Kenseth Wins Rain-Shortened Daytona 500
It wasn’t the thrilling finish fans have come to expect from the Daytona 500—except to Matt Kenseth.
When Kenseth got the news he had won the rain-shortened season opener in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series, his car sat covered on pit road, as rain pelted the asphalt of Daytona International Speedway. Kenseth, who started from the rear of the field Sunday in a backup car after his primary No. 17 Ford was wrecked in Thursday’s qualifying race, took the lead from Elliott Sadler on the final lap of green-flag racing and held the top spot under caution until NASCAR red-flagged the race because of rain after 152 of a scheduled 200 laps.
Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch Win Gatorade Duels at Daytona
Kyle Busch held off Mark Martin and Brian Vickers in a drag race to the finish line to win the second of two Gatorade Duel 150 qualifying races Thursday at Daytona International Speedway.
Jeff Gordon beat Tony Stewart to the finish line in the first 60-lap Duel. It was Gordon’s fifth win in a Daytona qualifying race, tied for second in the modern era (since 1972).
Truex Grabs Pole for 51st Daytona 500, Martin to Start 2nd
Martin Truex Jr. and Mark Martin, at least, know where they’ll start next Sunday’s Daytona 500. Despite a qualifying session that occupied nearly three hours Sunday at Daytona International Speedway, no other driver is certain where he’ll start the season-opening Sprint Cup points race.
Truex toured the 2.5-mile superspeedway in 47.872 seconds (188.001 mph) to knock Martin (187.817) off the provisional pole for the 51st running of the 500. Truex and Martin, who were teammates at Dale Earnhardt Inc. last season, will lead the field to the green flag next Sunday.
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