[box] Article first published as Kyle Busch is Daytona Shootout Top Gun on Technorati.[/box]
DAYTONA BEACH, FLA. — In the NASCAR season opener, Kyle Busch survived some almost crashes to eclipse defending Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart at the finish line. It was the closest finish in Bud Shootout history.
The M&M’s Toyota started the race at the back of the pack in a backup car. Busch got tangled up in the practice crash on Friday started when Stewart bumped Kurt Busch a half hour into the practice session.
Stewart took the lead on lap 74 with one lap remaining when a melee developed in Turn Four that sent Jeff Gordon‘s No. 24 Chevrolet barrel-rolling through the turn sliding on its roof toward pit road.
Gordon had been following Kyle Busch on the backstretch when contact between the cars turned Busch onto the apron. For the second time tonight Busch made a spectacular save. Gordon ricocheted up the track and collected the Chevrolets of Kurt Busch and Jamie McMurray.
As all three cars intersected the outside wall, Jimmie Johnson edgeded beneath the right rear bumper of Gordon’s car and flipped it over. The wreck 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.”
Sprint Cup qualifying for the Daytona 500 will be tomorrow, (Sunday 1:00 pm EST of Fox TV)