Event: 60th 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: 11th/26th (Accident, completed 198 of 207 laps)
Point Standing: 16th (21 points, 27 out of first)
Race Winner: Austin Dillon of Richard Childress Racing (Chevrolet) in overtime
Stage 1 Winner: Kurt Busch of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: Ryan Blaney of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-60):
- Started 11th, finished first to earn 10 bonus points and one playoff point.
- Busch pitted on lap 10 under caution for fuel only. He entered the pits in fourth place and came out first.
- The No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford Fusion led laps 12-14 and laps 52-62.
- The team came to pit road for four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment at the conclusion of Stage 1, one lap after Busch had overshot his pit box.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 61-120):
- Started 17th, finished 12th.
- Busch pitted under caution on lap 94 for right-side tires and fuel as he ran in 10th. The crew discovered a small cut in the right-front tire.
- The team came to pit road for four tires and fuel at the conclusion of Stage 2.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 121-200):
- Started 16th, finished 26th.
- Busch pitted on lap 172 for right-side tires and fuel. He was in ninth place.
- Busch was in third for much of the last part of the race and moved to the front to lead laps 195 and 196.
- He was running in the top-three on lap 199 but was involved in a multicar accident in turn two.
- Busch led three times for 16 laps to bring his laps-led total at Daytona to 307.
- Busch finished first in Stage 1 to earn 10 bonus points and one playoff point. He finished 12th in Stage 2.
- There were eight caution periods for a total of 37 laps.
- Ten of the 40 drivers in the Daytona 500 finished on the lead lap.
- Austin Dillon won the Daytona 500 to score his second career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory and his first at Daytona. His margin of victory over second-place Darrell (Bubba) Wallace Jr. was .26 of a second.
Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“I was feeling the magic. I thought we could do it again back-to-back and win the Daytona 500. We found the right drafting lanes, and I was making good moves. I just got caught in a Bermuda Triangle it seemed like when Hamlin blocked us. I hit him pretty hard, and that killed a lot of my momentum. Maybe I should have just flung the 11, but you have to treat guys with respect and you’ve also got to throw your elbows out and you have to hold the hits when you get hit. We were close to going back-to-back in the Daytona 500, but I don’t have anything to show for it. I have to thank (Aric) Almirola for the help he gave me on the bottom lane.”
The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Folds of Honor 500 on Sunday, Feb. 25 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The race starts at 2 p.m. EST with live coverage provided by FOX TV, PRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio channel 90.