Leading a single-file line of Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race cars across the finish line after a wild amount of lead changes in the final laps, Kurt Busch won the 2017 Daytona 500 for Stewart-Haas Racing. He then proceeded to do a celebratory burnout across the infield grass, tearing it right up.
In the final laps, it looked as if Chase Elliott had the win in the bag. After getting the pole for the race, winning his Can-Am Duel on Thursday and running well all day during the 500, it looked like Elliott’s race. But within the final four laps, the lead swapped from Elliott to Martin Truex Jr., and multiple other drivers, before Busch wound up at the front. His entire team ran out into the infield grass to celebrate with him.
Fuel was an issue in the final laps, taking out several remaining contenders from the front of the field. Once everything shook out, Busch won the race over a top five of Ryan Blaney, A.J. Allmendinger, Aric Almirola and Paul Menard. If you want to know how many points he’ll get for doing so, here’s an explainer of complicated the new NASCAR points system.
As for the rest of the race, they wrecked. Then they wrecked again. Then they wrecked again, and again, and a few more times. The leaders somehow managed to not wreck at the end of the race, which went against the pattern of the day and weekend. NASCAR’s new rules weren’t a total train wreck, but the stages did make for some unnecessary caution laps that wasted precious race time.
But none of that matters to Busch. The only lap he led was the last lap, and in the end, that’s all you really need.