Busch's Strong Run Gets Shot Down in Budweiser Shootout; M&M's Team Finishes 10th After Leading Twice for Six Laps Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 M&M's Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), started 10th and finished 10th in Saturday night's...
Busch's Strong Run Gets Shot Down in Budweiser Shootout; M&M's Team Finishes 10th After Leading Twice for Six Laps
Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 M&M's Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), started 10th and finished 10th in Saturday night's Budweiser Shootout at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.
The Budweiser Shootout is an exhibition race featuring the top-six cars from each of the four manufacturers -- Chevrolet, Ford, Dodge and Toyota -- along with a wild card entry from each manufacturer that goes to a past champion. If no past champion, the manufacturer's seventh-highest placing car in 2008 car owner points earns a starting berth. This year's field included an event-record 28 drivers.
Despite running near the front virtually the entire night and leading twice for six laps, Busch got shuffled back to 10th after getting run into from behind by another car while an accident developed just in front of him on the final lap of the 78-lap race, which was extended three laps due to a green-white-checkered finish.
"I was on the bottom going into (turn) three and they started wrecking in front of me," said Busch of the last lap accident. "I turned low to try to get away from it and got hit in the back by the '9' (Kasey Kahne). I halfway spun out, but saved it and didn't hit anything. So we didn't tear the M&M's Toyota up too bad."
Early in the event, Busch, crew chief Steve Addington and the entire M&M's team knew they had a race car that could contend for the win. But Busch, along with several other drivers, had to battle ill-handling cars, which contributed to a record eight cautions for 23 laps.
"It was probably one of the best driving cars out there and it still handled terrible," Busch said. "The biggest thing is they are just bouncing all over the place and nobody can hold their own lane. A guy on the bottom either slides up because he's tight or because he's loose and it's just so difficult to race out there."
Busch's JGR teammates -- Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano -- finished 13th and 28th, respectively. Hamlin was a victim of the last lap accident, while Logano was collected in the first accident of the day on just the fourth lap.
Kevin Harvick won the Budweiser Shootout to score his first victory since the 2007 Sprint All-Star Race at Lowe's Motor Speedway near Charlotte. Jamie McMurray finished second, while Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon and A.J. Allmendinger rounded out the top-five. Kasey Kahne, Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth, Kurt Busch and Kyle Busch comprised the remainder of the top-10.
Next up for the M&M's team is Daytona 500 qualifying, where Busch will be among 56 drivers going for the pole for the 51st annual Daytona 500.