Tony Stewart Leads 1-2 Finish For Gibbs Racing In Camping World 300 Presented By Chevrolet
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 16, 2008) – DIRECTV Speedweeks 2008 at historic Daytona International Speedway provided yet another exciting finish, this time during the 50th running of the Camping World 300 presented by Chevrolet with Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Tony Stewart and Kyle Busch capturing a 1-2 finish.
Stewart, whose three wins in the Nationwide Series have all come in the February race at Daytona, collected his 12th win overall at the World Center of Racing and gave Toyota their first win in the NASCAR Nationwide Series at the legendary speedway.
“(Kyle and I) worked with each other the whole race,” Stewart said. “That’s something that we’ve learned from the Hendrick guys. As long as it was a 1-2 finish for Gibbs, no matter what the order was, I think we were all going to be happy.”
The Joe Gibbs Racing teammates had a strong showing and stayed in the top 10 throughout the race and led a combined 93 laps with Busch leading the most with 47.
Busch, who won the Nationwide Series race in Daytona last July, also finished second in the Craftsman Truck Series race Friday night and will be looking for a win in Sunday’s 50th running of the Daytona 500.
“If I win tomorrow, I’m going to be the happiest man alive, that’s for sure,” Busch said. “That’s what I’ve been saving my win for this week, is tomorrow.”
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., who battled an ill-handling car and did not start his charge to the front until there were 20 laps to go, brought his No. 5 National Guard Chevrolet home in third place, which marked his first loss of DIRECTV Speedweeks. Earnhardt Jr. picked up wins in the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona last Saturday night under the lights and in the first Gatorade Duel at Daytona on Thursday.
Defending race winner and 2007 Daytona 500 champion Kevin Harvick, driver/owner of the No.33 Camping World Chevrolet, was the beneficiary of the second caution of the day, enabling him to overcome an early mix-up in the pits. Harvick was able to make his way into the top 15 before being caught up in the final caution of the day and settling for a 21st-place finish.
Bryan Clauson, who brought his No. 41 Texaco/Havoline Dodge home in sixth, was the top finishing rookie in his first start at Daytona.
“If you would have told me I’d have ran sixth here my first trip here to Daytona with as many Cup guys as they had in the field, I’d have told you that you were crazy,” Clauson said. “This is a big confidence boost.”
Next up at DIS is the 50th running of the Daytona 500 on Sunday. The Sprint Pre-Race show will take place prior to the start of the Daytona 500 with the most awarded country music duo in history Brooks & Dunn, Chubby Checker, Michael McDonald and Kool and the Gang. Trisha Yearwood will perform the National Anthem with a fly-over by the USAF Thunderbirds. The race will be kicked off by all the living Daytona 500 champions, who will serve as Grand Marshals, and seven-time Daytona 500 champion Richard Petty, who will also serve as honorary starter.