Daytona 500 Recap

Date: Feb. 18, 2018
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: 12th/25th (Running, completed 200 of 207 laps in overtime)
Point Standing: 25th (12 points, 36 out of first)

Race Winner: Austin Dillon of Richard Childress Racing (Chevrolet)

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 17th finished 39th.

● The M&M’S driver moved up to the top-10 by lap 12 and top-five by lap 20.

● Busch ran within the top-10, but a flat right-rear tire forced him to pit on lap 28.

● Busch went a lap down with the unscheduled pit stop and found himself in the 38th position.

● Things went from bad to worse on lap 51, when Busch again had an issue with his right-rear tire and spun into the wall.

● The damage created by the spin and contact necessitated several pit stops to fix. Busch eventually went three laps down and was in 39th place when Stage 1 ended.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 61-120):

● Started 35th, finished 29th.

● Busch made a few more pit stops to fix damage and found himself four laps down by lap 89.

● However, Busch moved up positions with several other cars due to an accident near the end of Stage 1.

Stage 3 Recap (Laps 120-200):

● Started 29th, finished 25th.

● Busch stayed out during the caution at the end of Stage 2, gaining back a lap via the wave-around, and sat in 29th, three laps down, when Stage 3 started.

● Busch pitted on lap 156 but was penalized for speeding on pit road, resulting in the loss of another lap.

● On lap 170, Busch was black-flagged as the repairs on his rear bumper were starting to come off.

● Busch returned to the track seven laps down, but with two late accidents, he moved up to 25th by the drop of the checkered flag.

Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 M&M’S Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing:

 “It just wasn’t our day from the very beginning. We thought we had a pretty good M&M’S Camry coming into the race, but we never really got to show it, obviously. I have no idea what the issue was with the tires. I know Adam (Stevens, crew chief) and the guys will take the car back and try and evaluate what went wrong. We’ll head to Atlanta and try and get our season going in a better direction.” 

Next Up: 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 2:30 p.m. EST with live coverage provided by FOX.