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Team Interstate Survives a Wild and Fiery Daytona 500

February 28th, 2012 by

Team Interstate Wrap-up for Feb. 25-27, 2012

Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin side-by-side at the 2012 Daytona 500

Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin run side-by-side at the 2012 Daytona 500.

NASCAR ran its marquee event on a Monday night for the first time, and fans were treated to quite the spectacle. After being postponed by heavy rains, the 2012 Daytona 500 ran under the lights with nail-biting racing, spectacular wrecks and (literally) explosive drama.

See the fiery crash:

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When it ended in the early morning hours on Tuesday, Denny Hamlin would lead Joe Gibbs Racing with a fourth-place finish while Joey Logano took the checkered flag in ninth and Kyle Busch came home in 17th.  All three JGR entries were able to escape any major damage while avoiding several wrecks, and all were well clear of the night’s most frightening accident on lap 160: Juan Pablo Montoya collided with one of the track’s jet dryers under caution creating a massive explosion. Fortunately no one was injured, but the race was delayed more than two hours while crews made repairs to the track.

Hamlin led for a race-high 57 laps while Logano took his turn at the front on lap 143. Although the pack racing would shuffle the top positions on track, Logano managed to remain near the front of the field for the remainder of the race. He was unable to move out of the traffic on a final green-white-checker restart however and was left with a strong and career-best Daytona 500 finish of ninth.

Busch, who captured the season-opening Bud Shootout All-Star Race a week prior to the Daytona 500, started the No. 18 M&Ms Brown Toyota in 14th and was patient through the early going while avoiding several of the night’s early accidents. Trouble would finally find Busch while he raced inside the top 10 on lap 198 as he was clipped from behind and sent spinning. Busch did a masterful job of keeping his M&M’s car off the wall and brought his car to pit road with minimal damage for fresh tires. He was 16th on the final two-lap green-white-checker restart, but the track position proved too difficult to overcome as he was unable to make his way through traffic to gain position. Busch went on to finish the night in the middle of the pack in 17th place.

Matt Kenseth won the Daytona 500 on a green-white-checkered finish.

Bubba Takes Third in Atlanta

James Stewart at Atlanta Supercross, Feb. 26, 2012

JGRMX star James Stewart finished a solid third in Atlanta. (Photo courtesy js7.com)

James “Bubba” Stewart led the JGRMX/Toyota/Yamaha/Interstate Batteries team with a third-place finish Saturday at the Atlanta round of the AMA Supercross Championship. A sell-out crowd of 71,009 saw Stewart dominate his heat race and deliver a solid effort in the main event. Stewart’s teammate Davi Millsaps delivered his best finish of the season so far with a fourth-place effort.

Millsaps began the race in third, with Stewart getting bumped around in the first turn starting the first lap well outside of the top-10. By the eleventh lap, Stewart was in third place, poised to challenge the leaders. A lapped rider’s accident caused the red caution lights to come on, ending Stewart’s momentum and preventing an opportunity to battle for the top-two positions. Stewart currently sits in third for series points with Millsaps ninth.

Next week: NASCAR heads to Phoenix, and AMA Supercross goes to St. Louis. NHRA Drag Racing resumes March 8-11 in Gainesville, Fla.
By James Pecht (177 Posts)

James Pecht writes about franchising, battery technology, tips, racing and company culture for Interstate Batteries.


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