Kurt Busch said owner James Finch chose day-glow orange
for the unsponsored car because he wanted it to be
By NASCAR Wire Service
July 07, 2012 12:02 AM, EDT
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- The Great Pumpkin arrived early, and
Kurt Busch left Daytona International Speedway with
something more than peanuts after winning Friday
night's Subway Jalapeno 250 in a battered No. 1
Chevrolet that looked like a refugee from Halloween.
With a strong push from defending Nationwide Series
champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Busch took the checkered flag
in a wild race that ended with Austin Dillon wrecking in
the tri-oval as Busch crossed the finish line.
Stenhouse came home second, followed by Michael Annett, who
was pushing Dillon during a green-white-checkered finish
that took the race one lap beyond its scheduled 100 laps.
As the action intensified during the final 0.25-miles,
Dillon slid sideways across the stripe in fourth place,
with Joey Logano and points leader Elliott Sadler taking
fifth and sixth, respectively. The top-five for Logano, the
series' top winner with five victories this season,
took a sour turn in post-race inspection when his Joe Gibbs
Racing Toyota was ruled too low in front. Penalties for the
No. 18 team are possible early next week.
Busch picked up his second win of the season and fifth in
23 Nationwide starts in a day-glow orange car that differed
from the usual bright red one he drives for owner James
"I showed up at the shop on Tuesday, and we talked
about how our Kentucky week went, what we could have done
better," Busch said. "I went out back in the fab
[fabrication] shop, and they were wrapping on both of our
cars this fluorescent orange color. And I'm like,
'What's going on?'
"It's just the energy James Finch has for Daytona.
He wanted his cars orange so they could be seen up front,
so that car could be recognized without a sponsor on it.
And we drove an unsponsored car into Victory Lane [on
Friday night]. I was just being my normal sarcastic self on
the radio, and I said, 'The Great Pumpkin is here, and
the Great Pumpkin isn't going to lift coming to the
Stenhouse saw an opportunity on the restart with two laps
left and planted the nose of his car on Busch's rear
"That last restart, we didn't have many people to
work with, and I saw him [Busch] hung out there in the
center, and I got a good restart and jumped to the middle
and caught up with the 1," Stenhouse said. "He
was fast all night, and I just pushed him to the win.
"I was hoping I could make a move there [coming to the
finish], but I saw the 3 [Dillon] and everybody coming, so
I kind of tried to duck out and block them, and we ended up
second. It was exciting, and I hope the fans enjoyed it. I
had a lot of fun."
Danica Patrick led 14 laps and escaped one major wreck
before being collected late in the race.
As Kevin Harvick and Mike Wallace tried to swap positions
at the front of the field on Lap 66, Patrick pushed Justin
Allgaier to the front as a 15-car wreck erupted behind her.
Wallace moved down the track into James Buescher, then
bounced up into Brad Keselowski in the outside lane.
The chain-reaction wreck also collected Harvick, Sadler,
Kurt and Kyle Busch, Cole Whitt, Clint Bowyer and Annett,
among others. Sadler's damage was minimal, and he soon
regained the lead. Annett's crew repaired cosmetic
damage on his car as well.
Sadler held the lead on Lap 83, when an off-center push
from Stenhouse turned Jeffrey Earnhardt sideways in front
of the main pack of cars. As drivers checked up in reaction
to the wreck, Patrick was launched toward the inside SAFER
barrier and took a vicious hit when her No. 7 Chevrolet
slammed into the wall.
Busch made six pit stops under caution as his crew repaired
the damage to his car -- enough to get it to Victory Lane.
• Kurt Busch got his fifth win in his 23rd Nationwide
• It was his second win of 2012; he also won at
• Busch is the 20th different driver to win in the
42nd race at Daytona.
• Busch got his10th top-10 finish of 2012 in his 11th
• His five wins came with three different teams.
• It was Busch's third Daytona win, but only his
first points race victory.
• Phoenix Racing earned its13th Nationwide win and
second at Daytona.
• Chevrolet got its 29th series win at Daytona and
sixth of 2012.
• Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (second) got his first top-five
finish in the past six races and his best finish at
• Michael Annett (third) had his best career finish;
his previous best was fourth at Kentucky.
• Austin Dillon (fourth) has nine top-five finishes
this season, including top-fives in both career
• Joey Logano (fifth) earned his fourth top-five
finish at Daytona, all in the summer race.
• Twenty-six drivers were involved in accidents,
including 16 in the Lap 66 wreck.
• The track record for lead changes (42) was set, and
the one for leaders (16) was tied.
• Eighth race to end with a last-lap pass at Daytona,
most of all tracks and the fourth in a row.
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