Race Recap for the 59th Daytona 500

Date: Feb. 26, 2017
Event: 59th 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: 21st/38th (Accident, completed 103 of 200 laps)
Point Standing: 29th (11 points, 45 out of first)
Race Winner: Kurt Busch of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-60):
●  Started 21st, finished 1st. Earned 10 bonus points, plus one bonus point toward NASCAR’s playoffs.
●  Led laps 42, 44-48, and 51-62.
●  Pitted on lap 17 for two tires, and once the rest of the field pitted, Busch found himself in the lead with his M&M'S Toyota.
●  Busch was able to stay up front and win Stage 1, becoming the first stage winner in NASCAR Cup Series history.


Stage 2 Recap (Laps 61-120):
● Started third, finished 38th.
● After pitting on lap 81, Busch looked to continue to be a contender.
● Just 17 laps after his lap-81 stop, as Busch headed into turn three he had a right-rear tire go down, sending him spinning into the outside SAFER barrier and collecting several cars with him.
● The accident ended his race during a day in which his M&M’S Camry looked to be perhaps the strongest car in the field.
● Busch led three times for 18 laps to bring his laps-led total at Daytona to 382.

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

Did you have any indication you had a tire issue?
“No. I wished I would’ve. If I would’ve, I would’ve tried to wave off as many guys behind me as I could, but it happened just as soon as we started picking up load into turn three. Just spun around, and you know it actually felt like I hung onto it for a long ways, and then finally it went. I don’t know if it was a left rear that went down or the right that went down, but man, tore up three JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing) cars in one hit and also Junior (Dale Earnhardt Jr.). So I feel bad, horrible, for those guys, but man, nothing that we did wrong. It’s very frustrating when we have that down here every single year we’ve been here. This M&M’s Camry, though, we were just biding our time, playing it out, trying to see what the strategies were gonna to do at the segments. Thankfully we have I guess a segment point you know out of this day. That’s a positive. But man, you’re trying to win the Daytona 500 here, you know. It’s just so disappointing.”
Next Up: 
The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Folds of Honor 500 on Sunday, March 5 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The race starts at 2:30 p.m. EST with live coverage provided by FOX.