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Sparks Don’t Fly After Uninspiring Duels At Daytona

Rick Minter | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Thursday, February 21 2013

Kyle Busch went absolutely mild after winning his qualifying race at Daytona on Thursday. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Harold Hinson)

By Rick Minter | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The Budweiser Duels at Daytona International Speedway on Thursday are in the books. Two relatively uneventful finishes, two predictable victory interview sessions from Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch.

Where’s Mike Stefanik when you need him?

For anyone who might have missed it, Stefanik, the seven-time NASCAR Modified series champion from Wilbraham, Mass., was spun from the lead on the last lap of this week’s Modified race on a make-shift course on the backstretch of Daytona International Speedway.

Steve Park, who put the bumper to Stefanik and won the race, gave a typical NASCAR interview, explaining how he and Stefanik were buddies and that it was just “one of those racin’ deals.”

As the cameras turned to Stefanik in the pit area, the look on his face told all that it while it may have been “one of those racin’ deals” he was mad as could be about it.

In a week dominated by DanicaMania and comparisons to Patrick to some of NASCAR’s legends like Curtis Turner, David Pearson and Jeff Gordon when she probably ought to be compared to other one-time Daytona 500 polesitters like Loy Allen Jr., Jeff Green, Mike Skinner and David Gilliland, it was refreshing to see a real racer acting like one.

Unfortunately Stefanik appears to be one of a vanishing breed.

Kyle Busch, at one time one of NASCAR’s “bad boys,” was asked about the slam-bang racing on the backstretch.

His answer said a lot about where the sport is. In answering a question about the short-track scuffles, he referenced an earlier answer in which he was asked about his criticism of the Car of Tomorrow after winning the first race in that car back in 2007.

“I’ve grown up seven years, and I’m not going to have anything to say about that [Modified] race,” he said.

And as he answered, his car owner Joe Gibbs let out an enthusiastic: “Yay!”

So race fans are left with a choice – An unbridled Stefanik or a “grown-up” Kyle Busch and the TMZ-like coverage of the Daytona 500 pole winner.

Time will tell.

– Rick Minter can be reached at rminter@racintoday.com

RACE RESULTS — BUDWEISER DUEL #1

1. (13) Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 60, $57792.

2. (14) Greg Biffle, Ford, 60, $42789.

3. (7) Juan Pablo Montoya, Chevrolet, 60, $37789.

4. (11) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 60, $32789.

5. (17) Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 60, $30789.

6. (3) Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, 60, $28389.

7. (12) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 60, $27289.

8. (8) Casey Mears, Ford, 60, $26289.

9. (6) Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, 60, $26264.

10. (5) Joey Logano, Ford, 60, $26239.

11. (20) Bobby Labonte, Toyota, 60, $26214.

12. (15) David Gilliland, Ford, 60, $26189.

13. (22) Joe Nemechek(i), Toyota, 60, $26164.

14. (16) Michael Waltrip, Toyota, 60, $26139.

15. (18) Scott Speed, Ford, 60, $26114.

16. (21) David Reutimann, Toyota, 60, $26089.

17. (1) Danica Patrick, Chevrolet, 60, $26064.

18. (19) Regan Smith(i), Chevrolet, 60, $26014.

19. (10) Martin Truex Jr, Toyota, 60, $25989.

20. (4) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 59, $25964.

21. (23) Brian Keselowski, Toyota, 58, $25914.

22. (9) Carl Edwards, Ford, Accident, 52, $25889.

23. (2) Trevor Bayne(i), Ford, Accident, 52, $25839.

RACE STATISTICS — BUDWEISER DUEL #1

Average Speed of Race Winner: 177.282 mph.

Time of Race: 00 Hrs, 50 Mins, 46 Secs. Margin of Victory: 0.165 Seconds.

Caution Flags: 1 for 3 laps.

Lead Changes: 4 among 2 drivers.

Lap Leaders: D. Patrick 0; T. Bayne(i) 1-36; K. Harvick 37-40; T. Bayne(i) 41; K. Harvick 42-60.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): T. Bayne(i) 2 times for 37 laps; K. Harvick 2 times for 23 laps.

Top 12 in Points: K. Harvick – 47; G. Biffle – 42; J. Montoya – 41; J. Johnson – 40; K. Busch – 39; T. Stewart – 38; Brad Keselowski – 37; C. Mears – 36; D. Earnhardt Jr. – 35; J. Logano – 34; B. Labonte – 33; D. Gilliland – 32.

RACE STATISTICS — BUDWEISER DUEL #2

1. (4) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 60, $58977.

2. (3) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 60, $43963.

3. (8) Austin Dillon(i), Chevrolet, 60, $38963.

4. (9) Clint Bowyer, Toyota, 60, $33963.

5. (5) Matt Kenseth, Toyota, 60, $31963.

6. (14) Mark Martin, Toyota, 60, $29563.

7. (7) Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 60, $28463.

8. (10) Jeff Burton, Chevrolet, 60, $27463.

9. (11) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 60, $27438.

10. (15) David Ragan, Ford, 60, $27413.

11. (12) Marcos Ambrose, Ford, 60, $27388.

12. (1) Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 60, $27363.

13. (13) Aric Almirola, Ford, 60, $27338.

14. (6) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, 59, $27313.

15. (19) Dave Blaney, Chevrolet, 59, $27288.

16. (16) Josh Wise, Ford, 59, $27263.

17. (21) Travis Kvapil, Toyota, 59, $27238.

18. (18) Terry Labonte, Ford, 59, $27188.

19. (17) Michael McDowell, Ford, 59, $27163.

20. (20) JJ Yeley, Chevrolet, 59, $27138.

21. (2) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 58, $27088.

22. (22) Mike Bliss, Chevrolet, 55, $27063.

RACE STATISTICS — BUDWEISER DUEL #2

Average Speed of Race Winner: 193.966 mph.

Time of Race: 0 Hrs, 46 Mins, 24 Secs. Margin of Victory: 0.093 Seconds.

Caution Flags: 0 for 0 laps.

Lead Changes: 6 among 5 drivers.

Lap Leaders: J. Gordon 0; R. Newman 1; J. Gordon 2-39; M. Ambrose 40; Kyle Busch 41-51; C. Bowyer 52; Kyle Busch 53-60.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): J. Gordon 1 time for 38 laps; Kyle Busch 2 times for 19 laps; C. Bowyer 1 time for 1 lap; R. Newman 1 time for 1 lap; M. Ambrose 1 time for 1 lap.

Top 12 in Points: K. Busch – 47; K. Kahne – 42; C. Bowyer – 41; M. Kenseth – 39; M. Martin – 38; P. Menard – 37; J. Burton – 36; J. McMurray – 35; D. Ragan – 34; M. Ambrose – 34; J. Gordon – 34; A. Almirola – 31.

Rick Minter | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Thursday, February 21 2013
One Comment

One Comment »

  • Rita Jean says:

    “So race fans are left with a choice – An unbridled Stefanik or a “grown-up” Kyle Busch and the TMZ-like coverage of the Daytona 500 pole winner.”

    Brilliant!