DAYTONA BEACH, Fla – Kyle Busch is nearing 200 NASCAR victory trophies in his collection. Among those trophies are some of the most coveted by any race car driver in the sport. He’s won the All-Star race (2017), the Coca Cola 600 (2018), the Southern 500 (2008), Coke Zero Sugar 400 (2008), the Bristol Night Race, the Brickyard 400 (2015, 2016) and is the all-time wins leader in the XFINITY and Truck Series.
But, one thing that’s missing is a Harley J Earl trophy.
Busch, leaves Daytona Speedweeks now 0-for-14 in the Daytona 500. On Sunday, he was only 0.138-seconds away from halting that streak. In fact, he was well in control late in the race as he and his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin combined to lead the final 37 laps of the race.
Unfortunately for Busch, Hamlin barely passed his before the final caution fell on Lap 198. That meant Hamlin controlled the final restart in overtime and in turn used that to his advantage to claim his second Daytona 500 crown.
Busch, was left feeling bittersweet after.
“Overall, certainly bittersweet,” said Busch following his third top five finish in the Great American Race. “It’s awesome to see a JGR car in victory lane for Joe (Gibbs) and J.D. (Gibbs) but it’s very bittersweet.”
“First and foremost we were trying to get one of us in victory lane and second you try to race for the win.
Busch, said that he wasn’t even sure that there was enough cars in the end to make a difference in what they were trying to do.
While a second place finish in a great start to the season, it’s tough too when it’s the Daytona 500 and he was so close.