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Can Kyle Busch break his streak of most career starts without winning Daytona 500?

DAYTONA, Fla. (WGHP) — For Kyle Busch, 19th time at the Daytona 500 could be the charm.

FOX8’s Kevin Connolly and Danny Harnden and WFLA’s JB Biunno spent Wednesday afternoon catching up with drivers as they get ready to hit the speedway this Sunday for the Daytona 500.

Busch, of Las Vegas, Nevada, drives the No. 8 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing. He has 19 full seasons in the NASCAR Cup Series behind him, including championship wins in 2015, despite missing the first 11 races after breaking his right leg and left foot in an Xfinity Series race in Daytona, and 2019. In the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series, he came in 14th.

This will be his 18th Daytona 500, but only his second with Richard Childress Racing. While he came second in 2019, Busch said one of his closest brushes with victory in Daytona was 2023.

“There’s been opportunities. There’s been some really close finishes, some close calls. Last year, I won the Daytona 500, it was just under yellow, and the race got extended into overtime and it went to [212 laps], so, oh, so close.”

With only two laps left, a caution sent the Daytona 500 into overtime in 2023, so while Busch held the lead as they crossed that 200th lap, the checkered flag wouldn’t drop until lap 212.

Busch, who has more career starts without a Daytona 500 victory than any driver in the NASCAR Cup Series, finished in 19th place with 1st going to Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Asked about how he and other NASCAR drivers approach strategy, his answer may surprise some racing fans.

“It’s a lot manufacturer-based now,” Busch said. “When I was with the Toyota group, all the Toyota drivers would get together. … I’m in the Chevy meetings, and so we kind of go through all of that stuff and try to plan and strategize the best we can of how to get a Chevrolet to Victory Lane. That’s the first thing is trying to get our manufacturer to Victory Lane.”

After manufacturer, Busch says his next priority is Richard Childress Racing: “How do you do it for your team: RCR, me or Austin [Hill]?”

Last year, Busch said you could see that teamwork between Hill and himself.

“Austin was really good,” he said. “I was really good. We were running 1-2 there in those in those final laps, and so we were really helping each other having a good dynamic duo there that was pushing each other.”

Finally, Busch said the third priority is “How do you get it done for yourself?”

“All those sorts of things just kind of get talked about, what the game plan is, what the expectations are,” he said. “You don’t really want to leave this race at the end knowing that you screwed your teammate or one of your guys out of the win and didn’t get it for yourself and open the door for another manufacturer. That’s dread rule #1. Don’t do that.”

DraftKings puts his odds of winning the 2024 championship at 12-1.

Source: Fox 8 News Channel

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