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Matt Kenseth Wins Wild Daytona 500..
Kyle Busch Wins Wild Bud Shootout
Kyle Busch rallied from two near-disasters to win Saturday's Budweiser Shootout with a slingshot move past Tony Stewart a few yards from the finish line at Daytona International Speedway.
Starting from the back of the field in a backup car -- necessitated by a wreck in Friday's practice -- Busch won the season-opening exhibition race for the first time. His winning margin over Stewart was .013 seconds, the closest in Shootout history, in a green-white-checkered-flag finish that took the race seven laps beyond its scheduled distance.
Marcos Ambrose recovered from a pair of wrecks to finish third, followed by Brad Keselowski and Denny Hamlin. Greg Biffle, Ryan Newman, Clint Bowyer, Carl Edwards and Juan Pablo Montoya completed the top 10.
Busch's victory was the first in a NASCAR racecar using electronic fuel injection, which was introduced to the Sprint Cup Series this season.
Stewart had just taken the lead on Lap 74 of a scheduled 75 when a violent wreck in Turn 4 sent Jeff Gordon's No. 24 Chevrolet barrel-rolling through Turn 4 and sliding on its roof toward the entrance to pit road.
Gordon was following Kyle Busch on the backstretch, and contact between the cars turned Busch's Toyota onto the apron. Busch made a dramatic save for the second time in the race, but Gordon slid up the track into the Chevrolets of Kurt Busch and Jamie McMurray.
As all three cars contacted the outside wall, Jimmie Johnson's Chevrolet nosed beneath the right rear bumper of Gordon's car and turned it upside down. The wreck left 11 cars on the lead lap and sent the race to overtime.
"With Gordon behind me, I don't know what the deal was there -- I'd like to talk to him about it," Busch said. "When we came off (Turn) 2, he had me sideways, and then all the way down the backstretch, I was still sideways -- left, right, left, right, everywhere -- then we were off into 3 and he turned me sideways again. He was on the left side of my bumper instead of the right."
The first of the close calls for Busch, on Lap 48, strung the field out, leaving a 10-car pack fighting for the lead. Busch's Toyota twice turned sideways off the bumper of Johnson, and twice Busch saved the car from calamity despite running onto the apron in Turn 2.
"Stab and steer, stab and steer," Busch said of the technique that bailed him out of trouble. "That's what you do. And some brakes. There are brakes involved, too. I thought I was clear... and I tried going down slowly, and Jimmie just must have been there a little bit, turned me sideways and got me on the apron -- scared everybody half to death, including me."
The complexion of the race changed dramatically on Lap 55, when a chain-reaction wreck that started with contact between the cars of polesitter Martin Truex Jr., Ambrose and Joey Logano clobbered those three vehicles and eliminated Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick and Matt Kenseth.
The resulting fourth caution of the race bunched the field for a restart on Lap 62, with Greg Biffle in the lead, followed by Hendrick Motorsports teammates Gordon and Johnson and reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Stewart.
Rule changes NASCAR instituted during the offseason changed the character of racing at Daytona. Though Busch and Stewart hooked up for the final two-lap dash, drivers spent the vast majority of the race drafting in packs. To Stewart, it was a significant improvement.
"I had fun racing at Daytona again, which I haven't had for a while," Stewart said. "This is better than having to sit there and stare at the back of a spoiler for 500 miles."
The race was barely eight laps old when contact from David Ragan's Ford turned Paul Menard's Chevrolet and ignited a multicar wreck that also damaged the cars of Kasey Kahne, Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth, Montoya, Michael Waltrip, Jeff Burton and Gordon.
Earnhardt, who had led the first three laps, had just regained the top spot on Lap 8 and was out in front when the wreck erupted behind him. The crash sidelined Menard, Ragan and Waltrip and knocked Hamlin and Kahne off the lead lap. Burton also fell of the lead lap during the first 25-lap segment when he pitted under green with a cut tire.
"Everybody was real racy and I just got into the back of Menard," Ragan said after exiting his car. "You get a good run, and you're pushing a little bit, and I guess he was pushing whoever was in front of him. And when you've got the meat in between the sandwich, you usually get wrecked."
McMurray was at the front of the field when NASCAR called the competition caution after Lap 25. Gordon, undeterred by minor damage to his car, was second, followed by Harvick, Kyle Busch and Ambrose.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race - Budweiser Shootout At Daytona
Daytona International Speedway
Daytona Beach, Florida
Saturday, February 18, 2012
1. (2) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 82, $198550.
2. (15) Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, 82, $94800.
3. (21) Marcos Ambrose, Ford, 82, $54800.
4. (3) Brad Keselowski, Dodge, 82, $45800.
5. (16) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 82, $44800.
6. (7) Greg Biffle, Ford, 82, $43400.
7. (13) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 82, $42050.
8. (17) Clint Bowyer, Toyota, 82, $40025.
9. (11) Carl Edwards, Ford, 82, $38025.
10. (25) Juan Pablo Montoya, Chevrolet, 82, $36525.
11. (12) Jeff Burton, Chevrolet, 81, $36025.
12. (9) AJ Allmendinger, Dodge, 80, $35525.
13. (19) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 79, $35025.
14. (18) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, Accident, 74, $33525.
15. (14) Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, Accident, 73, $33025.
16. (4) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, Accident, 73, $32525.
17. (6) Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, Accident, 73, $30025.
18. (10) Joey Logano, Toyota, Accident, 54, $28025.
19. (1) Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, Accident, 54, $25025.
20. (8) Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, Accident, 54, $23025.
21. (23) Matt Kenseth, Ford, Accident, 54, $21025.
22. (22) Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, Accident, 54, $20025.
23. (24) Paul Menard, Chevrolet, Accident, 8, $18030.
24. (5) David Ragan, Ford, Accident, 8, $16030.
25. (20) Michael Waltrip, Toyota, Accident, 8, $15032.
Average Speed of Race Winner: 124.096 mph.
2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup News
Trevor Bayne Wins Exciting Daytona 500
(Photo By Dan Peters from 2010 ORP Indianapolis)
Trevor Bayne (born February 19, 1991) drives the #16 Ford Mustang for Roush-Fenway Racing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. He also drives part-time in the #21 Ford for Wood Brothers Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, sharing the ride with Bill Elliott. Bayne attended Central High School in Knoxville, Tennessee as a freshman and Gibbs High School outside Knoxville as a sophomore before getting a GED online. He got his breakthrough winning the 2011 Daytona 500 in his second start in the top series.
For the 2008 season Bayne drove the 1 for Dale Earnhardt Incorporated in the NASCAR Camping World East Series. He had 6 Top 5's, two poles and one win at Thompson International Speedway winning from the pole in just his 6th start. He finished second in that seasons Toyota All-Star Showdown. In the 2009 Scotts Turf Builder 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway, he made his first career start for Means Racing in the #52 Taco BellChevrolet. Also in 2009, Bayne agreed to race in the #99 Aarons Toyota for Michael Waltrip Racing for 8 races, and in his first start for the team, he qualified on the outside pole at Nashville Superspeedway, but a crash relegated him to a bad finish. He finished 12th at Kentucky Speedway and The Milwaukee Mile. He got his career best finish at O'Reilly Raceway Park when he finished 7th after getting his first career pole for that race. Bayne also qualified on the outside pole at Michigan, his first start on a track larger than 1.5 miles. In September 2010, Bayne left Diamond-Waltrip Racing and went to Roush Fenway Racing to drive for Jack Roush. He made his Cup Series debut at the 2010 November Texas race with the Wood Brothers team, finishing 17th on the lead lap. Bayne is the first driver to compete in one of the top three NASCAR series to be born in 1991.
He will drive the #21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford in 17 Sprint Cup races in 2011. Bayne is ineligible for Rookie of the Year consideration because he will also run full-time in the Nationwide Series. In his second Sprint Cup race, Bayne won the 2011 Daytona 500, making him the second youngest driver to ever win a Sprint Cup series race, and the youngest ever Daytona 500 winner. This win ties modern era record set by Jamie McMurray on the Cup circuit for fewest starts by a driver to winning first race. On February 20th, 2011, he became the youngest driver ever to win the Daytona 500.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- The Daytona 500 will take place one week later in 2012, on the final Sunday in February, NASCAR has announced.
The race weekend is being pushed one week back from the traditional President's Day weekend to the final weekend in February. The date for the Daytona 500 is Feb. 26, 2012. To maintain the end of season schedule, the off Sprint Cup weekend typically scheduled in March will now be eliminated.
"When we look at the schedule in general, we've historically had an off week in that fourth week, and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that hurts our momentum throughout the season. By being able to move the date back a week, we close up that off week, [and] NASCAR's able to keep the momentum throughout the season, which is great," said Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations.
The decision to kick off the NASCAR racing season one week later was made in close partnership with the sanctioning body, its broadcast partners including Fox, community partners and others within the industry. The rationale is three-pronged: 1. It shortens the racing season by one week; 2. It maintains momentum in the early part of racing season (TV viewership, media coverage, fan interest, etc.); 3. It's a better opportunity for fans as it moves the race further away from the "Daytona 500" of football held in early February.
O'Donnell added the move was made partly in advance of a potentially expanded NFL schedule.
"We're not going to deny the fact that part of this also is in dealing with the NFL. Who knows where they'll go with an 18-game schedule, but we want to get ahead of that. Either way, we think it's the right thing to do for our season," O'Donnell said. The Super Bowl is certainly a big event, but so is the Daytona 500, and to give fans an opportunity to go to both of those is certainly the right move."
Since fans like to plan their Daytona 500 trip well in advance, NASCAR is announcing the 2012 date much earlier in the season to minimize any inconveniences in planning their visit. Other schedule announcements for Daytona International Speedway, including Speedweeks, and other race facilities will be determined and announced at a later date.
"That's something that we'll develop with NASCAR as we work through this," Daytona president Joie Chitwood said. "I think the key [Sunday] was to make sure our fans knew that the event was moving back one week next year. We'll cycle through and deal with the Duels and the Shootout and all those things that go around Speedweeks."
The Budweiser Shootout has preceded the 500 by eight days, with the Gatorade Duel 150 qualifying races on that Thursday the week of 500.
Chitwood also said the Rolex 24 Grand-Am season opener, held on the last weekend of January this year, likely will move forward by one week, but that's contingent on discussions with the Daytona Beach Chamber of Commerce and the scheduling of bike weeks, an annual event that attracts motorcyclists from across the country.
"If I were to speculate, I'm sure that we'll cycle those back, as well, but we'll work with the chamber of commerce and the city of Daytona Beach to make sure bike weeks [typically the two weeks after the Daytona 500] have their spot on the calendar, as well," Chitwood said.
Tony Stewart Dominates the Chase..
Wins 5 Races and the 2011 Sprint Cup Championship
Victory Lane Photo By Mark Rotor (Chicagoland Speedway)
Record-Setting Day At The Daytona 500
New All-Time Track Bests For Lead Changes, Lap Leaders
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 20, 2011) – The 53rd running of the Daytona 500, the first on the brand-new racing surface at Daytona International Speedway, featured a track-record 74 lead changes and 22 leaders.
The lead-change record was especially noteworthy, considering the previous mark lasted more than three decades. The prior lead change mark was 60, set in the 1974 Daytona 500.
(Photo By Dan Peters from 2010 ORP Indianapolis)
Trevor Bayne, who became the youngest Daytona 500 winner (20 years, one day), led the final six laps. He gave the Wood Brothers organization its fifth Daytona 500 win. The Woods’ last victory came in 1976 with NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee David Pearson beating Richard Petty in a legendary last-lap battle. Bayne became the seventh driver to earn his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory in the Daytona 500.
For the second consecutive year, the record for different leaders fell. In last year’s 500, 21 different drivers led.
Additionally, there were 16 cautions, a track record. The 60 caution laps tied a record at Daytona.
Sunday’s Daytona 500 continued a record-breaking Speedweeks trend. Last Saturday night, the Budweiser Shootout featured a record-breaking 28 lead changes.
Records also were broken in each of Thursday’s two Gatorade Duel races. The first Duel race had a record 20 lead changes. That mark was immediately broken in the second Duel event, which had 22 lead changes.
Kurt Busch wins wild Bud Shootout
Kurt Busch won the 2011 Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway for his first ever win at Daytona or in the Bud Shootout and first Bud Shootout for Dodge. A four pack run at the end had #Denny Hamlin passing Ryan Newman, but Hamlin passed under the yellow line and was penalized to the end of the lead lap cars, which was 12th.
Two-car drafts ruled the evening -- with the exception of a couple four-car breakaways seen late. The whole thing had Hamlin figuratively scratching his head -- and looking at a questioner who suggested this brand of racing was simpler, as if he'd suggested the moon was made of cheese.
"There's an art to it, whether it's a big, 40-car pack or a two-car tandem -- there's an art to all this," Hamlin said. "There's more thinking going on. And for me, it was hard. It was strategic; trying to get back up to the front at the right time, and ultimately it didn't work out at the end.
"But I think the fans saw a great finish -- three-wide at the line, at the end, for the win. And I don't see the Daytona 500 being different."
Busch and Hamlin would had been a photo finish, but with the penalty, Busch got the win.
"I hope I hit the front row and can sit back and watch the Duels on Thursday," Newman said, before he laughed and explained. "Because it's fun to be a part of it, but when you've got guys in there that are mixed-up trying to go for making [the Daytona 500], it's going to get really crazy.
"All of us were very respectful [Saturday night], with the runs we were getting. There was probably 15 miles an hour [speed] difference at times and if a guy was inexperienced or had to make something happen and pulled up in front of you, it was going to be a big wreck
McMurray was 2nd, followed by Newman, Johnson, Biffle, Gordon, Burton [led the most laps with 32], Bowyer and Labonte. Pole sitter, Earnhardt Jr. was involved in a six car wreck at the beginning of the 2nd segment and finished 19th. There were a record 28 lead changes among 9 drivers and 4 cautions for 12 laps. The average speed was 153.142mph.(2-12-2011)
Final results of the 2011 Budweiser Shootout:
#22-Busch, Dodge, started 17th, led 3 laps
#1-McMurray, Chevy, started 14th
#39-Newman, Chevy, started 8th, led 18 laps
#48-Johnson, Chevy, started 23rd, led 7 laps
#16-Biffle, Ford, started 11th
#24-Gordon, Chevy, started 12th, led 1 lap
#29-Harvick, Chevy, started 18th
#31-Burton, Chevy, started 15th, led 32 laps
#33-Bowyer, Chevy, started 7th, led 4 laps
#47-Labonte, Toyota, started 6th
#14-Stewart, Chevy, started 2nd, 4 laps led
#11-Hamlin, Toyota, started 4th
#17-Kenseth, Ford, started 19th, - 1 lap
#64-Cope, Toyota, started 9th, -2 laps
#15-Waltrip, Toyota, started 10th, DNF - accident, -28 laps
#18-Busch, Toyota, started 21st, led 2 laps, DNF - accident, -34 laps
#5-Martin, Chevy, started 20th, DNF - accident, -39 laps
#20-Logano, Toyota, started 22nd, DNF - accident, -48 laps
#88-Earnhardt Jr., Chevy, started 1st, led 4 laps, DNF - accident, -48 laps
#42-Montoya, Chevy, started 13th, DNF - accident, -48 laps
#99-Edwards, Ford, started 3rd, DNF - accident, -48 laps
#78-Smith, Chevy, started 24th, DNF - accident, -48 laps
#97-Conway, Toyota, started 16th, DNF - accident, -49 laps
#4-Kahne, Toyota, started 5th, DNF - engine, -68 laps
9 leaders with 28 lead changes, 4 cautions for 12 laps
average speed: 153.142mph
CORNELIUS, N.C. (February 4, 2010) – JTG Daugherty Racing is proud to announce their sponsor line-up for the No. 47 Toyota Camry as 2000 Series champion Bobby Labonte competes for a spot in the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Chase.
“Thanks to our sponsors we are primed to meet our ultimate goal and that’s to be in the Chase for the championship,” Labonte said. “JTG Daugherty Racing has the good fortune of being associated with some of the best brands in the business and that will allow us to be in position to be a contender.”
“We are indeed fortunate to have substantial corporate partners lined up again for 2011 and to have a driver of Bobby’s caliber piloting the No 47 Toyota,” said JTG Daugherty Racing co-owner Tad Geschickter. “Bobby is a proven winner and he will help us achieve our goals of winning races and selling cases for our sponsors.”
To kick off the season, Labonte leads JTG Daugherty into their first-ever Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway. For the 33rd annual event, the team is proud to announce a new partnership with Cequent, a TriMas company, and the Reese Towpower® brand. Reese Towpower® hitches will sponsor the No. 47 Toyota for the first time during the Shootout on Saturday February 12. In addition, Reese will sponsor the car in the All-Star event at Charlotte Motor Speedway and return as primary at Pocono Raceway in August. Reese Towpower®Towpower has pioneered the technology that has set the standard for today's most advanced towing.
For the Daytona 500, The Kroger Co. returns as primary sponsor of the No. 47 Toyota. The Kroger Co., the nation’s largest traditional grocery retailer, employs more than 334,000 associates who serve customers in 2,461 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 31 states. The Kroger family of stores includes: Kroger, City Market, Dillons, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Fry’s, Jay C, King Soopers, QFC, Ralphs and Smith’s.
In 2011, Kroger is partnering with the USO to celebrate the 70th anniversary as the leading organization that provides morale-boosting programs and services to enhance the quality of life for troops and their families around the world. In honor of our retired and active duty members of the military and their families, Kroger is donating $400,000 to the USO during the pre-race ceremonies at the 2011 DAYTONA 500.
As a special tribute, Kroger and JTG Daugherty Racing have placed a very special logo on the hood of the No. 47 car for the DAYTONA 500. The logo includes the names of more than 350 Kroger associates from across the country who are active duty and reservist members of our nation’s military. These men and women have served in our armed forces while employed by the Kroger family of stores.
“It is such a privilege to be able to have a small part in thanking the men and women in uniform for the service they provide to our country and communities to keep us safe,” Labonte said. “I’m proud to carry the USO logo on our Toyota Camry. It’s pretty special for all of us at JTG Daugherty Racing to be able to do that thanks to Kroger and all of our partners behind this program.”
Every sponsor is significant to the racing program’s success, but one has been with JTG Daugherty Racing every step of the way. Kingsford® Charcoal returns to the team for its 14th year to remind fans that ‘Racing Season is Grilling Season’. Kingsford® Charcoal will be primary at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Richmond International Raceway (April), Dover International Speedway (May), Charlotte Motor Speedway (May), Daytona International Speedway (July) and Michigan International Speedway (August).
Just after Vegas, the familiar face of Little Debbie® can be seen on Labonte’s car at Auto Club Speedway. Since 1960, Little Debbie® snacks have remained a value leader. More than 75 varieties are available.
Following the 400-mile event in California, Lance® Sandwich Crackers takes over the reins for the April event at Martinsville Speedway. Labonte’s machine will also fly the Lance® colors at Darlington Raceway and Charlotte Motor Speedway (October). Since its inception in 1913, Lance® has been dedicated to providing fresh, great tasting snack options for a busy lifestyle.
Shifting from snacks to famous baked beans, Bush Brothers & Company returns for their ninth year with the team and Bush’s® Baked Beans will be a primary of the No. 47 Toyota Camry for seven races including Texas Motor Speedway (April), Talladega Superspeedway (April), Bristol Motor Speedway (August), Atlanta Motor Speedway (September), New Hampshire Motor Speedway (September), Dover International Speedway (October) and Kansas Speedway (October).
Another longstanding team partner, Clorox® launches their first of six primary races at Phoenix International Raceway in February. They are also slated to prominently be displayed at Kansas Speedway (June), Pocono Raceway (June), Infineon Raceway, Texas Motor Speedway (October), and Phoenix International Raceway (November). Clorox® branded products promote healthy habits both at home and in the classroom and helps prevent the spread of cold and flu germs along with many other uses. Clorox® will be leveraging their sponsorship to remind race fans that their brand is the world’s most effective disinfectant.
JTG Daugherty Racing is proud to announce partnership renewal with Kimberly-Clark Corporation. Kimberly-Clark Corporation will highlight several key brand introductions by taking primary space for the races at Kentucky Speedway, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Chicagoland Speedway, and the October event at Talladega Superspeedway. Every day, 1.3 billion people trust Kimberly-Clark products and the solutions they provide to make their lives better with well-known family care and personal care brands such as Cottenelle® Kleenex®, Scott® Products, Viva, Huggies®, Kotex®, Poise® and Depend.
JTG Daugherty Racing has signed the RainEater wiper blade brand to have primary billing at Michigan International Speedway in June. RainEater is the industries newest aftermarket wiper blade brand offering consumers superior all-weather performance with their aerodynamic frameless and full feature traditional wiper blades.
“JTG Daugherty Racing is thriving and signing new sponsors in addition to activating existing partnerships,” crew chief Frank Kerr said. “It’s exciting to be part of the company’s growth. We have a fresh start with strong backing from our sponsors and the addition of a champion driver. We’re very confident about this year and ready for Daytona.”
Associate sponsorships for 2011 include Glad® Bags & Wraps, KC Masterpiece®, Hidden Valley®, Tom’s®, Coca-Cola®, and Sullivan-Palatek®.
“We have all the right ingredients and personnel in place to be successful,” Labonte said. “We are extremely focused and serious about being one of 12 teams competing for the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship and we have the ability to do it thanks to all of our great partners.”
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