Nationwide: No one could compare to Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the weekend he was having but Kyle Busch tried during the Subway Jalapeño 250 at Daytona. During the rain-soaked weekend, Busch got in two of the three practices, finishing seventh and 22nd. Qualifying fifth, he led four times for a total of 19 laps and finished seventh. Having missed three races, Busch is still fourth in points.
Cup: Busch's Cup weekend started off the way it ended: with a crash. In the first practice he was 11th but in the final practice, he was side-by-side with teammate Denny Hamlin and they got together (Busch took blame for the accident … see quote below). Luckily for Busch, he did not need to go to a back up car and qualified third. Busch overcame a loose wheel on lap 28, contact with the No. 43 of A.J. Allmendinger on lap 67 and was able to lead three times for 23 laps. However, in a similar situation to his crash with Hamlin, Busch crashed after contact with the No. 42 of Juan Pablo Montoya. Unfortunately, the damage was too much to fix and the No. 18 finished in the 40th position. Busch leaves Daytona sixth in points, falling three spots from last week.
Busch explained in his interview after the crash his take of what happened: “He [Montoya] was too close to my side and he started turning me sideways down the straightaway without even touching me just like I did to Denny [Hamlin]. He started turning before I even got over the No. 6 [David Ragan] in practice. When you have no grip on these tires...I was two laps away from pitting...the thing started rear steering me down the straightaway and I had no control over it. I didn’t turn across the nose of the No. 42. Why would I do that? Why would I wreck myself?”
The elder Busch had just as bad a night, if not worse, as his brother. Finishing ninth and 21st in practices, he started sixth at the Coke Zero 400 and led three times for 14 laps. However, similar to his brother, the leading of laps didn't lead to a win. On lap 60, he received a penalty for speeding on pit road and his night went downhill from there. On lap 149, he was involved in “the big one,” along with 18 other cars (they were the 42, 5, 77, 39, 09, 98, 82, 83, 9, 31, 20, 38, 7, 12, 47, 14, 48 and 78). On the last lap, Busch was involved in a crash as leader Clint Bowyer was headed to the white flag with teammate Sam Hornish Jr. and Elliot Sadler. After fixing his No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge, Busch was determined to finish the race and made his way to seventh, next to Carl Edwards heading to the checkered flag. The two made contact, although with two different points of view of the accident. While Busch believes Edwards turned right into him, Edwards saw it the opposite way, saying Busch turned left into him. On pit road after the race, Busch gave Edwards a hard bump while in line to have their spoilers inspected. Busch's car was a mess, including a flat tire that was falling apart as he drove it towards the hauler. The two argued in the garage outside the No. 2 hauler but didn't come to an agreement on the events of the crash. Despite the evening, the seventh place finish moves Busch up two spots to fourth place.
Gaughan did not have a good weekend at Daytona. He started off great, finishing 13th and second in the two practices he ran. However, Gaughan qualified nineteenth and finished 29th, the last car on the lead lap after crashing on the way to the checkered flag. This finish causes the driver of the No. 62 to fall to spots to ninth in points.