Fire and rain mar NASCAR Daytona 500, but Matt Kenseth wins (+video)
Matt Kenseth won NASCAR's Daytona 500, holding off a late charge by Dale Earnhardt early Tuesday morning. Rain and a big fuel fire delayed the Daytona 500 finish until 1 a.m.
Daytona Beach, Fla.
After lengthy rain delays and a freak fuel fire accident, Matt Kenseth emerged as the Daytona 500 champion on early Tuesday morning, holding off Dale Earnhardt Jr on the final lap to win an incident-packed race under floodlights.Skip to next paragraph
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Kenseth, in a Ford, was helped by his Roush Fenway teammate Greg Biffle, who delayed Earnhardt's charge in the NASCAR season opener before he was eventually passed and crossed the line in third place.
"I have to thank Greg, we worked together really good all day long. He had a really fast car all day as well," Kenseth told reporters.
The victory was Kenseth's second in the race following his 2009 triumph and was the sixth time in the last eight years that the 500 has ended with a green-white-checker finish that added two extra laps.
Earnhardt, the 2004 Daytona winner, made a real push to forge ahead on the final lap but could not find the space to get past Kenseth, who had struggled in the early stages of the race.
"We had a lot of problems and almost ended up a lap down. The guys did a great job though, they never panicked and I think they enjoyed the day more because they couldn't hear me on the radio with my radio problems," Kenseth added.