Daytona 500 TV RatingsBy Gladys Abbott Mar 01, 2017
Despite questions created by NASCAR's new three-stage format and scoring system, the Daytona 500 continues as the No. 1 motorsports event on television.
First, Chase Elliott's Chevy coughed and sputtered, then the Chevy of Kyle Larson did likewise and, finally, victor Kurt Busch's Ford was in front.
Truex, the lead driver for Furniture Row, also had some damage in the Lap 128 crash but his team fixed his No. 78 Toyota and with just two laps to go, Truex was leading the race, as it appeared he would earn redemption from being passed at the checkered flag by Hamlin a year ago.
"The more that I've run this race, the more that I just throw caution to the wind, let it rip and just elbows out".
With the Daytona 500 kicking off the 2017 season, and a new entitlement partner in Monster Energy, NASCAR also unveiled its new staged racing format, and with it, may have found a key element to address sagging TV numbers.
"It's great to have this powerful team, a great owner, a champion driver that turned into a full-time owner", Busch said.
Busch was 0-for-15 in the Daytona 500 entering SpeedWeeks 2017, although the native of Las Vegas also had three Daytona 500 runnerup finishes (2003, '05, '08) to his credit. You can't argue that he is a hell of a talent and I was glad to see him finally be able to mark this one off his checklist. He got back in the vehicle in early December and gained medical clearance to return this season. That's a positive. But man, you're trying to win the Daytona 500 here, you know.
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In 2005 he was dropped from one of NASCAR's top outfits the Roush Team (now Roush Fenway) before the penultimate race of the season after being charged with reckless driving.
Elliott won one of two qualifying races Thursday.
Sunday was looking like a horrendous day for Ford's new super team in Stewart-Haas Racing. "I've just got to take my time'". It was awesome. I love being part of Monster, love being here with Monster. And how different would drivers race each stage depending on the track they were at? "Now with stages, with points being on the line, things are going to happen like that". Clint Bowyer, the Emporia, Kansas native who has a place at the Lake of the Ozarks, ran among the leaders early but also was a crash victim and fnished 32 in his first start with Stewart-Haas Racing. That's the only way you can run there'.
"If I knew that's all I had to do to get it done, I would've retired a long time ago", Stewart quipped afterward. "It's probably the most patient race I've ever watched Kurt Busch run".
"What a great win to start off a partnership", said Raj Nair, Ford's chief technical officer. Grala, just 18, had never won a race in any major series before Friday night. Aric Almirola finished fourth as a single auto for Richard Petty Motorsports, with Paul Menard and Joey Logano coming home fifth and sixth, respectively.
Now, if you take the vehicle to the garage, you're done. Five of the other cautions were for multi-car wrecks. Kyle Busch won the first stage, Kevin Harvick won the second and neither was a contender for the win. Throughout the suspenseful race there were many lead changes but Kurt Busch, #41, came out on top. And with Monster Energy - the new title sponsor for the premier series - on his hood, it was an ideal scenario for everyone involved with Busch.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. "unnecessarily" drew a lot of attention to himself during Sunday's Daytona 500 following the crash that ultimately knocked him out of the race - his first since suffering a concussion last summer and missing the second half of the 2016 season.
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