Daily Camera (Boulder)
Daytona 500 proves elusive for many
Kyle Busch peered at a handful of Powerball tickets left behind as part of a giveaway and was told he could have them.
“Better chances of winning that than the Daytona 500,” Busch cracked.
It’s easy to understand why Busch would feel that way. The two-time Cup Series champion is winless in 17 starts in NASCAR’S most prestigious race, a skid that’s more of a headscratcher than a heartbreaker considering Busch has won at just about every track on the circuit.
He’s even partied in victory lane at Daytona International Speedway, only in the summer race. But the ultimate prize on NASCAR’S ultimate stage has eluded him, maybe even gnawed at him, throughout his professional career.
“It’s just not happened yet for me,” said Busch, who wrecked while leading a qualifying race Thursday night. “Some guys, this is the only race they ever win. Other guys, they win it two or three times. It’s the Super Bowl of our sport, and it’s hard to accomplish this one.”
Now driving for Richard Childress Racing in the No. 8 Chevrolet, Busch will try to change his Daytona 500 fortunes in the 65th running of “The Great American Race” on Sunday. And he has plenty of company in the 0-for-500 club, with four other drivers also having double-digit droughts in NASCAR’S season opener.
Kyle Larson, the 2021 series champ, could join the club soon. He’s current 0 for 9 in the 500.
“It’s just a difficult style of racing that I just haven’t had the best of time in my career,” Larson said. ‘I used to always say it’s bad luck, but I don’t necessarily feel that way anymore.”
Others share that sentiment: who won a rain-shortened July race at Daytona in 2014 and picked up another victory in a qualifier Thursday. “When you win the Daytona 500, you become the Daytona 500 champion for the rest of your life.”