Event: 59th Daytona 500 (Round 1 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway (2.5-mile oval)
Format: 200 laps, broken into three stages (60 laps/60 laps/80 laps)
Start/Finish: 8th/1st (Running, completed 200 of 200 laps)
Point Standing: 1st (56 points, 12 ahead of second)
Race Winner: Kurt Busch of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-60):
- Made a pit stop during green-flag conditions on lap 28 for right-side tires and fuel.
- Visited pit road at the conclusion of Stage 1 for four tires, fuel and chassis adjustments.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 61-120):
- Stopped on pit road on lap 90 for two tires and fuel after reporting that the car was handling well.
- Scored in third-place at the conclusion of Stage 2.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 121-200):
- Suffered minor damage to the car during a multi-car accident on lap 129. The team was able to make repairs on pit road, keeping Busch in contention for the win.
- Made final trip to pit road for service on lap 143 where the team changed four tires and added fuel.
- Reported an issue with his rear view mirror in the closing laps but was able to resolve it.
- Took over the top spot on the final lap to win the race.
- This is Busch’s first Daytona 500 victory and his first points-paying win at Daytona.
- Busch led only one time at Daytona on Sunday when he took the lead on the last lap to secure the victory, bringing his laps laps-led total at Daytona to 291.
- Busch now owns one win, 13 top-fives and 17 top-10 finishes in 32 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Daytona.
- Prior to his win on Sunday, Busch had finished in the runner-up spot in the “Great American Race” three times (2003, 2005 and 2008).
- The win is the 37th win for Stewart-Haas Racing and the organization’s first in the Daytona 500.
Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“There is nothing predictable about this race anymore, and the more years that have gone by that I didn’t win I kept trying to go back to patterns that I had seen in the past. My mirror fell off with 30 laps to go and I couldn’t even see out the back. It just got crazy and wild, and I am so proud of all the drivers at the end. We put on a show for a full fuel run, and nobody took each other out and it was one of the smartest chess games I have seen out there. All of the hard work that Ford and SHR put into this – and this Ford Fusion is in Daytona’s victory lane.
“I tried not to put any extra pressure on my shoulders (in regards to sponsor Monster Energy being the series sponsor). I tried to rely on my team’s strengths and not focus on what I have been through with Monster Energy the last six years. They are a strong, big company and they have chosen to be the entitlement sponsor and I can’t be happier to do the job I am supposed to do as a Monster athlete, which is to win podiums and races. Here we are. We are with the Daytona 500 trophy. Thanks to Monster Energy, Haas Automation and everybody at Ford. We are going to enjoy this one.”
Tony Stewart, co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing:
“The look on Gene Haas’ face right now – that smile – makes it all worth it. It has been a really long hard winter and I am so proud of everyone at SHR and Ford Performance. They really worked their tails off to get ready. Doug Yates and everybody at Roush Yates Engines brought unbelievable power all week. It was a crazy race, even crazier to sit and watch it from a pit box finally. If I had known all I had to do was retire, I would have retired 17 years ago if I knew it was what it took to win the race. Kurt did an amazing job. He didn’t even have a rear view mirror. The mirror folded on him. His spotter, Tony Raines did an amazing job. That is the most composed I have ever seen Kurt at the end of a race. He deserved this.”
The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Folds of Honor 500 on Sunday, March 5 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The race starts at 2:30 p.m. EST with live coverage provided by FOX.