Kyle Busch used a last-gasp pass of defending NASCAR champion Tony Stewart to grab the first win of the 2012 season at Daytona International Speedway at Daytona Beach, Fla.
Busch pushed Stewart to the lead on the last lap of Saturday night’s exhibition Budweiser Shootout. Then Busch ducked to the outside of Stewart as they closed in on the finish line and beat him by .013 seconds to the checkered flag.
Busch used two brilliant saves earlier in the race to remain in contention for the win.
The 75-lap race was marred by two big accidents as NASCAR successfully split up the two-car tandem racing that dominated at Daytona and Talladega last season.
Knaus faces punishment
NASCAR will likely penalize the crew chief for five-time champion Jimmie Johnson for infractions found during Daytona 500 inspection.
NASCAR president Mike Helton said it’s a “high likelihood” crew chief Chad Knaus will be penalized. Helton indicated punishment would not be doled out until after the Feb. 26 season-opening Daytona 500 race.
The No. 48 Chevrolet had illegally modified sheet metal between the roof and the side windows – the area known as the C-posts – that was found in Friday’s opening day inspection.
EGR signs phenom Larson
Earnhardt Ganassi Racing has signed 19-year-old racing standout Kyle Larson to a developmental contract, putting him on the path to a potential future in the Sprint Cup Series.
The Elk Grove, Calif., native won 22 major professional feature races last season, including victories in the World of Outlaws sprint car series and all three United States Auto Club national divisions.
Last fall, he swept the 4-Crown Nationals at Eldora Speedway, winning in three different styles of race car – midgets, sprint cars and silver crown cars – in the same night.