Busch Victorious in Wild Advance Discount Auto Parts 200 DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Feb. 7, 2004) - In a five-lap sprint to the finish, Kyle Busch held off a furious challenge from five-time ARCA RE/MAX Series champion Frank Kimmel, Billy Venturini,...
Busch Victorious in Wild Advance Discount Auto Parts 200
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Feb. 7, 2004) - In a five-lap sprint to the finish, Kyle Busch held off a furious challenge from five-time ARCA RE/MAX Series champion Frank Kimmel, Billy Venturini, Shane Hmiel, Ryan Hemphill and Bobby Gerhart to capture the Advance Discount Auto Parts 200 at historic Daytona International Speedway.
"It's all about this car," said Busch after a victory lap with the checkered flag. "These guys did an awesome job putting this thing back together from when David Green ran it last year in the Cup Series. It just shows you how much determination these guys have.
"To be here in Daytona in Victory Lane is amazing. I came here as an 8-year-old just dreaming of being able to race here some day. Here we are first time out putting it in Victory Lane."
Busch fell a lap down earlier in the race after he was penalized when a crew member went over the wall without a helmet and fire suit. But a caution came out and Busch was able to earn his lap back.
Said Busch: "We got put down a lap and all I thought was there has to be another yellow and all I had to do was get to the front as quick as I could so we were out there leading the rest of those guys when the caution flew and we were able to come all of the way around and gain our lap back. You never give up in the sport of auto racing until the checkered flag flies."
Kimmel, still searching for his first victory in his 13th Advance Discount Auto Parts 200 start, said Busch was just too strong and settled for second-place honors.
"I don't think anybody was going to pass him," Kimmel said. "I would get a couple small runs coming through the tri-oval and then going into the turns. But by that time, it was almost too late. He was awful strong. He was pulling out, passing very good cars pretty much by himself."
On the final lap on the Superstretch, Venturini made a move to the outside of Kimmel to challenge for second but couldn't pull off the pass. At the start/finish line, Venturini, Hmiel and Hemphill were touching and banging as they took the checkered flag.
Venturini, who came home in third, said he did everything he could to win the race.
"Last year I finished third single file and I wasn't going to do it again," Venturni said. "You don't get many chances to win here and you have to take it when you get the shot. The difference between third and fifth was a risk I was willing to take for a shot to win that race. You don't get to win here often. This is the best place in the whole world."
Busch, driving the No. 87 Ditech.com Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports, was competing in the Advance Discount Auto Parts 200 to gain experience for next weekend's Hershey Kisses 300 when he'll race the No. 5 Lowe's Chevrolet.
"It definitely gave me the drafting experience that I needed before I got out there in the Busch cars, which have a little bit different aero package," Busch said. "Nonetheless, being able to drive here at Daytona with a bunch of cars out there in a pack definitely makes it a lot easier when you get into the Busch race. Hopefully in the Busch race we'll be three wide all of the way around here."
Busch follows the footsteps of other promising drivers that won the Advance Discount Auto Parts 200 such as Chase Montgomery (2003) and Ryan Newman (2001).