Rob Gronkowski told USA TODAY Sports he was picking Kurt Busch to win the Daytona 500 "because he's the man". "We've conquered Daytona." The race produced eight caution flags for 40 laps and 37 lead changes among 18 drivers _ the last involving Busch's pass of Kyle Larson's No. 42 Target Chevrolet SS on the 200th and final lap.
Brad Keselowski climbs in his vehicle during NASCAR auto racing practice session at Daytona International Speedway, Friday, Feb. 24, 2017, in Daytona Beach, Fla. Judging by Busch's instinct to throw caution to the wind and drive his heart out to the finish, proved that the Ford Performance team much deserved the championship cup.
What could be more different from partying with Gronk in victory lane?
Holding an informal media briefing after the race, NASCAR vice president and chief development officer Steve O'Donnell chalked up the accidents - in the Daytona 500 as well as the Xfinity and Camping World Truck - to the desire of wanting to win at Daytona.
"It's hard to say (what happened) without talking to Kyle (Busch)", said Jones.
Kurt Busch celebrating with teammates on the Daytona grass after winning the 2017 Daytona 500. While getting shuffled back in the pack due to an ill-timed move is fair game and is just a product of racing, the one lap parade fans were treated to moments later are something NASCAR previously promised would be fixed. There is no looking back - no rear-view mirror - now that the three-stage format is in place for all of the sanctioning body's three major traveling series. He's going to win tons of races in his career. The "Super Bowl of Auto Racing", the race has produced 37 different winners since 1959 and solidified their standing in stock vehicle racing history.
"I just think all the effort NASCAR has put into the safety", he said.
"I wasn't helping you any", added Busch, "I was full throttle". In fact, the teamwork was astonishing that the drivers were able to complete the race by riding faster than usual. If there was a downside it's that at the end of each of these stages, racing goes to yellow and allows for pit stops which slows action and ultimately makes overall race time, longer.More news: Microsoft pushes smartphone productivity with three new India-focused apps
Truex, driving a auto with a taped up right-front fender damaged earlier in the race, took the lead with two laps remaining in the 200-lap Great American Race but was shuffled out of line coming to the white flag.
"It is probably the most patient race I have ever seen Kurt Busch run".
The series is under heavy scrutiny because of sliding attendance and television ratings, plus the title sponsor deal with Monster Energy came in at a fraction of what NASCAR was looking for when it began shopping the naming rights nearly two years ago.
". Had I known that all I had to do was retire [to win the Daytona 500], I would have retired 17 years ago".
Ryan Blaney finished second, followed by AJ Allmendinger and Aric Almirola. Throughout the suspenseful race there were many lead changes but Kurt Busch, #41, came out on top. But it's hard to know how many chances you're going to have at the Daytona 500. All three ran out of gas before the older Busch, 38, won his first NASCAR crown jewel in his 17th season and after finishing second three times.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. "unnecessarily" drew a lot of attention to himself during Sunday's Daytona 500 following the crash that ultimately knocked him out of the race - his first since suffering a concussion last summer and missing the second half of the 2016 season.
"He's going to win", Johnson said last week.