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The 2010 Daytona 500 was the first stock car race of the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The 52nd annual running of the Daytona 500, it was held on February 14, 2010, in Daytona Beach, Florida, at Daytona International Speedway, before a crowd of about 175,000 attendees. Earnhardt Ganassi Racing driver Jamie McMurray won the 208-lap race from the thirteenth position. Dale Earnhardt Jr. of Hendrick Motorsports finished in second, and Roush Fenway Racing's Greg Biffle came in third.

2010 Daytona 500
Race details[1][2]
Race 1 of 36 in the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Daytona 500 2009.png
Date February 14, 2010 (2010-02-14)
Location Daytona International Speedway
Daytona Beach, Florida, U.S.
Course Permanent racing facility
2.5 mi (4.023 km)
Distance 208 laps, 520 mi (836.858 km)
Scheduled Distance 200 laps, 500 mi (804.672 km)
Weather Cold with temperatures reaching up to 55 °F (13 °C); wind speeds up to 8 miles per hour (13 km/h)[3]
Average speed 137.284 miles per hour (220.937 km/h)
Pole position
Driver Hendrick Motorsports
Time 47.074
Qualifying race winners
Duel 1 Winner Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports
Duel 2 Winner Kasey Kahne Richard Petty Motorsports
Most laps led
Driver Kevin Harvick Richard Childress Racing
Laps 41
Winner
No. 1 Jamie McMurray Earnhardt Ganassi Racing
Television in the United States
Network Fox Broadcasting Company
Announcers Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip, Larry McReynolds
Nielsen Ratings
  • 7.7/16 (Final)
  • 13.294 million viewers[4]

Mark Martin, who had the pole position (the oldest pole winner in Daytona 500 history at 51 years and 27 days), led the opening four laps before he was passed by Kasey Kahne on lap five, before he retook it two laps later. The race lead changed 52 times amongst a then record-breaking 21 different drivers during the course of the race, with Kevin Harvick leading the most laps (41). It was twice stopped because a large pothole had developed between turns one and two, because of moisture, cold weather temperatures, and all the heavy cars scraping the tarmac surface, as they ran low to the ground for better aerodynamic efficiency. Harvick led on the 206th lap, until McMurray passed him a lap later. McMurray held it for the final lap to claim his first Daytona 500 victory, his second at Daytona International Speedway, and the fourth of his career.

Because this was the first race of the season, McMurray led the Drivers' Championship with 195 points, followed by Earnhardt in second place who had 175 points and Biffle in third with 170 points. Clint Bowyer and Harvick were fourth and fifth with 165 and 155 points, respectively. In the Manufacturers' Championship, Chevrolet led with nine points, ahead of Ford in second place with six points. Toyota was in third with four points, and Dodge completed the top four with three points with thirty-five races left in the season.

Contents

ReportEdit

BackgroundEdit

 
Daytona International Speedway, where the race was held

The 2010 Daytona 500 was the first of thirty-six scheduled stock car races of the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series,[2] and the 52nd annual edition of the event.[5] It was held on February 14, 2010, in Daytona Beach, Florida, at Daytona International Speedway,[2] one of six superspeedways to hold NASCAR races; the others are Michigan International Speedway, Auto Club Speedway, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Pocono Raceway, and Talladega Superspeedway.[6] Its standard track is a four-turn, 2.5-mile (4.0 km) superspeedway.[7] Daytona's turns are banked at 31 degrees, and the front stretch—the location of the finish line—is banked at 18 degrees.[7]

The Daytona 500 was conceived by NASCAR founder Bill France Sr., who built the Daytona International Speedway.[8] The race was first held in 1959; it is the successor to shorter races held on beaches around Daytona Beach.[9] The race has been the opening round of the NASCAR season since 1982,[10] and from 1988, it is been one of four events that require cars to run restrictor plates.[11] The Daytona 500 is often regarded as the most prestigious race in NASCAR because it offers the most prize money of all auto races held in the United States. Victory in the race is considered equal to winning either the World Series, the Super Bowl or The Masters.[8] The race is often called the "Great American Race" or the "Super Bowl of Stock Car Racing".[9]

For the race, NASCAR announced that it would stop policing bump drafting after it responded to a growing resentment from its fan-base and drivers about the lack of on-track aggression and emotion. It came as the organization gradually controlled, and eventually banned the practice of bump drafting outright on the morning of the 2009 AMP Energy 500. Also, NASCAR elected to retain the yellow-marked out-of-bounds line at the bottom of race tracks because drivers voiced their opposition to its removal.[12] Furthermore, the restrictor plate for Daytona and Talladega were increased the size in each of its four openings to its largest size since the 1989 Daytona 500 of 63/64-inches for an increased amount of horsepower.[13] NASCAR's vice-president of competition Robin Pemberton explained that the changes would give control back to the drivers, saying, "'Boys, have at it' and have a good time."[12] NASCAR later altered the green–white–checker finish rule so that a maximum of not one but three attempts could be undertaken.[14]

In response to a heavy collision that sent Roush Fenway Racing's Carl Edwards into the catchfence at the 2009 Aaron's 499, track workers raised the height of the Daytona International Speedway catchfences from 14 ft (4.3 m) to 22 ft (6.7 m), following analysis of the circuit's safety barriers by engineers. An undisclosed amount of money was spent on erecting the new barriers, which was completed in mid-January 2010.[15] An spokesperson for the track's owner and operator International Speedway Corporation explained, "Whenever we have an incident that impacts any of our systems, we take that opportunity to more closely scrutinize it and look at it across the company. Whatever we learn in these analyses, we’ll look and see where it can be applied to other tracks. The challenge is each track is different in terms of banking and speed, so our primary focus right now was on Talladega and Daytona."[15]

Practice and qualifierEdit

Six practice sessions were scheduled to take place before the race on February 14. The first two on February 5 were due to last for 80 and 90 minutes, respectively. The next two on February 10 ran for 90 and a shortened 50 minutes.[1] Two days later, one more practice session was scheduled, which was originally for 60 minutes but was cancelled because of a steady day-long rain shower.[16] The final practice session on February 13 lasted 85 minutes.[1] In the first practice session, which was shortened to an hour because of a thunderstorm from Central Florida, Dale Earnhardt Jr. was fastest with a lap of 47.770 seconds, ahead of his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Mark Martin in second, and Jeff Gordon in third. Bill Elliott was fourth-fastest, and Robby Gordon came fifth.[17] Ryan Newman, Kurt Busch, David Reutimann, Kyle Busch, and Clint Bowyer made up positions six through ten.[18] Eight drivers did not set a lap time on Friday, so NASCAR arranged for a half hour period to be held on Saturday morning to allow themselves some on-track running. With a time of 48.072 seconds, David Gilliland topped the session, ahead of Jeff Fuller, Terry Cook, and Derrike Cope entering qualifying.[18]

 
Mark Martin (pictured in 2007) became the oldest pole sitter in Daytona 500 history at 51 years old at 27 days by posting the fastest lap in qualifying.

Although 54 cars were entered in the qualifier;[19] according to NASCAR's qualifying procedure only 43 could race. Each driver ran two laps, and unlike most races during the season, the qualifying session determined the first two positions, while the rest of the drivers qualified by the 2010 Gatorade Duels.[20] Qualifying was held a day earlier than in previous years for the avoidance of a direct clash with Super Bowl XLIV after the National Football League who moved their event forward one week.[21] The rain-out on Friday meant drivers had little on-track preparation.[19] Martin took his first Daytona 500 pole position, his second at Daytona International Speedway, and the 49th of his career,[22] with a time of 47.074 seconds.[19] The achievement made him the oldest pole position winner in the history of the Daytona 500 at the age of 51 years and 27 days.[23] Martin was joined on the grid's front row by Earnhardt, his Hendrick Motorsports teammate.[22] After qualifying, Martin said, "This is really special, what a way to start the season, It's such an accomplishment for Hendrick Motorsports, but specially the #5 and #88 shop. Dale is locked in the front row with a rocketship car. You know, he may be the man to beat come next Sunday. I've had a great career and had a lot of good stuff happen for me but [winning the Daytona 500] trophy would be the biggest one."[19]

The second practice session was led by Matt Kenseth with a lap of 46.331 seconds, followed by Kyle Busch, Brian Vickers, Jeff Burton, Edwards, Bowyer, Kasey Kahne, Reutimann, Kevin Harvick, and Joey Logano.[24] Bowyer's right-rear tire blew leaving turn two; he slid sideways up the track, and into the outside barrier beside it.[25][26] Reutimann was close by, and made contact with the rear of Bowyer's car. Then, Cope hit Reutimann's slowing car at its rear.[25] Bowyer, Reutimann, and Cope switched into their back-up cars for the Gatorade Duels.[27] Marcos Ambrose topped the third practice session with a 46.535 seconds lap. Kyle Busch duplicated his second practice result in second, and Reed Sorenson was third. Logano, Kahne, Kenseth, Paul Menard, Greg Biffle, Elliott Sadler, and Edwards followed in the top ten positions.[28] Early in the session,[25] Earnhardt was bumped by Hamlin at 190 mph (310 km/h), but he controlled his car through a slide and continued.[27] One of Vickers' tyres failed coming off turn two three minutes later, and he spun through grass on the backstretch with minimal structural damage.[1][25] Just after green flag running resumed, Mike Bliss got oversteer on the inside of the track exiting the fourth turn, and rammed heavily into Logano. As the rest of the field took avoiding action, Johnson hit the back of Hamlin's car.[25][26] Johnson stopped on pit road with an orange traffic cone lodged underneath his splitter. Michael Waltrip was hit by another car and he went through some grass.[1] Bliss, Johnson, and Logano went into back-up cars for the Gatorade Duels.[25]

Johnson and Kahne were the winners of the Gatorade Duels.[29] The qualifying grid was finalized with Johnson in third and Kahne starting fourth. Harvick qualified in fifth, ahead of Tony Stewart in sixth. Kyle Busch, Juan Pablo Montoya, Bowyer, and Kurt Busch completed the top ten. The ten drivers that failed to qualify were Casey Mears, Todd Bodine, Gilliland, Cook, Cope, Aric Almirola, Dave Blaney, Sorenson, Mike Wallace, Norm Benning, and Fuller.[30] Jeff Gordon switched to a back-up car for the race after getting involved in a three-car accident.[1] In the final practice session, held in cold and cloudy weather conditions,[31] Burton paced the field with a 46.108 seconds lap, ahead of Harvick, Ambrose, Reutimann, and Kenseth. Kyle Busch, Sam Hornish Jr., Regan Smith, Montoya, and Hamlin occupied positions six through ten.[32] Fifteen minutes in, Bobby Labonte was hit by Scott Speed, and was sent towards the inside wall at 180 mph (290 km/h),[33] but he narrowly avoided a collision with it.[31] A. J. Allmendinger's engine compartment had smoke bellowing from it, and his team changed engines after the session.[33]

RaceEdit

Live television coverage of the race began in the United States at 12:00 p.m Eastern Standard Time (EST) (UTC−04:00) on Fox.[34] Around the start of the race, weather conditions were clear with the air temperature at 52 °F (11 °C); conditions were expected to remain consistent throughout the race. David Uth, senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Orlando, began pre-race ceremonies with an inovcation. Singer and Grammy Award winner Harry Connick Jr. performed the national anthem, and Junior Johnson, former Daytona 500 champion and NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee, commanded the drivers to start their engines.[35] During the pace laps, Gordon, Burton, and Waltrip moved to the rear of the field because they switched into a back-up car, and Allmendinger, and Edwards did the same for changing their engines.[34]

The race began at 1:20 p.m EST. Martin was given a push by his teammate Johnson to keep the lead going into the first corner. Harvick advanced to the third position, as the inside line was the fastest at the early point in the event. The first 21 cars were two abreast by the third lap, with a second distinct pack of vehicles in a single line. On lap four, Kahne and the cars behind him caught Martin, but he could not get ahead of the latter who kept the lead at the start-finish line. Stewart provided Kahne with drafting assistance to allow him to narrowly pass Martin to take over the first position on the following lap. On the sixth lap, Martin retook first place on the outside line, and he turned onto the inside to keep the position.[34][35] The first caution was given for a multi-car accident on lap seven; Brad Keselowski's right-rear tire failed, and he collided with the turn two wall, collecting Smith, Hornish, Bliss, Max Papis, and Boris Said,[34][35][36] and littering debris on the track.[37] Keselowski and Hornish drove to their garages for repairs while Smith retired from the event. Most of the field, elected to make pit stops for tires and chassis adjustments. Martin led at the lap-12 restart, followed by his teammate Earnhardt, and Montoya. On the next lap, Montoya received assistance from Harvick to overtake Martin on the outside for the lead.[34][35]

 
Kevin Harvick (pictured in 2006) led seven times for a total of 41 laps, more than any other driver

Montoya only held the lead for one lap, however, as Earnhardt went to pass him for the position on the 14th lap. Earnhardt then weaved to block any driver from overtaking him. On lap 17, Harvick sought to claim the lead entering turn three, but he could not retain it, and Earnhardt led the lap. Nonetheless, Harvick took the position on the inside on the next lap, and he received assistance from Kahne and Sadler to keep his advantage. Sadler and Kahne passed Harvick for first and second on lap 22. On the next lap, Harvick returned to the lead as Kahne lost the draft and fell down the order. By lap 26, Kurt Busch had moved to second place. It came as Harvick, Kurt Busch and Sadler increased their advantage over the rest of the field to 1.4 seconds by the 30th lap. Kurt Busch turned to the inside line but he failed to pass Harvick for the lead. Although Kurt Busch fell to third when he was overtaken by Sadler on lap 34, he went to the inside to pass Harvick for the lead two laps later. After starting at the rear of the grid, Allmendinger advanced to second by the 38th lap. Green flag pit stops began on the next lap. On lap 45, Kurt Busch lost the lead as Allmendinger overtook him on the backstretch. Three laps later, Kurt Busch retook the lead by passing Allmendinger on the inside lane.[34][35]

Kurt Busch and Allmendinger entered pit road on lap 50, handing the lead to Logano. He held it until his own stop on the following lap, and Robby Gordon led the 51st lap. After the pit stops, Kurt Busch returned to the lead with Allmendinger in second and Johnson third. They pulled away from the rest of the field. On the 58th lap, Kyle Busch overtook Kahne to take over fifth place. Harvick was stranded on the inside lane, and fell to sixth as Kyle Busch and Kahne got ahead of him on the backstretch during lap 59.[34][35] On lap 65, Joe Nemechek spun heavily into the turn four wall, and Hornish avoided hitting him, necessitating the second caution.[34][36] The leaders, (including Kurt Busch), made pit stops for tires and car adjustments. Kenseth stayed on the track for one lap until making his own pit stop. Kurt Busch led at the lap-70 restart. On the following lap, Harvick helped Allmendinger retake the lead on the outside lane from Kurt Busch. Allmendinger turned to the inside on lap 72, and Harvick overtook him to reclaim the lead. However, Allemdinger got the lead back on lap 73 when cars on the inside lane were faster than those on the outside line. Four laps later, Bliss spun on the backstretch, damaging his car's rear left, and the third caution was triggered.[34][35]

During the caution, the leaders (including Allmendinger) made pit stops for fuel, tires and car adjustments. Allmendinger lost the lead because one of his crew members dropped a lug nut. Hamlin staggered his pit stop, allowing him to lead a solitary lap. Kurt Busch reclaimed the lead, and led at the restart of lap 81, followed by Biffle and Kyle Busch. On lap 82, Biffle received drafting assistance from Kyle Busch to overtake Kurt Busch and move into first place on the inside lane. Kurt Busch responded by challenging Biffle between laps 83 and 84 but was unable to pass him and get back to the lead. After starting towards the rear of the field, Gordon moved to third by the 86th lap. On lap 95, Kyle Busch passed Biffle on the outside lane to become the new leader. Soon after, Gordongot ahead of Biffle to take over the second position. Gordon later turned onto the outside line to overtake Kyle Busch at the conclusion of lap 98. Two laps later, Bowyer steered onto the outside line on the backstretch to get past Gordon and advanced to the lead.[34][35]

 
Greg Biffle (pictured in 2015) finished in third place after battling for the lead in the race's mid-point.

Kyle Busch attempted to overtake Bowyer in turn two on lap 102 but he could not successfully complete the pass. Gordon did the same four laps later and he was also not able to make the pass for the first position. On the 107th lap, Biffle made an overtaking manoevure on Bowyer to claim the lead. Bowyer responded by passing Biffle to retake the first position on the following lap. Biffle achieved a fast run on the inside and retook the lead from Bowyer on lap 110. He held it for one lap as Bowyer overtook him to lead the 111th lap. After David Ragan found a correct draft on the outside lane to move into second, he got ahead of Bowyer at the end of lap 113. Two laps later, Ragan lost the lead back to Bowyer.[34][35] John Andretti's tire cut,[37] and he crashed straight into the turn two wall on the 117th lap to bring out the fourth caution.[34][36] The majority of the leaders, including Bowyer, made pit stops for fuel, tires and car adjustments. Travis Kvapil, Boris Said each staggered their pit stops on laps 119 and 120 before Bowyer returned to first place on the 121st lap.[35]

On lap 122, a red flag was shown to stop the race for one hour, 40 minutes and 45 seconds because a 15 in (380 mm) long, 9 in (230 mm) wide and 2 in (51 mm) deep pothole emerged on the seam near the yellow line between turns one and two.[34][38] All cars were ordered to park on pit road so that track engineers could observe the damage.[39] They patched the pothole with two compounds that failed to rectify the problem due to moisture and the cold weather conditions, before a third allowed NASCAR to continue racing.[40][41] Drivers were recalled to their cars at 4:52 EST, and engines were re-started eight minutes later. Racing resumed under caution conditions, and the pit road was reopened for all drivers. Bowyer led from Ragan and Kahne on the inside lane at the lap-125 restart. Two laps later, Kahne received assistance from Sadler to retake the lead from Bowyer who turned onto the outside lane. Kahne then repelled Bowyer by turning to the outside line on the 129th lap, allowing Sadler to draw alongside him. Bowyer gained the lead on the next lap but it was Sadler who got in front before the start-finish line. On lap 131, Sadler lost the lead to Bowyer, but he got beside the latter and got the lead back for the next lap.[34][35]

Harvick made it three abreast on backstretch during the 136th lap, putting Sadler in the middle of the track, and Bowyer returned to the lead on the lap. Two laps later, Harvick got past his teammate Bowyer just before crossing the start-finish line. Gordon tried to overtake Bowyer for third place on lap 141, but Kahne gave assistance to the latter to block the pass.[34][35] On lap 142, fifth-placed Allmendinger lost control of his car in the fourth turn, narrowly avoided collecting Gordon, and spun into the backstretch. He avoided hitting the wall, and was stranded in the grass where his car caught fire, prompting the fifth caution.[34][35][42] During the caution, the majority of the field, (including Harvick), made pit stops for tires and car adjustments. Sadler had two tires installed on his car, and he led at the 146 restart, followed by Martin Truex Jr. and Harvick. Two laps later, Truex got help from Harvick to pass Sadler and become the new leader. On lap 150, Sadler went to the outside and fell to tenth place after an unsuccessful challenge for the first position. Harvick got the lead back by overtaking Truex on the inside on the next lap. On the 154th lap, Montoya took the lead for the second time until Harvick got ahead of him to reclaim the lead.[34][35]

 
Jamie McMurray (pictured in 2007) took the lead from Harvick on the penultimate lap and took his first Daytona 500 victory.

A competition caution was necessitated on lap 159 because the pothole between turns one and two re-emerged and it was larger than before.[34][35] On lap 161, the race was stopped for a second time, and all cars were again ordered to park on pit road for 44 minutes and 35 seconds.[35][41] Workers collected polyester resin products from multiple teams, that were mixed with a hardener. They then heated the compound with blow torches and jet dryers so that the mixture could safely driven over.[40][43] Drivers got back into their cars at 6:22 p.m. EST and they re-started their engines eight minutes later. The race restarted under caution conditions, as the leaders (including Harvick), made pit stops for tires and car adjustments. Speed took the lead and held it at the restart on lap 168. On the next lap, Biffle received drafting assistance from his teammates Ragan and Edwards on the outside lane to pass Speed for the first position. On the 176th lap, Speed regained the lead from Biffle on the inside lane. He battled Biffle for the next seven laps until Biffle got clear from him on lap 184. On lap 188, Edwards was overtaken by Kurt Busch for third place. The seventh caution was prompted six laps later, as Sadler lost control of his car on the backstretch and hit the barrier heavily, collecting Kvapil and Newman. On lap 198, Bowyer led Biffle and Truex at the restart.[34][35]

Biffle passed Bowyer for the lead on the backstretch before an eighth caution was waved for an accident on the next lap. Elliott and Logano made contact in the third turn, collecting Said. The race restarted with Biffle leading on lap 202 for a first attempt at a green–white–checker finish (extending the race by two laps). On the next lap, just as Harvick took the lead from Biffle in turn two, the ninth caution was prompted as Kahne was hit by Gordon on the backstretch and slid up the track, collecting Robert Richardson Jr. and Labonte. The race restarted for a second green–white–checker finish on the 206th lap (increasing the race's length to 208 laps), with Harvick leading Jamie McMurray.[34][35] Edwards delayed Harvick, enabling McMurray to take the lead with help from Biffle on the outside at turn three on lap 207.[34][35][38] Earnhardt moved from tenth to second within one and a half laps, but he could not challenge McMurray,[41] who claimed his first Daytona 500 win, his second at Daytona International Speedway, and the fourth of his career.[1] Additionally, team owner Chip Ganassi became the second man after Roger Penske to win the Indianapolis 500 and the Daytona 500.[44] Earnhardt finished second, Biffle took third, Bowyer fourth and Reutimann fifth. Truex, Harvick, Kenseth, Edwards and Montoya completed the top ten.[2] There was 52 lead changes among a then record-breaking 21 drivers during the race.[a][2][38] Harvick's 41 laps led was the highest of any competitor. McMurray led once for a total of two laps.[2]

Post-race commentsEdit

"I look around at everybody and I wonder how did I get here, You have a flashback of your entire racing career and you look back and pull little pieces of it out all through your career, thinking about the possibility of something like this happening. You’re always shooting for that, trying for that. You just get very reflective about everything, about every sacrifice you made, every tough meeting I’ve had with a crew chief or a driver or even Felix. The ups and downs of this business sure seem all worth it right now."

Earnhardt Ganassi Racing team owner Chip Ganassi talking about his success in the Daytona 500.[44]

McMurray appeared in Victory Lane after celebrating in the infield to commemorate his fourth career win in front of an estimated crowd of 175,000 people;[38][41] the win earned him $1,508,449.[2] He was emotional about his victory, saying, "I can’t really put it into words the way it feels. I’m trying to be genuine and as sincere as I can and not sound cliché: as a kid growing up, this is what you dream of, of being able to win the Daytona 500."[46] Earnhardt stated his second-place finish validated the changes his team undertook, and spoke that he was confident about his prospects over the coming races.[41] He said of the on-track action, "I went wherever they weren’t, I don’t enjoy being that aggressive. If there was room for the radiator, you hold the gas down and go. They did a lot to put the racing back in the driver’s hands. There was a ton of bumping out there and I never felt like anyone was looking over my shoulder."[47] Third-placed Biffle said he felt he made his move too soon on the first green–white–checker finish, "The restarts, I couldn’t get anybody to push me, I kept getting a run. I wish I waited until the backstretch to make my big run. I did it on the frontstretch. I gave Junior and all the guys too much of an opportunity to catch us.”[47]

The race marked the first time since the 2004 Advance Auto Parts 500 at Martinsville Speedway that a deteriorating track disrupted a NASCAR race.[38] The issue was attributed to the heavy weight of the cars (at 3,000 lb (1,400 kg)) uprooting the surface patch, and enlarging the pothole to twice its original size.[40] Daytona International Speedway president Robin Braig apologized for the track surface, and revealed that no issues were discovered during a pre-race inspection, "This is not supposed to happen, But we can come back from this. We know how to fix it. … We know how to do it right. I apologize for it. This is hallowed ground. We understand that. We accept the responsibility."[43] He additionally stated his belief that it was also by cars running too low to the ground for aerodynamic efficiency improvements.[43] It was later determined that several factors combined to cause the pothole's formation: a week of heavy rain that flooded the track in May 2009, the downpour a day before the race, below-average ground temperatures, and cars bottoming out and scraping the tarmac surface. Between 18 to February 20, the damaged area was repaired by engineers and asphalt specialists with a section of concrete measuring 6 ft (1.8 m) wide and 18 ft (5.5 m).[48] The track was later repaved from July 5 to December 10.[49]

Earnhardt was not satisfied with the revised green–white–checker finish rules because he was uncertain about the actions of drivers, but did not believe it was overdone, "I feel like the fans deserve probably more of a show, so that's what they got. The green-white-checkered was put into play to give us an opportunity to finish the race under green. Finishing under yellow is quite a melodramatic moment."[50] Gordon reiterated an earlier view of this that only one attempt should be made, "I believe in doing things for the fans but I also think they have their limits. It wasn't going to give us a winning day by not having multiple green-white-checkers but it would have saved us a race car."[50] Pemberton said the rule change confirmed that NASCAR hoped to achieve by increasing the amount of on-track action, and stressed that three attempts were made to finish the race, "I've seen great [Daytona 500s] that were a half-dozen cars duking it out, And this race right here, with the potential of the top 15 or 20 guys up there, in the last 25 miles, was incredible. A great race in my opinion though I've only watched 33 of 'em."[50]

Because this was the first race of the season, McMurray led the Drivers' Championship with 195 points, followed by Earnhardt with fifteen points less in second, and Biffle third. Bowyer stood in fourth and Harvick was fifth. Reutimann, Truex, Kenseth, Montoya, Edwards, Martin, and Burton rounded out the top twelve drivers.[51] In the Manufacturers' Championship, Chevrolet led with nine points, three points ahead of Ford in second. Toyota was in third place with four points, and Dodge completed the top four with three points.[52] The race attracted 13.294 million television viewers;[4] excluding the two stoppages, it took three hours, 47 minutes and 16 seconds to complete, and the margin of victory was 0.119 seconds.[2]

ResultsEdit

QualifyingEdit

Qualifying results
Grid No. Driver Team Manufacturer Reason Grid
1 5 Mark Martin Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Pole Winner 1
2 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Outside Pole Winner 2
3 48 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Duel Race 1 Winner 3
4 9 Kasey Kahne Richard Petty Motorsports Ford Duel Race 2 Winner 4
5 29 Kevin Harvick Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Second in Duel 1 5
6 14 Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet Second in Duel 2 6
7 18 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Third in Duel 1 7
8 42 Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevrolet Third in Duel 2 8
9 33 Clint Bowyer Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Fourth in Duel 1 9
10 2 Kurt Busch Penske Championship Racing Dodge Fourth in Duel 2 10
11 78 Regan Smith Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet Fifth in Duel 1 11
12 19 Elliott Sadler Richard Petty Motorsports Ford Fifth in Duel 2 12
13 1 Jamie McMurray Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevrolet Sixth in Duel 1 13
14 56 Martin Truex Jr. Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota Sixth in Duel 2 14
15 43 A. J. Allmendinger Richard Petty Motorsports Ford Seventh in Duel 1 151
16 20 Joey Logano Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Seventh in Duel 2 16
17 39 Ryan Newman Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet Eighth in Duel 1 17
18 47 Marcos Ambrose JTG Daugherty Racing Toyota Eighth in Duel 2 18
19 6 David Ragan Roush Fenway Racing Ford Ninth in Duel 1 19
20 00 David Reutimann Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota Ninth in Duel 2 20
21 24 Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Tenth in Duel 1 211
22 83 Brian Vickers Red Bull Racing Team Toyota Tenth in Duel 2 22
23 16 Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Racing Ford Eleventh in Duel 1 23
24 17 Matt Kenseth Roush Fenway Racing Ford Eleventh in Duel 2 24
25 11 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Twelfth in Duel 1 25
26 12 Brad Keselowski Penske Championship Racing Dodge Twelfth in Duel 2 26
27 99 Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Racing Ford Thirteenth in Duel 1 271
28 36 Mike Bliss Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet Duel Race 2 Transfer 28
29 55 Michael McDowell Prism Motorsports Toyota Duel Race 1 Transfer 29
30 82 Scott Speed Red Bull Racing Team Toyota Duel Race 2 Transfer 30
31 13 Max Papis Germain Racing Toyota Duel Race 1 Transfer 31
32 98 Paul Menard Richard Petty Motorsports Ford Fifteenth in Duel 2 32
33 34 John Andretti Front Row Motorsports Ford Sixteenth in Duel 1 33
34 7 Robby Gordon Robby Gordon Motorsports Toyota Nineteenth in Duel 2 34
35 37 Travis Kvapil Front Row Motorsports Ford Nineteenth in Duel 1 35
36 77 Sam Hornish Jr. Penske Championship Racing Dodge Twenty-sixth in Duel 1 36
37 38 Robert Richardson Jr. Front Row Motorsports Ford Twenty-third in Duel 1 37
38 26 Boris Said Latitude 43 Motorsports Ford Twenty-seventh in Duel 1 38
39 31 Jeff Burton Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Twenty-sixth in Duel 2 391
40 21 Bill Elliott Wood Brothers Racing Ford Speed provisional 40
41 87 Joe Nemechek NEMCO Motorsports Toyota Speed provisional 41
42 71 Bobby Labonte TRG Motorsports Chevrolet Speed provisional 42
43 51 Michael Waltrip Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota Speed provisional 431
Failed to qualify
44 90 Casey Mears Keyed-Up Motorsports Chevrolet
45 27 Todd Bodine Kirk Shelmerdine Racing Toyota
46 49 David Gilliland BAM Racing Toyota
47 46 Terry Cook Whitney Motorsports Dodge
48 75 Derrike Cope Stratus Racing Group Dodge
49 09 Aric Almirola Phoenix Racing Chevrolet
50 66 Dave Blaney Prism Motorsports Toyota
51 32 Reed Sorenson Braun Racing Toyota
52 92 Mike Wallace K-Automotive Motorsports Dodge
53 57 Norm Benning Norm Benning Racing Chevrolet
54 97 Jeff Fuller NEMCO Motorsports Toyota
Source:[22][53]
1 Moved to the back of the field for switching to a back-up car (#24, #31, #51) and for changing engines (#43, #99)

Race resultsEdit

Race results
Pos. Grid No. Driver Team Manufacturer Laps Points
1 13 1 Jamie McMurray Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 208 1901
2 2 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 208 1751
3 23 16 Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Racing Ford 208 1701
4 9 33 Clint Bowyer Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 208 1651
5 20 00 David Reutimann Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 208 155
6 14 56 Martin Truex Jr. Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 208 1551
7 5 29 Kevin Harvick Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 208 1562
8 24 17 Matt Kenseth Roush Fenway Racing Ford 208 142
9 27 99 Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Racing Ford 208 138
10 8 42 Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 208 1391
11 39 31 Jeff Burton Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 208 130
12 1 5 Mark Martin Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 208 1321
13 32 98 Paul Menard Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 208 124
14 7 18 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 208 1261
15 22 83 Brian Vickers Red Bull Racing Team Toyota 208 118
16 19 6 David Ragan Roush Fenway Racing Ford 208 1201
17 25 11 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 208 1171
18 43 51 Michael Waltrip Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 208 109
19 30 82 Scott Speed Red Bull Racing Team Toyota 208 1111
20 16 20 Joey Logano Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 208 1081
21 42 71 Bobby Labonte TRG Motorsports Chevrolet 208 100
22 6 14 Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 208 97
23 10 2 Kurt Busch Penske Championship Racing Dodge 208 991
24 12 19 Elliott Sadler Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 208 961
25 38 26 Boris Said Latitude 43 Motorsports Ford 208 931
26 21 24 Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 208 901
27 40 21 Bill Elliott Wood Brothers Racing Ford 208 82
28 34 7 Robby Gordon Robby Gordon Motorsports Toyota 207 841
29 35 37 Travis Kvapil Front Row Motorsports Ford 205 811
30 4 9 Kasey Kahne Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 202 781
31 37 38 Robert Richardson Jr. Front Row Motorsports Ford 202 70
32 15 43 A. J. Allmendinger Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 198 721
33 29 55 Michael McDowell Prism Motorsports Toyota 195 64
34 17 39 Ryan Newman Stewart-Haas Raing Chevrolet 193 61
35 3 48 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 185 58
36 26 12 Brad Keselowski Penske Championship Raicng Dodge 174 55
37 36 77 Sam Hornish Jr. Penske Championship Racing Dodge 160 52
38 33 34 John Andretti Front Row Motorsports Ford 117 49
39 11 78 Regan Smith Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet 90 46
40 31 13 Max Papis Germain Racing Toyota 89 43
41 18 47 Marcos Ambrose JTG Daugherty Racing Toyota 79 43
42 28 36 Mike Bliss Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet 76 37
43 41 87 Joe Nemechek NEMCO Motorsports Toyota 64 34
Source:[2]
1 Includes five bonus points for leading a lap
2 Includes ten bonus points for leading the most laps

Standings after the raceEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ The event record was bettered with 74 lead changes amongst 22 drivers at the 2011 Daytona 500.[45]

ReferencesEdit

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