By Sporting News Wire Service
February 12, 2011 11:00 PM, EST
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — And the winner is … Couple No. 22.
With a push from 2010 Daytona 500 winner Jaime McMurray, Kurt Busch
won Saturday’s Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway after Denny Hamlin
was demoted for a slingshot pass of Ryan Newman
below the yellow out-of-bounds line as the cars approached the finished line.
Without a teammate in the race, Busch took his first victory at Daytona in the No. 22 Penske Dodge with McMurray second and Newman third. In a race that saw drivers pick partners and pair up in two-car drafts, Hamlin was demoted to 12th at the finish, the last car on the lead lap.
Pole-sitter Dale Earnhardt Jr
. was the victim of a multi-car crash on the backstretch on Lap 28. Contact from Regan Smith
‘s No. 78 Chevrolet turned Carl Edwards
‘ No. 99 Ford into Earnhardt’s No. 88 Chevy and spun it into the outside wall. The chain-reaction crash also collected Joey Logano
, Juan Montoya
and Kevin Conway
also sustained right-side damage in the incident but brought his car to pit road for repairs and remained on the lead lap.
We were three- or four-wide back there, and I was going between the 88 and the 78, and I don’t think the 78 knew I was in there,” Edwards said. “He kept coming down, and I just had enough of my car in there. I laid up against the 88 and then the 78 got me in the right-front, but that’s just everybody trying to get the best position they can so we can go out there and race.”
Burton led 13 of 25 laps in the first segment of the 75-lap race, including Lap 25, as cars danced in pairs around the 2.5-mile superspeedway. In an oft-repeated scenario, cars would team up and draft to the front only to fall back dramatically when they separated to get air to the engine of the pushing car.
Harvick and Burton teamed well together, as did Earnhardt and Kyle Busch
, though during the break after the first segment Earnhardt complained that Busch’s No. 18 “jacks my car around like he has Velcro on that thing.” Earnhardt led four laps in the first segment, tied for second most with Stewart.
On the final lap of the first segment, right before a 10-minute break to service and adjust cars on pit road, Greg Biffle
ran 203.459 mph with a push from Newman. That exceeded the top speed of 203.087 mph Logano posted in final Shootout practice on Friday night.]]]]> ]]>