Dale Earnhardt Jr. surprises NC veteran before Daytona 500

The DAYTONA 500 had a 60-60-80 lap division. We just kept digging. Flanked by sexy models, the triumphant trio chugged drinks and gave NASCAR the buzz it craved in the season opener. Drivers, who might have otherwise held back in the pack waiting for race end to make moves were seen to jockey for position at the end of the stages.

Team co-owners Gene Haas, who also runs HaasF1 and Tony Stewart, known as hot head in his driving days, stood by Busch and were rewarded for their loyalty with a first Daytona 500 win. And with Monster Energy - the new title sponsor for the premier series - on his hood, it was an ideal scenario for everyone involved with Busch. "You can run two pumps in your fuel cell, so we choose to run one in this reserve box and then one in the main bladder cell".

"I feel like a lot of people still come to the races just because it's so exciting", he continued.

Add NFL star Rob Gronkowski to Busch's bandwagon, too. As Busch battled trials and tribulations in his Cup Career Kurt reflects on the future and hopefully translating this victory into another championship.

Winning crew chief Tony Gibson was on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio's The Morning Drive on Monday, reiterating what he said Sunday that Busch was about a half-lap short of fuel to finish the "Great American Race".

"What an awesome job those last couple laps. Monster killed that race!"

Daytona International Speedway officials presented Andretti with a painting of his two winning cars at Daytona.

"I've had concussions. Every time you crash, you have a concussion on a varying degree", Patrick said.

A SAFER Barrier suffered damage from the multi-car wreck, putting the field under a 17-minute red flag. After the Sunday's Daytona 500, even Haas joked that having Busch on the team is "still a gamble". The vehicle has to end up there, not be separated by bad pit stops or strategy.

"He's going to win so many races", said fellow NASCAR driver AJ Allmendinger, who finished the race in third place behind Ryan Blaney and victor Kurt Busch. In last year's Daytona 500, both Elliott and Dale Earnhardt Jr. spun in Turn 4.

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They were long gone when the biggest bash started. "We are looking to him to make us proud". A few laps later another bout of bumper cars-in turn four, again-brought out the sixth caution flag of the day. He finished 37th, but made progress.

Chase was so despondent over the outcome, he stormed off the track without speaking to the media, though a quick response was funneled through a Chevrolet spokesperson, saying: "It was a disappointing finish to a good day". It's like comparing apples to oranges with these three drivers in three different generations, but ultimately I think Petty still deserves to keep his nickname, "The King". "It wasn't that hard of a hit, but it still doesn't mean you can't get injured". What's more, the 56 points he collected places him at the top of the overall standings heading into next Sunday's race at Atlanta.

Though Kurt Busch has always been regarded as an elite restrictor plate racer, this win marks his first at Daytona or Talladega in a championship points-paying race. I don't know if it is good or bad, but we don't want to go on track with stuff that isn't safe. Guys like Elliott, Larson and Blaney might be in contention when the NASCAR playoffs roll around, but wins are the quickest way to a championship. "That's the only way you can run there'".

Hamlin, the defending race champion, finished 17th, thwarted in his attempt to become only the fourth driver to win consecutive DAYTONA 500s.

"There were obviously a lot of accidents, but I'd have to see the replays to understand why". And an unflattering assessment of the sport this week by the Wall Street Journal as well as wreck-fest Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series support races leading up to Sunday's main event didn't help perception.

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