Buescher prevails in crash-filled Nationwide race at Daytona

James Buescher happened to be at the plagued DRIVE4COPD 300 Nationwide Series race at Daytona International Speedway.

Buescher avoided a big wreck on the frontstretch and then miraculously pulled ahead of the field on the final lap before NASCAR displayed the caution flag to end the race.

Kurt Busch was leading coming out of final turn on the second-to-last lap, but Busch and several of the other frontrunners were caught up in an 11-car accident along the frontstretch.

Buescher was running in the 11th position when he came out of turn four. He drove down the track to avoid the incident and then moved into the lead. It took NASCAR officials a couple of minutes to review the running order after they issued the caution. Buescher was declared the winner, as he claimed his first win in a NASCAR national touring series race.

The 21-year-old Texas-native is a full-time competitor in the Camping World Truck Series and part-timer in Nationwide this season. His first Nationwide victory came in his 35th start.

After a lengthy review of the ending, NASCAR determined that Brad Keselowski finished second, followed by Elliott Sadler, Cole Whitt and rookie Austin Dillon, who won last year's truck championship.

It's the second race win for Buescher at Daytona. He took the checkered flag for the ARCA Series season-opener here three years ago.

Danica Patrick started on the pole and led the first two laps in this race. Patrick was caught up in an accident on lap 50 when her new JR Motorsports teammate Cole Whitt bumped her from behind and put her into the turn three wall. She spent most of the race in the garage for repairs on the right-front side of her car.

Patrick was credited with a 38th-place finish.

On Friday, Patrick became just the second female to win a pole position for a Nationwide race. Shawna Robinson first did it in March 1994 at Atlanta.