Kyle Busch Enters 2012 Daytona 500 Week As Talk Of The Town

You know Kyle Busch did something remarkable when the fans who normally boo him unmercifully roar their approval for him in sincere admiration.

Such was the case Saturday night in the Budweiser Shootout, when Busch stepped out of his car and made his customary bow towards the grandstands after narrowly beating Tony Stewart to score his first victory in NASCAR's annual season-opening, non-points affair.

It wasn't just Busch's win the masses were cheering for; it was the manner in which he went about achieving it.

Not once, but on two separate occasions Busch skated sideways at 200 mph with a pack of cars bearing down on him. Each time, the 26-year-old driver gathered up his Toyota Camry like he was on a quarter-mile dirt track and kept going. It was one of the most extraordinary displays of car control NASCAR has seen in quite some time.

"First time might have been luck," Busch said in the post-race winner's press conference, then added with a smile, "I'm going to say the second time was all skill."

So how did he do it?

"It was interesting from my seat," he said. "I was steering, stabbing, braking, gassing, everything in-between, trying to keep the thing straight and get it back under control."

That he went on to win the race in the manner he did was just icing on the cake.

"Hard to say whether you impressed yourself," Busch said. "I never thought about that. It was certainly cool. I enjoyed it. I wouldn't recommend everybody doing it every day. But certainly it got my attention.

"I was just glad that I was able to pull through it, to be honest with you, to be able to straighten it back out, keep going. Checked my mirror. Everybody ways stabbing the brakes, trying to slow down, thinking I'm going to wreck. We get back going, they're like, ‘Huh, all right.'"

Busch‘s skill behind the wheel even caught the attentions of his peers, including defending Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart.

"I was right behind him when he had the deal in (Turns) 1 and 2," Stewart said. "... He did a fantastic job with that save. I'm sitting there and the green is still out. I'm like, ‘Man, that's the coolest save I've seen in a long time.'

"It was big and it hurt us all at the time, but that was a pretty big moment. Pretty cool to see somebody that went through two big moments like that come out and win the race still."

So what did Busch to prevent himself from spinning out? Basically, it's a combination of luck, instincts and sheer talent.

"It's so hard to explain everything you do, but you're doing it all at the same time," Busch said. "That's just the way it is. Certainly I was like, ‘Man, that was pretty lucky the first time.' It happened the second time. I'm like, ‘Well, I guess I'm lucky again. We'll see where we end up when the checkered flag flies.'"

Add it up and this win stands as one of Busch's more memorable victories.

"You know, this win certainly ranks up there," Busch said. "Being knocked around and beat around, almost spun out a couple times, being able to prevail through all that and still come through. Obviously, there were 10 cars at the end of the race and we didn't have much to pass. It's not like the (Daytona) 500 where there still might be 22 of them or something.

"It was a great race from my seat; hopefully it was from everybody else's."

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