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Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistFebruary 27, 2017

Kurt Busch crossed off the Daytona 500 from his career bucket list after capturing the checkered flag in Sunday’s race in Daytona Beach, Florida. 

The 38-year-old entered the 2017 Daytona 500 with 28 victories in the Monster Energy Cup Series, and he was the 2004 points champion. Never before, however, had he reached Victory Lane at the “Great American Race.”

Fox Sports: NASCAR shared a replay of the final lap—the only lap Busch led throughout the race:

NASCAR writer Jeff Gluck alluded to the brand continuity of Busch’s win:

Busch’s pit crew ran out to meet him in the infield after he crossed the finish line. NASCAR shared a replay of the celebration:

Stewart-Haas Racing provided a look inside Victory Lane:

The more that I’ve run this race, the more that I’ve threw caution to the win and let it rip,” Busch said, per Performance Racing Network. “My rearview mirror fell off with 30 to go. I said that’s an omen.”

Nobody arguably savored the triumph more than Busch’s crew chief, Tony Gibson. Fox Sports: NASCAR provided a look at Gibson’s unadulterated joy after the No. 41 car secured the result:

The 2017 Daytona 500 offered a bit of irony in that Tony Stewart, one of the best drivers never to win the race, in the first year of his retirement could claim credit in the win as part owner of Stewart-Haas Racing. NASCAR shared his thoughts: 

Not only does Sunday’s victory end Busch’s Daytona 500 drought, it also assures him a place in the playoffs, which begin Sept. 17 at the Chicagoland 400.

He obviously has plenty of work ahead to secure his second series title, but getting a win this early into the season provides Busch with a nice security blanket.

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