Kenseth Wins Bizarre Daytona 500, Edwards Finishes 8th
DAYTONA BEACH, FL (AP) -- Matt Kenseth won his second Daytona 500, holding off Dale Earnhardt Jr. to end one of the more bizarre races in NASCAR history.
Kenseth had Roush Fenway Racing teammate Greg Biffle lined up behind him on the final restart, and Biffle played the role of dutiful teammate for the two laps of overtime. Earnhardt pulled out behind Biffle as they closed in on the finish line but couldn't catch Kenseth. Other Roush Fenway Racing teammate and Daytona 500 pole winner Carl Edwards finished in 8th.
It was an anticlimactic ending after rain postponed the race for the first time in its 54-year history from Sunday to Monday. Then came a frightening fire when Juan Pablo Montoya hit a safety truck, causing a two-hour delay.
Montoya was driving well behind the rest of the field when something on his car broke and he started sliding out of control toward the jet drier, which holds 200 gallons of jet kerosene. His No. 42 Chevrolet hammered the truck, setting off an explosion and sending fuel pouring onto the famed track.
Montoya got out unharmed. The driver of the jet drier had to be helped out of his truck.
Martin Truex Jr. picked up a $200,000 bonus for Michael Waltrip Racing by leading at the halfway point of the Daytona 500.
Truex passed Greg Biffle on lap 100 and held off the pack for the big paycheck.
NASCAR's most prestigious race comes with a record purse of more than $19 million, and officials tweaked the payout rules this season to add more incentive to leading at the halfway point of the season opener.
The winner collects more than $1.4 million. Drivers, especially those driving for smaller teams, openly talked about going for the halfway bonus.