The Sprint Cup drivers are back with new cars and a new paved Daytona surface as they start the season off with the Budweiser shootout. Some air hoses have been removed for this race in an attempt slow down the cars that have been clocked at over 200 MPH in practice.
"The pit stop is going to be real real important," said Dale Earnhardt Jr. who is the poll sitter for the event in a drawing held by the drivers for the event.
This special event has two segments. The first is 25 laps and then the final segment is 50 laps which includes one pit stop. All caution laps count for the race.
Clint Bowyer got the best from the start of the race with some help from Dale Jr. to get the lead of the race. At the end of laps 6 Dale Jr. made a bold move down low to pass Clint for the lead of the race. Dale barely had the lead of the race as the move caused Jeff Burton to lead the race with help from Kevin Harvick. Lap seven though saw car problems from Kasey Kahne as he slowed up big time.
The next duo to get the top two spots was Denny Hamlin and Tony Stewart as they rockets to the lead. Then it started to flip flop the lead big time as Jeff Burton, Kyle Busch, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. On the final laps of the first segment if was the duo of Jeff Burton and Kevin Harvick getting the top two spots. Dale Jr. was on the high side to trying to get the lead on that lap, but could not do it.
During the first segment two drivers racked up a lap speed over 206MPH which included Michael Waltrip.
After a 10 minute break the cars were back out on the track for the final 50 laps. This time it was Kyle Busch getting the best of the restart to get the lead of the, but with no one to help push him Clint Bowyer took the lead of the race.
It was not long and the first wreck occurred. Carl Edwards hits Dale Earnhardt Jr. which then helps takes out Joey Logano, Juan Pablo Montoya, and Regan Smith.
The caution though brought in cars for a splash of fuel and some cars even took on fresh tires. "It was fun," said Dale Jr. on the race. Carl Edwards stated that a whole bunch of cars were going for the same space.
At the drop of the green flag Jeff Burton was leading the race, but it was not long and the caution comes out for Mark Martin who spins out Kyle Busch. Mark Martin stated that he was working with Kyle for 25 laps and that his car just suddenly turned around.
The green flag drops and Kyle Busch who someone got lucky as he was like going more like full speed at the start finish line sling shots to the lead of the race, but could not hold it at all. He dropped back and then went behind the wall. This left Jeff Burton back leading more laps.
With 30 laps left Kurt Busch took over the lead with help from Jamie McMurray. Then Greg Biffle pushed Jimmie Johnson into the lead of the race for the first time. The next caution comes out as Tony Stewart winds up spinning out Michael Waltrip.
The green flag drops and another great push from Clint Bowyer puts Jeff Burton into the lead. With 19 laps left Greg Biffle was pushing Jimmie Johnson back into the lead, but he did not have it long as Ryan Newman with help from Denny Hamlin took the race lead.
As the laps quickly went down Ryan kept on leading laps with fours cars in a breakaway pack. On the final corner Kurt Busch was up high while Ryan Newman was down low. Denny Hamlin tried to go even lower to make a pass for the lead of the race, but wound up going below the yellow line which through out any chance for Denny to win the race.
The win marks the first time Dodge has ever gone to victory lane for this race.
"This is unbelievable," said Kurt on the win. "A whole new game at Daytona."
Denny Hamlin stated that he did not want to have contact with the thirty nine car of Ryan Newman.
"Had a really good time tonight," said Jamie McMurray. "I'm really happy for him(Kurt Busch)."
Ryan Newman stated that this was his least scratched car in a restrictor plate race at Stewart Hass Racing.