James Buescher Exits Last Turn 11th & Wins a Wild Drive for COPD 300 in Daytona

Eric SmithCorrespondent IIIFebruary 25, 2012

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 25:  James Buescher, driver of the #30 Fraternal Order of Eagles Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway on February 25, 2012 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Jerry Markland/Getty Images

James Buescher avoided a last-lap melee coming off of Turn 4 to earn his first career NASCAR win in the season opening race at Daytona for the Nationwide Series.

The 21-year-old escaped tons of the Sprint Cup stars that were part of the 11-car accident in running the low line and avoiding any contact as the No. 30 Chevrolet was the first to the checkered flag.

Buescher fell back to 11th on the backstretch as none of the big stars would draft with him. He got the last laugh as all of those cars wrecked in front and he managed to drive through the carnage for the victory.

The wreck was caused by the two car tandem of Tony Stewart and Elliott Sadler catching the leaders of Kurt and Kyle Busch, and Joe Logano and Trevor Bayne.

Logano and Bayne caught the Busch brothers off of turn two and were dodging blocks all the way down the backstretch from the Busch brothers as they made their move to the high line going into turn three. That allowed Stewart and Sadler to catch the four as they tried to make room on the high side of Logano and Bayne.

Kurt Busch tried to move over and block Logano, but Logano was already there and it sent Busch's car head on to the Turn 4 wall and collected all the major players in the race from there.

Kurt's younger brother Kyle almost avoided the wreck, but defending series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. clipped Busch's bumper and sent him into the outside wall with hard contact.

Buescher benefited from the "big one" and joined Truck Series winner John King in getting their first career NASCAR wins at Daytona during this year's speedweeks.

Danica Patrick's bid to become the first woman in victory lane in NASCAR ended on Lap 49 when she was sent head on with the Turn 3 wall from contact with her teammate Cole Whitt. The pole-sitter Patrick was running well and looked like a threat, but the rookie Whitt tried to bump draft her through the turn and you just can't do that anymore as it eliminated Patrick from contention.

Brad Keselowski came home second today as Elliott Sadler ended up third.