Dale Earnhardt Jr. had just got caught up in a Daytona 500 wreck, Lap 105, causing him to drive up on Kyle Busch’s car, wind up on two tires and eventually bang twice into the wall. Earnhardt was making a triumphant return to the Cup Series after missing 18 races last year due to a concussion. “I feel good,” Earnhardt reassured after leaving the infield care center here.
Danica Patrick was right in the thick of Sunday’s Daytona 500 when she was forced to exit following a 17-car crash that began when Jimmie Johnson’s No. 48 car was struck by Trevor Bayne’s No. 6 car. After she was cleared by medical personnel, Patrick spoke with For The Win’s Michelle R. Martinelli and put the blame for the crash on NASCAR’s new rule changes, specifically the rule that created staged racing. “The stages are definitely going to add to it,” Patrick said per Martinelli, “because not only is it creating a reason to push at certain points in the race that aren’t anything but the last 20, but you’re also seeing it shuffling the grid up.” But, that wasn’t the only new rule that Patrick
Kurt Busch is your 2017 Daytona 500 champion. After not leading a lap all day, the 38-year-old jumped in front of the pack down the back stretch, getting past Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson, who ran out of fuel. It was Busch’s 29th career win in the Monster Energy Cup Series. Busch had come up just short at Daytona before, tallying five top-fives, including two second-place finishes. But after starting eighth and floating around the field all day, Busch found himself in contention on the final lap and took full advantage. “The more that becomes unpredictable about Daytona, the more it becomes predictable to predict unpredictably. I mean this car was completely thrashed, not a straight panel