DAYTONA BEACH Fl. - Kurt Busch can now call himself a survivor in more way's then one. Busch endured a wild crash filled NASCAR Nationwide Series Subway Jalapeno 250 Friday night at Daytona International Speedway winning his second Nationwide race this season and his first at Daytona.
Busch was able to make his way back after catching part of a 15 car crash on lap 65. It took six pit stops, but the Phoenix Racing team was able to patch the Chevy up and keep Kurt in the fray.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr., was second, Michael Annett third with Austin Dillon fourth and Joey Logano rounding out the top five.
That Dillon came across the line backwards to finish fourth tells the story of the entire race.
For the first part of the event, it appeared that Danica Patrick might steal the show. Patrick took the lead on lap 18 with a push from Brad Keselowski. But with the field at their heels, it wasn't long before the tandem of the brothers Busch, Kurt and Kyle, teamed up and took over the lead.
There were no clear favorites however as most of the field remained two, three and at times four wide and several rows deep. The lead changed among several drivers including Logano, Sadler, Kevin Harvick and Mike Wallace. The race would see a track record 42 lead changes among 16 drivers.
It wasn't until lap 65 that a multi car crash changed the race for many.
Wallace and Harvick were near the front of the field; the tandem separated to swap positions and drifted back. Wallace slipped down the track hitting James Buescher and setting off a 15 car melee.
Among those involved were Sadler, Clint Bowyer, Keselowski, and the Busch brothers. During the extended caution, Kyle Busch was forced behind the wall, while Kurt's crew worked on his car with subsequent pit stops. Kyle lost seven laps, Kurt stayed on the lead lap.
After the restart on lap 72, Justin Allgaier led Patrick and the field seemed to calm down. Busch was soon back in command and took over the lead on lap 81, shortly before Patrick's night ended in disaster.
Patrick suffered her third crash in four Daytona starts when she was sent spinning as the field came out of turn 2. The crash started when Jeffrey Earnhardt was spun by Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Patrick was then shoved from behind and reminiscent of her crash here in the Duel qualifying race in February, was sent rocketing into the inside wall along the backstretch. She was able to climb from her mangled machine but her night was over, she was scored 31.
With four laps to go the sixth and final caution came out for debris setting up a green-white-checkered flag finish.
On the final lap, Busch took the high lane and with a push from Michael Annett was able to power past Allgaier, Dillon and Sam Hornish Jr., exiting turn four. To put a cap on the wild night, a final melee broke out behind the lead group and Dillon slid across the line in fourth just before being hit by Kyle Busch among others.
The win was Busch's second Nationwide win of the season, the first coming with his brothers team at Richmond. Sadler leads the points standings by 2 markers over Dillon; that could change however as NASCAR could penalize Dillon's team for unapproved parts found after he won the pole Friday. NASCAR disallowed the time and Dillon was forced to start in the rear of the field.