Matt Kenseth overcame overheating issues and avoided two big crashes on the tri-oval before holding off Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Greg Biffle in a green-white checkered finish to win Monday night's Daytona 500, a race delayed thirty hours due to rain and another two following an explosive crash on the track late in the race.
|Photo by: Jerry Lai
However, NASCAR halted the race for an extensive track cleanup effort.
Dave Blaney was leading at the time of the accident, but had to pit once the race got back underway, allowing Kenseth to take over the top position for good.
Two multi-car crashes occurred during the closing laps, with the last one setting up the two-lap overtime finish.
Kenseth pulled away from Earnhardt Jr. and Biffle, his Roush Fenway Racing teammate, coming out of the final turn on the last lap. He beat Earnhardt Jr. to the finish line by 0.2 seconds. Biffle finished a close third.
Denny Hamlin and Jeff Burton rounded out the top-five.
Kenseth, the 2003 Sprint Cup Series champion, also won the 2009 Daytona 500, a race shortened due to rain.