- (PHOTO: Reuters/Joe Skipper)
Matt Kenseth won his career second Daytona 500 Monday, in a dramatic race which involved a fiery crash with a jet drying vehicle, a two hour delay and rescheduling due to rain. In history no other driver besides Jeff Gordon in 2005 has ever won NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' most prestigious race two times.
Kenseth was able to use his Roush Fenway's Racing teammate Greg Biffle's position, who was tucked safely behind his bumper to pull away from the field and get ahead of Earnhardt Jr. in the final two laps, and win by 0.21 seconds.
His teammate Biffle had been in the lead in his Gatorade Duel until the final two laps, when everything got tight just before the final caution with 12 cars within a second of each other.
The race had 10 cautions, which included a final one at four laps to go when Ryan Newman, Tony Stewart, David Reutimann and Dave Blaney were involved in a crash.
The race was also halted at 40 laps to go when Juan Pablo Montoya who was speeding along the backstretch, lost control and crashed into a jet drying vehicle. The truck which was full of jet fuel, caused a massive fire on the track.
Montoya managed to escape from his car and the driver of the truck was taken to hospital.
After a long delay of over two hours, Kenseth came through to win the title.
"To win the (qualifying race) and then to win the 500, as well, is certainly a lot more than I would have expected or really thought we were going to do," Kenseth said. "So it's always special to win races. It's really hard to win these races. The older you get and the more you race, you realize how hard it is, and you really try to enjoy all those moments."