Though the Bud Shootout at Daytona International Speedway may have ushered in a form of racing considered boring, the finish was far from it. The race was dominated by two-car drafts, with drivers pairing up to work their way to the front. After crashes decimated almost half the field — Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Carl Edwards — just a handful of drivers were left to battle it out in a sprint to the finish. And battle it out they did, with Kurt Busch edging Jamie McMurray and Denny Hamlin.
Hamlin, however, was black flagged for his pass just ahead of the finish line after dipping below the yellow line to edge Busch. In the end, it was Busch by a nose, with Hamlin officially finishing 12th, at the back of the pack on the lead lap. Enumclaw’s Kasey Kahne finished dead-last after blowing an engine just a few laps into the race.
But the topic of discussion will be the style of racing as the two-car draft was prevalent throughout the Bud Shootout. Instead of the typical large-pack at Daytona, teams, and drivers, paired-off, racing in tandem for all 75 laps. The cars were pushed to the limit, topping out at 206 miles at the revs held at the red line for much of the race. It left many even more disinterested in the race, with only the frenetic finish and wreck after the break capturing attention.
For more on the race, check out Jeff Gluck’s Bud Shootout StoryStream at SB Nation.