The 2012 Daytona 500 was won early Tuesday morning by Matt Kenseth in the number 17 Best Buy car.
This was quite a race, adding to the increasingly whacky history of the Daytona 500. The pre-race festivities, such as the national anthem and prayer, were completed on Sunday afternoon. The race was postponed until noon on Monday because of rain. It was the first time in Daytona 500 history the race has been postponed to another day.
Monday at noon saw drizzling rain, and the race was postponed again, this time until 7 PM that evening.
By Monday evening, the track was dry and the race was on. An early wreck took Danica Patrick’s car out for repairs. The first time Daytona 500 driver returned to the race eventually, but finished in 38th place, 64 laps behind the leaders.
Another wreck, oddly during a caution, resulted in a fiery inferno completely blocking the track. Juan Pablo Montoya was coming around the track to catch up with the pack behind the pace car. Something, at this point still unidentified, broke, and Montoya lost control of his car. The car slid into a jet engine pulled behind a truck, which was blowing debris off the track during the caution. There was an explosion and approximately 200 gallons of jet fuel spilled onto the track and caught fire. The fire created a wall of flame across the track until it was extinguished by track personal and fire fighters. It took over 2 hours for the wrecked machinery and spilled fuel to be cleaned up. Neither Montoya nor the driver of the blower was seriously injured.
The race resumed just after midnight, stretching the Daytona 500 into Tuesday morning.
Kenseth crossed the finish line just before 1 AM. The top 10 finishers (results unofficial at time of writing): Matt Kenseth, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Greg Biffle, Denny Hamlin, Jeff Burton, Paul Menard, Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards, Joey Logano, and Mark Martin.