The NASCAR Nationwide Series opened with a thrills and spills filled DRIVE4COPD 300, held at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, 25 February 2012. The race kicked off with a field of 43, only six of which made it through unmarred. James Buescher managed to maneuver through a large 11-car pile-up and went on to win the opener. Buescher was followed home by Brad Keselowski in second and Elliott Sadler in third place.
Through much of the race on Saturday, Buescher didn’t appear to have a very good chance of winning. Coming around the last turn in 11th place, he was met by a substantial wreck. The mess is said to have been caused when Kurt Busch tried to block some other cars, while various other drivers were putting pressure on each other. It quickly turned into a mass of spinning cars, including those driven by Tony Stewart, Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, Trevor Bayne and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Buescher managed to clear the tangle in his No. 30 FOE Chevrolet and race on to victory. This was Buescher’s first NASCAR win.
Another accident that left racegoers disappointed was Danica Patrick’s wreck on her 49th lap. She began in pole position and was looking good when her teammate Cole Whitt from JR Motorsports ran into the back of her vehicle while he was bump-drafting. This caused Patrick’s car to spin into the wall and then back onto the track. She was, however, able to rejoin the race, but could only make it to 38th position. This is set to be Danica Patrick’s first full Nationwide Series season.
A storm hitting Daytona International Speedway resulted in the postponement of the popular Daytona 500 scheduled for Sunday, 26 February. The race has been rescheduled to take place on Monday, 27 February at noon. This is the first time in the history of the race that it has had to move to another day. The Daytona 500 will kick off the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, which consists of 10 events. Despite delays, it is set to be an exciting race that fans won’t want to miss!