|Jimmie Johnson was an early victim|
Roush Fenway Racing's 3 full time cars occupied 3 of the top for positions on the starting grid with Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle locking out the front row, with Matt Kenseth in fourth following his win in the second Gatorade Duel last Thursday. Defending chapion Tony Stewart was third in his Chevrolet after his win in the first Duel, The Sprint Cup's most popular driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr. was 5th whilst series debutant Danica Patrick, only the third woman to start 'The Great American Race' lined up in 29th in a back up car following a frightening wreck during her Duel race on Thursday.
|Danica Patrick's first 500 ended in misery|
Once the race got underway, it took just over one lap for the first wreck of the evening to happen. At the start of lap 2, the #33 of Elliot Sadler got into 5 time champion Jimmie Johnson causing a massive pile up that claimed many big name drivers. Johnson, Kurt Busch, Danica Patrick and last year's winner Trevor Bayne were all victims of the pile up. Johnson took a huge hit in the driver's side but was released from the infield care center uninjured. Danica Patrick and Trevor Bayne would later rejoin the race. a Further cation came on lap 88 thanks to a rare Hendrick engine failure for Jeff Gordon in the #24.
Denny Hamlin led most of the first half of the race. He led 57 laps, more than any other driver. Other early leaders included Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle but it was Martin Truex Jr. who led at the halfway point to take home a $200,000 cash prize. One of the favourites, Kyle Busch was never a threat whitsh the Hendrick organisation only had one car finish with star drivers Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and new signing Kasey Khane all getting eliminated.
|Montoya caused this huge blaze at turn 3 with 40 to go|
Becuase of the red flag, this Daytona 500 became not only the first to run on a Monday, but the first to run on a Tuesday with the race now heading for a 1 AM finish.
|Kenseth leads Biffle and Earnhardt Jr. heading into the final lap|
|Kenseth celebrates his second Daytona 500 win in Victory Lane|