SHR: Teamwork pays off at Daytona

Haas Automation driver helps teammate’s cause in Budweiser Duel

SHR: Teamwork pays off at Daytona
Tony Stewart, Stewart-Haas Chevrolet
Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, Tony Stewart, Stewart-Haas Chevrolet
Tony Stewart, Stewart-Haas Chevrolet
Danica Patrick, Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet in trouble
Tony Stewart, Stewart-Haas Chevrolet, Danica Patrick, Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet
Kurt Busch, Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet, with girlfriend
Danica Patrick, Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet
Kurt Busch, Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet, Greg Biffle, Roush Fenway Racing Ford
Kurt Busch, Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet
Kurt Busch, Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet

Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), was in position to contend for the win in the second Budweiser Duel Thursday night at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway until a pair of late-race incidents would change his priorities over the closing laps.

While running second, Busch was issued a late-race penalty for dropping below the double-yellow line to make a pass, which required him to make a pass-through down pit road. A handful of laps after he served his penalty, a multicar incident occurred that collected his SHR teammate Danica Patrick, who needed to race her way into Sunday’s 57th Daytona 500.

At that point, Busch’s focus changed from winning his second career Budweiser Duel to ensuring that Patrick’s No. 10 Chevrolet would be on the grid Sunday afternoon. When crew chief Tony Gibson called Busch to pit road to take on four fresh tires, the Las Vegas native kept an eye on the scoring pylon, in tune with the perilous position in which his teammate found herself.

We don’t have a single scratch or scrape on our racecar; we’ll protect it in the next few practices. We’ll put a new engine in it for the Daytona 500.

Kurt Busch

When green-flag racing resumed, Busch positioned himself to provide Patrick with the drafting help she needed to overcome the setback dealt when her racecar was damaged in the incident. The teammates were able to advance quickly, with Patrick vaulting to finish 10th and Busch 12th.

“What a great Haas Automation Chevrolet we have,” Busch said. “It’s been prepared to the specs of Tony Gibson and all the guys on this No. 41 team. They know how to restrictor-plate race. I’m very proud of the effort they’ve put forth. We don’t have a single scratch or scrape on our racecar; we’ll protect it in the next few practices. We’ll put a new engine in it for the Daytona 500.

“When we found ourselves out of contention to win the race, our focus changed to ensuring that Danica Patrick would be able to overcome what happened to her in the closing laps,” Busch said. “I was happy to be in a position to help our teammate make the Daytona 500.”

Tony Stewart led the way for SHR Thursday night by finishing fourth in his Budweiser Duel race, the first of twin qualifying races that set the 43-car field for the season-opening Daytona 500. Stewart’s fourth-place result slots him and his No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS seventh for the 57th Daytona 500 on Sunday.

Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS for SHR, joined Stewart in the first Budweiser Duel race. Harvick finished sixth and will start 11th in the Daytona 500.

SHR’s Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS, and Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, competed in the second Duel. Patrick finished 10th and will start 20th in the Daytona 500, while Busch finished 12th and will start 24th in the Daytona 500.

Patrick, who had to race her way into the Daytona 500 with a backup racecar, rebounded from a late-race incident that caused left-rear damage to her GoDaddy Chevrolet. Patrick restarted 18th with just three laps remaining, but with drafting help from teammate Busch, Patrick rallied to a 10th-place finish and a Daytona 500 starting spot.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the first Budweiser Duel by .165 of a second over Jeff Gordon. Joey Logano, Stewart and Clint Bowyer took spots three through five. The rest of the top-10 consisted of Harvick, Kasey Kahne, Jamie McMurray, Landon Cassill and Cole Whitt.

Jimmie Johnson won the second Budweiser Duel by .125 of a second over Kyle Busch. Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle, and Martin Truex Jr. took spots three through five. The rest of the top-10 consisted of Ryan Blaney, Reed Sorenson, Mike Wallace, Justin Allgaier and Patrick.

With the Budweiser Duel now complete, the field for the Daytona 500 is set. On the pole is Jeff Gordon, and alongside him is Jimmie Johnson. By notching the two quickest times during qualifying on Sunday, both drivers were able to lock themselves into the front row for the Daytona 500.

Failing to qualify for the Daytona 500 were Alex Bowman, Jeb Burton, Ron Hornaday Jr., Justin Marks, Brian Scott and Josh Wise.

The Daytona 500 gets underway at 1 p.m. EST Sunday, Feb. 22, with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its prerace show at noon.

Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR)

shares
comments
Ragan, Patrick, Sorenson and others beat the odds to make Daytona 500
Previous article

Ragan, Patrick, Sorenson and others beat the odds to make Daytona 500

Next article

Body work: Teams scramble to repair Duel damage on Friday

Body work: Teams scramble to repair Duel damage on Friday
Load comments
How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory Prime

How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory

From villain to hero, Kyle Larson had to reach his lifelong goal the hard way and go through a very public shaming after a ban for using a racial slur, but his talents shone long before his name grabbed the headlines...

NASCAR Cup
Nov 10, 2021
How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022 Prime

How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022

It’s not just Formula 1 that’s set for upheaval in 2022, as the NASCAR Cup series adopts its Next Gen cars that will cast any in-built advantages aside and require teams to adopt a totally new way of operating. Far more than just a change of machinery, the new cars amount to a shift in NASCAR's core philosophy

NASCAR Cup
Oct 12, 2021
Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR Prime

Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR

Bubba Wallace claimed his maiden NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega on Monday to become the first Black victor in the category since Wendell Scott in 1963. Both Wallace and Scott had faced obstacles and racism in their paths to their breakthrough wins, and NASCAR is trying to put it right with its range of diversity programmes

NASCAR Cup
Oct 5, 2021
Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI Prime

Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI

In a career that has had many ups and downs, Kurt Busch has been written off many times before. But facing career uncertainty after the sale of Chip Ganassi's NASCAR team, the 2004 Cup champion has found a new berth at Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan's 23XI organization - which underlines his enduring value

NASCAR Cup
Aug 31, 2021
From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview Prime

From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview

The death of Dale Earnhardt in the 2001 Daytona 500 shocked NASCAR to the core. At the Daytona 24 Hours, two weeks before his fatal accident, ‘The Intimidator’ shared his expectations of challenging for an eighth Cup title with JONATHAN INGRAM, in an article first published in the 15 February 2001 issue of Autosport magazine. Little did we know then what tragedy would unfold…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death Prime

The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death

On February 18, 2001, seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Dale Earnhardt – the fearless ‘Intimidator’ – was in his element at Daytona International Speedway. While his own DEI team’s cars ran 1-2 towards the finish line, his famed #3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo was playing rear gunner to block any late runs from the chasing pack. As the cars tore through Turns 3 and 4 on that fateful final lap, Earnhardt maintained the strongarm tactics that encapsulated his persona… but his actions in those moments sadly proved to be his last.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR Prime

Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR

The NASCAR Cup Series is changing. Whether it be the gradual morphing out the seasoned drivers of yesterday as the next generation step up, a radical calendar shake-up featuring more road courses than ever before and the prospect of an all-new car on the horizon, stock car racing’s highest level is nearing the end of a huge facelift.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 16, 2021
The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021 Prime

The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 13, 2021