several crashes that left less than half the field on the lead lap for a green-white-checkered finish. Busch started the two-lap sprint pushing Austin Dillon, but made a move to the front with a lap left thanks to help from Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who was 11th on the final restart. Busch and Stenhouse held off Michael Annett and Dillon as they neared the finish line. ''We just won at Daytona!'' Busch screamed. Asked how he did it with a wrecked car and so much chaos around him, a crew member yelled, ''But we've got Kurt Busch!'' ''It's just passion and heart, that's all I can give,'' said Busch, the 2004 NASCAR champion. ''That's all I can do right now. To do this for (owner) James Finch, this is awesome. To be an underfunded team, to come out only four times a year ... it's amazing to do what we can with a little team and to persevere. ''And Ricky Stenhouse, in a Ford, thanks to him, this Chevrolet is in Victory Lane.'' The win seemingly meant a lot to Busch, who was suspended for a weekend earlier this season by NASCAR for verbally abusing a media member. ''I'm a racer,'' said Busch, who lost his ride with Penske Racing last season after several public blowups. ''I don't know much about anything else. You get caught up in marketing or PR and everything else that goes along with it, but you've got to do all the steps in this day and age. I keep saying I grew up 30 years too late, and I still haven't grown up, even though I'm 33. But back in the 80s, that's what this team reminds me of. It's family. And you go hard, or you go home.'' Stenhouse was second, followed by Annett, Dillon and Joey Logano. Dillon's car spun across the track as he crossed the finish line and made contact with at least two others before coming to a stop. Danica Patrick was involved in one of the earlier wrecks - her car slammed head first into an inside retaining wall with 16 laps remaining - and finished 31st. ''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.'' Patrick's accident was a four-car wreck, not even close to the biggest one of the night. At least 14 cars were involved in a huge wreck on lap 67. Mike Wallace started that one when turned into the side of James Buescher's car. Both cars slid across the track and collected at least a dozen cars in their wake. ''I guess I screwed up,'' Wallace said. ''I guess we made a little bit of an error.''
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