Buescher Wins Daytona Nationwide Race, Patrick Crashes Early

James Buesher, driver of the Number 30 Chevrolet, is the winner of the 2012 DRIVE4COPD 300 Nationwide Series race at Daytona International Speedway. Buescher battled through 120 laps of mayhem, including a last-lap crash that took out front-runners like Trevor Bayne, Tony Stewart, Elliott Sadler, Joey Logano, Kurt Busch, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Kyle Busch, to take the victory, despite being in a crash himself late in the game.

Buescher said of his first victory, “It’s incredible. This is top of the list for any race car driver to win at — and we did it.” He’s not the only first-time winner this weekend, as rookie John King won the Camping World Truck Series race on Friday night.

Danica Patrick, the first female to win a pole position since Shawna Robinson in 1994, had seemingly good luck for the first 50 laps, until a mistake by her teammate, rookie Cole Whitt, caused her to spin out into the wall. Patrick could be heard screaming expletives over the radio about Whitt, but calmly stated later, “I don’t think it’s ever great when teammates come together, so we’ll have to figure out what happened and move forward.”

Whitt said of the accident,” Yeah, I think we’ll be fine. I wouldn’t expect her to be happy about it. I wouldn’t be happy about it, either. I don’t know why anyone would expect her to be like, ‘Oh yeah, it’s great.’ We’re teammates.” Suffice to say, they will most likely have a few words about Whitt’s mistake in the next team meeting.

Patrick’s team pushed the car to the garage for extensive repairs, losing 48 laps in the process. She returned to the track on Lap 98 and finished 38th. Not a very optimistic start to the former Indy car driver’s season, but with the rest of the season in front of her, she has numerous chances to make up for her position in the current standings.

Watch the last-lap crash that led to Buescher’s win here: