Daytona Nationwide 2012 Results: Reaction, Leaders and Post-Race Analysis

Donald Wood@@Donald_WoodFeatured ColumnistFebruary 25, 2012

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 24:  (L-R) Danica Patrick, driver of the #7 Chevrolet, speaks to Trevor Bayne, driver of the #60 Roush Fenway Racing Ford, and Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #5 Chevrolet, prior to winning the Coors Light Pole Award and qualifying for the pole position for the NASCAR Nationwide Series DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway on February 24, 2012 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

With the 2012 edition of the Nationwide Series race at Daytona about to kickoff, it’s time to get ready for a wild show. That's because it always is.

When you get 43 drivers on a course, with many who have never driven in the Series or on Daytona’s Superspeedway track, there is bound to be anarchy at times during the race.

The Nationwide has plenty of storylines this year, but none bigger than the series-opening pole-sitter Danica Patrick and her ability to adapt to stock car racing.

It will all be fun to watch!

Update: Saturday, Feb. 25 at 5:50 p.m. ET

Everything changed in a flash on the last lap of Saturday's Nationwide's race. James Buescher got the best of it. He went from 11th to first as 11 cars got entangled in a wreck on the third turn, and the 21-year-old cruised to his first win. 

Kurt Busch had the lead and was trailed by his brother Kyle. Kurt started sliding up the track. At the same time, Joey Lagano was being pushed by Trevor Bayne and the four got tangled and started the wreck that took out 11 cars. 

It was a wild day of racing. The cars were bunched all day, and the wreck on the last lap was no surprise. The cars are racing in a pack, but to make a real run they are going with the two-man attack. And that is just wild. 

This was an exciting race, and the 500 is going to be even more exciting. Wrestling legend Shawn Michaels hints at that.

Finished the hardest part of the roads, saved the easy for Monday. Tivo'd the Nationwide, tomorrow @NASCAR. Is gonna be demolition derby!!

— Shawn Michaels (@ShawnMichaels) February 25, 2012

Check out the final results. 

  1. James Buescher
  2. Brad Keselowski
  3. Elliott Sadler
  4. Cole Whitt
  5. Austin Dillon
  6. Tayler Malsam
  7. Timmy Hill
  8. Tony Stewart
  9. Kasey Kahne
  10. Kurt Busch
  11. Trevor Bayne
  12. Benny Gordon
  13. Danny Efland
  14. Josh Wise
  15. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  16. Joey Logano
  17. Blake Koch
  18. Kyle Busch
  19. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  20. Sam Hornish Jr.
  21. Johanna Long
  22. Eric McClure
  23. Joe Nemechek
  24. T.J. Bell
  25. Jeremy Clements
  26. David Ragan
  27. Michael Annett
  28. Mike Wallace
  29. Joey Gase
  30. Kenny Wallace
  31. Ryan Truex
  32. Denny Hamlin
  33. Justin Allgaier
  34. Reed Sorenson
  35. Robert Richardson Jr.
  36. Casey Roderick
  37. Brian Scott
  38. Danica Patrick
  39. Mike Bliss
  40. JJ Yeley
  41. Jason Bowles
  42. Johnny Sauter
  43. Jeff Green

Where: Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, FL

When: Saturday, Feb. 25th, 12:15 p.m. EST

Watch: ESPN 2

Starting Order

1. #7 Danica Patrick Chevrolet 49.250s (Leader) 182.741mph
2. #60 Trevor Bayne Ford 49.257s (-0.007) 182.715mph
3. #2 Elliott Sadler Chevrolet 49.269s (-0.019) 182.671mph
4. #5 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet 49.290s (-0.040) 182.593mph
5. #3 Austin Dillon* Chevrolet 49.339s (-0.089) 182.411mph
6. #12 Sam Hornish Jr. Dodge 49.367s (-0.117) 182.308mph
7. #33 Tony Stewart Chevrolet 49.383s (-0.133) 182.249mph
8. #88 Cole Whitt* Chevrolet 49.421s (-0.171) 182.109mph
9. #22 Brad Keselowski Dodge 49.425s (-0.175) 182.094mph
10. #6 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Ford 49.497s (-0.247) 181.829mph
11. #38 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet 49.550s (-0.300) 181.635mph
12. #31 Justin Allgaier Chevrolet 49.588s (-0.338) 181.495mph
13. #44 Mike Bliss Toyota 49.606s (-0.356) 181.430mph
14. #1 Kurt Busch Chevrolet 49.634s (-0.384) 181.327mph
15. #30 James Buescher Chevrolet 49.669s (-0.419) 181.199mph
16. #43 Michael Annett Ford 49.708s (-0.458) 181.057mph
17. #18 Denny Hamlin Toyota 49.733s (-0.483) 180.966mph
18. #136 Ryan Truex Chevrolet 49.743s (-0.493) 180.930mph
19. #11 Brian Scott Toyota 49.755s (-0.505) 180.886mph
20. #14 Eric McClure Toyota 49.796s (-0.546) 180.737mph
21. #70 Johanna Long* Chevrolet 49.831s (-0.581) 180.611mph
22. #20 Joey Logano Toyota 49.840s (-0.590) 180.578mph
23. #27 David Ragan Ford 49.908s (-0.658) 180.332mph
24. #54 Kyle Busch Toyota 50.023s (-0.773) 179.917mph
25. #19 Tayler Malsam Toyota 50.096s (-0.846) 179.655mph
26. #09 Kenny Wallace Toyota 50.113s (-0.863) 179.594mph
27. #87 Joe Nemechek Toyota 50.209s (-0.959) 179.251mph
28. #01 Mike Wallace Chevrolet 50.259s (-1.009) 179.072mph
29. #15 Timmy Hill Ford 50.331s (-1.081) 178.816mph
30. #97 Johnny Sauter Toyota 50.374s (-1.124) 178.664mph
31. #41 Blake Koch Ford 50.420s (-1.170) 178.501mph
32. #108 Casey Roderick Ford 50.532s (-1.282) 178.105mph
33. #124 Benny Gordon Toyota 50.539s (-1.289) 178.080mph
34. #23 Robert Richardson Jr. Chevrolet 50.559s (-1.309) 178.010mph
35. #39 Joey Gase* Ford 50.664s (-1.414) 177.641mph
36. #51 Jeremy Clements Chevrolet 50.780s (-1.530) 177.235mph
37. #40 Josh Wise Chevrolet 50.793s (-1.543) 177.190mph
38. #28 J.J. Yeley Chevrolet 50.819s (-1.569) 177.099mph
39. #50 T.J. Bell+ Ford 50.867s (-1.617) 176.932mph
40. #81 Jason Bowles+* Dodge 50.891s (-1.641) 176.849mph
41. #4 Danny Efland+ Chevrolet 51.016s (-1.766) 176.415mph
42. #52 Reed Sorenson+ Chevrolet 51.286s (-2.036) 175.486mph
43. #10 Jeff Green Toyota Champion's provisional

* indicates rookie


Danica Patrick

While starting the pole is a huge deal, Patrick has to drive smart all day and be there at the end. That’s much easier said than done at a track that features wrecks every race.

If Patrick can use her teammates to stay towards the front and get herself in a position to win late, she has the car and the help of Dale Jr. to make it happen. What a way to start the season.

Trevor Bayne

While last year didn’t go exactly how the 2011 Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series winner planned, this year is a great place to begin his ascension in the Nationwide Series.

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 25:  Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Diet Mountain Dew/National Guard Chevrolet, speaks to crew chief Steve Letarte in the garage during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Spee
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

If Bayne can use the extra lap times in the Nationwide car to build success in the Sprint Cup Series, he will be a serious contender for a championship before we know it.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

As if there was any doubt about whether or not Dale Earnhardt Jr. was going to be a favorite. The veteran driver is as close to a top-five lock for this race as you can get on a track as unpredictable as Daytona.

Not only has Junior dominated at Daytona, he has been a Nationwide Series star since winning back-to-back titles in 1998 and 1999. Don’t count out Dale winning or pushing his teammate Danica Patrick to a win.

Keep it here for more reaction, leaders and post-race analysis as the race gets underway this afternoon!

Check back for more on NASCAR as it comes, and check out Bleacher Report’s NASCAR Page to get your fill of all things motorsports.


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