Watch the Daytona 500 again

Kurth Busch wins the 2017 Daytona 500 for the first time in17 tries / Headline SurferYouTube video download / The complete running of the Daytona 500 from Daytona International Speedway on Sunday,Feb. 17, 2017, at Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, Florida. Photos for Headline Surfer / Kurt Busch celebrates his first Daytona 500 win in 17  tries.
 
By HENRY FREDERICK
Headline Surfer

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Relive all the drama of the 2017 Daytona 500 right here: Just click on the YouTube video for the complete running of the Great American Race held Sunday Feb. 26, from Daytona International Speedway in front of a capacity crowd of 101,000 die-hard NASCAR fans.

There's no point in hiding the fact that Kurt Busch survived the crash-plagued race on a last-lap pass to win the Daytona 500. But that doesn't mean you can't relive the race if you've seen it in person at the Speedway or on TV. at home or at your favorite bar.

 And if this is your first time, viewing, well, there's that old adage that it's not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game. And let's face it, on this race day, Kurt Busch played the game well and seized the opportunity.

Busch passed Kyle Larson with a lap remaining to score his first Daytona 500 victory, along with the first for car owner Tony Stewart, who retired after the 2016 season following an illustrious career without having won the Daytona 500 in 17 attempts. Not as a race car driver certainly, but for "Tony the Tiger, " also known as "Smoke," he got his first Daytona 500 victory as a team owner and there's no head hanging in that feat.

“There is nothing predictable about this race anymore, and the more years that have gone by that I didn’t win, I kept trying to go back to patterns that I had seen in the past,” Busch said after the big win. “My mirror fell off with 30 laps to go and I couldn’t even see out the back. And I thought that was an omen. Throw caution to the wind.” 

The caution flag was certainly flapping with crashes galore that took out several key drivers, though none more meaningful to he fans the the most popular driver of ''em all, DaleEarnhardt, Jr.

Big One: Jimmie Johnson grashes in 2017 Daytona  500 / Headline SurferBig crash in 2017 Daytona 500 / Headline SurferThe Big One near the start of the third leg of the 2017 Daytona 500 takes out a bunch of cars, including the No. 48 of Jimmie Johnson off turn 3.

There was a succession of multi-car accidents just past halfway of the 200-lap race that sent sent several contenders to the garage early, and changed the complexion of the race, and no driver more popular with the fans than DaleEarnhardt, Jr., winner of the2004and 2014 Daytona 500 races.

The carnage began with Kyle Busch blowing his front right tire, sending him spinning into Matt Kenseth and Erik Jones, and no alternative path for Earnhardt to avoid hitting the trio of cars that took out all four drivers.

For Earnhardt, the crash was a major letdown, considering this was his return to competitive driving following a seven-month layoff due to a concussion sustained last year, that caused him to the final 18 races of the season rehabilitating. But at least the multi-car crash was minor in terms of avoiding another concussion. 

“Luckily the hit wasn’t that hard and we’ll be able to get to Atlanta and compete again,” Earnhardt said. “It’s going to be a fun season and we’ve got pretty high spirits. This was not the result we wanted today; but like I say, it’s been a great week.”

Dale Earnhardt Jr. crashes in 2017 Daytona 500 to finish 37th / Headline SurferFor Earnhardt, the crash was a major letdown, considering this was his return to competitive driving following a seven-month layoff due to a concussion sustained last year, that caused him to the final 18 races of the season rehabilitating. But at least the mult-car crash was minor in terms of avoiding another concusssion. 

“Luckily the hit wasn’t that hard and we’ll be able to get to Atlanta and compete again,” Earnhardt said. “It’s going to be a fun season and we’ve got pretty high spirits. This was not the result we wanted today; but like I say, it’s been a great week.”

All told, eight cautions slowed the race for 40 laps. Two of those yellows signal the end of the first and second segments, part of NASCAR’s new format that divides national touring races into three sections. The final 40 laps were crash free with the real achilles heel being cars mis-timing their pitt stops and as a result running out of gas in the closing laps when the race mattered most.

The afore-mentioned Larson, pole-sitter Chase Elliott,Austin Dillon and Martin Truex Jr., one of the pre-race favorites found themselves stalled on the track and out of the running. And so Busch played the game  just right, as he made his way to the front, even with a damaged car as he blew by by Larson to win the Daytona 500 in his 17th try.

“It just got crazy and wild, and I am so proud of all the drivers at the end,” Busch said. “We put on a show for a full fuel run, and nobody took each other out, and it was one of the smartest chess games I have seen out there.” 

Ryan Blaney finished second, followed by AJ Allmendinger, Aric Almirola, and Paul Menard, to round out the top 5.

2001 & 2003 Daytona 500 winer Michael Waltrip finishes 8th in the 2017 Daytona 500 / Headline SurferFAST FACTS: Previous Daytona 500 winners and their order of finish this time around:

20015 winner Joey Logano finished 6th;
2001 and 2003 winner Michael Waltrip finished 8th;
2011 winner Trevor Bayne finished 10th;
2016 winner Denny Hamlin finished 17th;
2008 winner Ryan Newman finished 21st;
2007 winner Kevin Harvick finished 22nd;
2010 winner Jamie McMurray finished 28th;
2006 and 2013 winner Jimmie Johnson finished 34th;
2004 and 2014 winner DaleEarnhardt Jr finished 37th;
2009 and 2012 winner Matt Kenseth finished 40th.
 
Michael Waltrip, winner of the 2001 and 2003 Daytona 500 races, finishes a respectable eighth in the 2017 race, which he previously announced would be his final 500 as a driver.

 

 

 

 

Henry Frederick Picture

Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most experienced reporters, having amassed dozens of journalism-industry awards. Frederick is enrolled online at Full Sail University in Winter Garden, FL, where he's a third of the way though the Master of Arts program in New Media Journalism. His graduation will be in March 2018.