Monday, 24 February 2014

Dale Earnhardt Jr. wins dramatic Daytona 500

Dale Earnhardt Jr. claimed his second Daytona 500 win last night, holding off Denny Hamlin to take the checkered flag.

Earnhardt Jr., who's second 500 victory comes ten years after his first, was strong in the latter part of the event, which had earlier been delayed for over six hours due to rain.

Hamlin, who finished second ahead of 2012 champion Brad Keselowski, was aiming to sweep Speedweeks after triumphing in the Sprint Unlimited and his Budweiser Duel qualifying race.

It was a good event on the whole for Hendrick Chevrolet engines which, after being plagued with engine troubles earlier on in Speedweeks, had three cars finish in the top five with Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson in fourth and fifth in addition Earnhardt Jr.

2009 and 2012 Daytona 500 winner Matt Kenseth- also victorious in the first Budweier Duel - finished sixth ahead of the strong Roush pair Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Greg Biffle. Pole-sitter Austin Dillon came home ninth with Casey Mears rounding out the top ten.

It was a disappointing event for Martin Truex Jr. who, after crashing in his Budweiser Duel and switching to a backup car, thus loosing his front row starting position, became the first retirement of the race. His engine expired after 28 laps.

Rookie of the year contender Kyle Larson also endured a trying race, being involved in several wrecks, a multi-car incident ending his race on lap 160.

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