Saturday Night was the unofficial start of the NASCAR season with the running of the Budweiser Shootout in Daytona. Kyle Busch picked up the checkered flag in a race full of excitement and crashes.

The 75 lap exhibition race had 25 drivers which consisted of the top 20 in last seasons points standings, previous shootout winners or any points race at Daytona. Last years Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne did not enter due to lack of funding. Martin Truex Jr. had the pole by having the luck of the draw.

It didn't take long for an accident to happen as there was a big one at Lap 9 that involved Michael Waltrip, Matt Kenseth, Paul Menard, David Ragan and a few others. After the green flag dropped again, the racing continued to be fierce but accident-free up to lap 25 and the planned 10-minute pit stop with Jamie McMurray in the lead at the break.

Jeff Gordon Crash

After the break,  the action continued fast and furious and with 20 laps left and another big wreck occurred involving Dale Earnhardt Jr, Truex Jr., Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Marcos Ambrose and Kenseth for a second time.  As the green flag dropped again, things started quietly up until the last few laps as everyone started jocking for position and once again there was another big crash that involved a number of drivers but more specifically Jeff Gordon who ended up on his roof. Gordon walked away from a very scary looking accident.

After everything was cleared, there were only three laps left and Kyle Busch came out the victor squeaking by defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Tony Stewart. Busch avoided major wrecks on a number of occasions to take his first Bud Shootout.

The countdown to the Daytona 500 continues  Sunday with Qualifying starting at noon.

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