Ford Driver Kurt Busch Wins 2017 Daytona 500
Although Kurt Busch is a former champion of the NASCAR Cup Series, he might be best known for being Kyle Busch’s older brother, but the elder Busch managed to steal the spotlight away from his younger sibling—at least for the time being—by winning this year’s Daytona 500, which took place only a few days ago on Feb. 26th.
Busch’s win marked the fifth time in the past nine years that a Ford vehicle took the checkered flag in “The Great American Race.” This year’s event also marked the debut of NASCAR’s new racing format where it divided the 500-mile race into three stages. Former champions Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick won the first two stages, but both drivers were out of contention come the end of the race after damaging their racecars.
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This year’s Daytona 500 also marked the first race for Stewart-Hass Racing since they’ve switched from Chevrolet to Ford racecars. Coincidently, Busch is the last Ford driver to capture a championship for the Blue Oval in NASCAR’s premier series. That happened back in 2004 when Busch drove the No. 97 Ford for Jack Rousch Racing.
“We won the Daytona 500. I want to congratulate Kurt on a great victory. We are so proud of this result and the teamwork you saw today out on that track with everyone working together from Ford,” said Dave Pericak after the victory. Pericak is the global director of Ford Performance. “We dominated early and then had some bad crashes that took some of our cars out, but what a way to win it at the end. Ryan Blaney did a fantastic job and SHR in their first outing with Ford, to get this win, we could not be any happier as an organization right now.”
Busch was only credited with leading one lap in the 200 lap race. This is partly because many competitors ran out of fuel in the final laps. Busch surged past Kyle Larson’s racecar to take the lead on the last lap, thanks to the help of Ford teammate Ryan Blaney, who pushed Busch to the front.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will be in action again on Sunday March 5th when the teams visit Atlanta Motor Speedway. The race begins at 2pm and will be televised on Fox.
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