Tony Stewart wins Camping World 300
A nudge here, a bump there.
Here-a-bump, there-a-bump, bumpity-bump everywhere.
That’s how Tony Stewart survived a last-lap duel with Kyle Busch to win Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series Camping World 300 at Daytona International Speedway.
Stewart, who ran at or near the front most of the 200-lap race, came off the last turn sideways after Busch did everything but wreck Stewart and himself through Turns 3 and 4.
While Stewart was blocking and Busch was bumping, Carl Edwards shot through the smoke and sparks to finish second. Clint Bowyer stayed on the throttle while the lead cars slid every which way and wound up third, just ahead of Busch.
Greg Biffle was fifth in a race that has to go down as one of the best Saturday races in Daytona history.
It was nip and tuck most of the way with a slew of different leaders and plenty of hard-racing action.
Brian Vickers, one of the leaders, wound up fifth after riding second behind Stewart with just a few laps remaining.
It was that kind of race most of the afternoon.
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., for example, struggled throughout the race but wound up seventh. David Ragan was eighth, Jason Keller ninth and Matt Kenseth, who also led the race early on, was 10th.
While Keller's finish was tops amongst the NASCAR Nationwide Series regular drivers, other regulars didn't fare so well. Stephen Wallace was a victim of what NASCAR officials called "aggressive driving" by Jason Leffler, who clipped Wallace in the left rear, causing him to crash, and, taking two others out with him, Scott Lagasse and Justin Allgaier.
Several other accidents sent cars to the garage, including Mike Bliss and Kenny Hendrick.
At Lap 25, three drivers had been in front with defending NASCAR Nationwide Series champion Bowyer leading the way.
The first caution of the sunny afternoon came out on Lap 26 for debris at the exit of pit road. When the caution fell, Bowyer was in command, followed by Busch, Stewart, Kenseth and Harvick. Keselowski had moved from 15th to seventh and Vickers had improved his position from 27th to ninth.
On the restart at Lap 31, Harvick came out of the pits in front of Stewart. Bowyer lost nine positions during his pit stop.
Stewart quickly passed Harvick, as did Busch and Waltrip. Biffle moved past Harvick two laps later, and Harvick continued a backwards shuffle.
Biffle, in the meanwhile, charged to the front on Lap 35.
Stewart regained the lead a lap later as the front trio of Stewart, Busch and Bowyer put some distance on their pursuers.
Busch passed Stewart for the lead and Bowyer moved to second on lap 50. Stewart was third and Vickers had raced his way into fourth. Bowyer decided to lead, passing Busch on lap 53.
Brian Keselowski brought out a caution on Lap 55 when he spun his Dodge off Turn 4 near the entrance to the pits. On the restart at Lap 60, it was Busch out front followed by Harvick, Logano, Bowyer, Brad Keselowski, Stewart, Ragan, Bliss, Kenseth and Biffle. Earnhardt was back running with the lead pack.
Rookie NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Logano went from third to 11th on lap 65, finding out what it's like to be shuffled out of the draft as the leaders started buzzing like a swarm of bees.
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