Kyle Busch discusses winning the second Budweiser Duel and how the new Gen-6 car feels on the track.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Award winners from 2001-10 join list of 30 cars for season-opening race
Bill Elliott will drive in at least 18 Sprint Cup races for Phoenix Racing, starting with the Daytona 500, a team spokesman confirmed Monday. Elliott, 55, has driven a part-time schedule for Wood Brothers Racing the past four years, but the Wood Brothers are working to put together a deal for Trevor Bayne, leaving Elliott to look for another Cup ride. Elliott, the 1988 Cup champion, won the Daytona 500 in 1985 and '87. Phoenix Racing qualified for 28 of the 36 Cup events last year to finish 39th in the owners' standings. Because it did not finish in the top 35 in owners' points, Elliott will need to make the Daytona 500 on speed, through his qualifying race finish or a past champion's provisional. Although Elliott is eligible for the Budweiser Shootout , the team is not currently planning on competing in that event. Elliott started 40th and finished 27th in the 2010 Daytona 500, the first of 12 races he drove with the Wood Brothers last year. His best finish was 15th in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. With 821 career starts, Elliott ranks 15th all time with 44 career victories. His last full-time season was 2003.
DENVER, Colo. -- Regan Smith's No. 78 over-the-wall pit crew for Furniture Row Racing will be employed and trained by Stewart-Haas Racing during the 2011 Sprint Cup season. "We are excited to partner with SHR as it relates to the pit crew," said Joe Garone, Furniture Row Racing general manager. "After reviewing SHR's program, personnel and facility we are confident that SHR will deliver a crew that meets all of our objectives." The No. 78 pit crew will be under the supervision of SHR pit crew coach Joe Piette, who also oversees the pit crews for Tony Stewart's No. 14 team and Ryan Newman's No. 39 team. The SHR team is based in Kannapolis, N.C. "We are very excited about our new partnership with Furniture Row Racing and having the opportunity to help contribute to the growth of their program, while also giving our pit crew the chance to compete and improve on a weekly basis," said Bobby Hutchens, director of competition for Stewart-Haas Racing. The first race for the new Furniture Row Racing pit crew will be the invitational Budweiser Shootout , Feb. 12 at Daytona International Speedway. Smith qualified for the non-points race on the basis of being a former Cup rookie of the year (2008). The first Cup points race is the Daytona 500 on Feb. 20. The Denver-based No. 78 Furniture Row Racing team is coming off its best season since the franchise entered Cup competition in 2005. Last year, Smith qualified in all 36 races and came on strong during the second half of the season, scoring a number of top-20 finishes, including three of 13 or better in the final seven races. He also qualified in the top 10 in the final three races.
Kevin Harvick, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kasey Kahne comment on their runs in the the first Budweiser Duel of the night.
Victory Lane: Kyle Busch Wins the Second Budweiser Duel
Final Laps: Kyle Busch finishes strong as he takes the victory at the Budweiser Duel 2 at Daytona
HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- As Carli Lloyd sat for an interview behind the XFINITY stage set-up just outside the Homestead-Miami Speedway Saturday morning, a long, committed and excited line of assorted people waited for her autograph, a chance to meet one of the United States' all-time most accomplished soccer players. Joking a bit about the extreme South Florida humidity, Lloyd, 33, was gracious and truly as interested in learning about NASCAR as sharing her incredible personal story as one of the world's greatest soccer players. "When the World Cup finished, my agent busy with a lot of requests, and my first big-time commercial was with XFINITY , and I thought it was so well done and I really enjoyed it," Lloyd said. "That was the start of the partnership between us. And then this came up and I was thrilled. I said I'd love to do this. "What's great about what happened from the World Cup is I've gotten to get out of the bubble of just soccer and gotten to experience so many different things, meet different people and go to different events. When would I have ever gotten the chance to see something like this?" Lloyd was surprised at the number of people waiting on the other side of our interview area for a chance to meet her and get an autograph. Minutes earlier, she played a little soccer with current XFINITY Series championship leader Chris Buescher -- part lesson, part shootout . In the end, Buescher beat her 4-1 -- kicking shots into a much larger goal. "It was really cool chatting with him about his preparation and how he trains and then kick it around with him," Lloyd said. "The first shot he used his toe and I was like, 'Hey, you've got to use the inside of your foot.' Then he started killing it. I was thinking, 'I shouldn't have given him any pointers.' "I said, 'Have you ever kicked a soccer ball?' He said, 'Yeah, when I was four.' " Lloyd said she mostly enjoyed the opportunity to talk with Buescher, who leads defending XFINITY Series champ Chase Elliott by 18 points entering Saturday's season finale. "You don't realize how cool these races are until you actually come and see these things, see the pits, how fast they change tires, see the drivers and their training and preparation," Lloyd said. "They are really fit and it takes a lot to drive the car around the track, you don't just hop in and go. It's been really cool, and I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to be here. "Just doing our Q&A, it's really fascinating to see the parallels, even though they are different sports. The mental aspect of his sport ... if he switches off, something terrible could happen on the track. It's the same thing with us. If you're not mentally prepared, you could risk being injured on the field." After finishing up her time at NASCAR's season finale -- she was Saturday's official starter, as well -- Lloyd and her team will return to the field for four more matches as part of the World Cup-winning team's U.S. Tour. Then in 2016 it's time to start preparing for the Olympics -- the nation solidly behind them "We're in November and the World Cup happened in July and people are still wanting to come see us and I think that speaks volumes," Lloyd said. "If something isn't going to be around and popular, it fizzles out in a month or so. That's not happening and that's a really good sign. "It's really cool people are here in their uniforms and want autographs on their soccer balls. I think it's great. I'm enjoying being able to do different things and be a part of this. "I think we captivated a nation and inspired not only young girls, but boys and even adults. That's just what it's all about. I want people to hear my story, the ups and downs. You can't pick things out of successful moments and get better. The moments people don't see, what they don't realize is it takes a lot of hard work, ups and downs and obstacles to get to this point. That's the message I'm trying to get out."
Alan Cavanna recaps the Budweiser Duel at Daytona International Speedway.