Racingone Rewind: Daytona 500

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    DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - A look back at Kevin Harvick's win in Sunday's 49th running of the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway including news, notes and observations by RacingOne's own Pete Pistone and Jeff Wackerlin.

    RacingOneCast
    Click Here to watch RacingOne's at-track video webcast recap of Sunday's Daytona 500 brought to you by racetickets.com. itunes Podcast

    Inside Line
    Kevin Harvick slipped by Mark Martin on the outside in a race to the finish line, just as a caution flew, to score his first career Daytona 500 win. Race Story

    Keys to Victory Lane
    Harvick got a run on the outside lane coming off Turn 4, as the checkered and caution flag waved, to edge across the finish line first.

    Zero to Hero
    A toss-up between the low-budgeted team of Mike Wallace, who came home fourth, and David Ragan, who notched a top-five finish in his first Daytona 500 start.

    Hero to Zero
    Tony Stewart was the dominant driver all week long and despite getting penalized to the rear of the field for a pit road speeding penalty, he worked his way back to the lead - only to get into an accident with Kurt Busch that knocked him out of the race and doomed him to a 43rd-place finish.

    Rookie of the Race
    David Ragan took over the No. 6 Roush Racing Ford that Mark Martin vacated, and turned in the best run of the race's freshman class with a fifth-place finish.

    Notables
    Elliott Sadler and Kasey Kahne had their crew chiefs suspended in last week's cheating scandal, but still finished sixth and seventh, respectively, with their interim chiefs. Jeff Gordon was forced to start 42nd after his Duel penalty, but rallied back to come home 10th. And how about Johnny Sauter, who ran in the lead pack much of the day and notched a 16th-place finish after starting 41st.

    What's the Points?
    Harvick has the lead, but more importantly a win for the new seeding process based on victories for the "Chase."

    Daytona 500 Loop Data Leaders
  • Average Running Position: Kyle Busch - 4.614
  • Fastest Early In a Run: Sterling Marlin - 186.538 mph
  • Fastest Late In a Run: Johnny Sauter - 183.720 mph
  • Fastest in Turn 1: J.J. Yeley - 189.529 mph
  • Fastest in Turn 2: Kyle Busch - 184.354 mph
  • Fastest in Turn 3: Kyle Busch - 186.333 mph
  • Fastest in Turn 4: Johnny Sauter - 181.844 mph
  • Fastest Laps Run: David Gilliland - 13
  • Fastest on Restarts: David Reutimann - 181.047 mph
  • Most Passes During Green Flag Conditions: Jeff Gordon - 290

    Pit Stops
  • Kevin Harvick won his 11th NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victory in 179 races. Detailed Active Driver Wins
  • Harvick's starting position of 34th was the lowest starting position of a Daytona 500 winner ever. He also was the first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup driver to win a race from the 34th starting position in the series' history. Starting Position Facts
  • Harvick's four laps led are tied for the fewest laps led by the Daytona 500 champion (Benny Parsons, 1975).
  • Harvick is the first reigning NASCAR Busch Series champion to win the Daytona 500 the following year.
  • Harvick became the fourth driver to have won the Daytona Busch and Cup races in the same year.
  • The 0.020 second margin of victory was the eighth closest NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series finish overall and the closest Daytona 500 since the advent of electronic scoring in 1993.
  • The victory was Richard Childress Racing's first Daytona 500 win since Dale Earnhardt in 1998. Detailed Active Car Owner Wins
  • Kurt Busch led the most laps despite crashing on lap 152. Lap Summary
  • Harvick won the 597th race overall for Chevrolet and 37th race for the manufacturer at Daytona. All-Time Manufacturer Wins
  • Mark Martin's second-place finish was his best NEXTEL Cup finish at Daytona in 44 starts there.
  • Third-place finisher Jeff Burton posted his best finish at Daytona since joining Richard Childress Racing in 2005.
  • Mike Wallace posted his best Daytona finish of fourth, and his fourth top 10 there in 18 starts.
  • Jimmie Johnson saw his 105-race streak of finishing in the top 10 end with his 39th-place finish (sixth longest streak in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series history).
  • Polesitter David Gilliland posted his best NASCAR NEXTEL Cup finish of eighth in his 16th career start.
  • The 202-lap race saw 14 lead changes among ten drivers and an average speed of 149.333 mph.
  • Seven caution flags were thrown for 25 laps.
  • The Daytona 500 lasted 3 hours, 22 minutes, 55 seconds.

    Lug Nuts
  • Hang on, let us catch our breath.
  • Okay, we're back. NASCAR couldn't have gotten a better wish come true than with what transpired on Sunday; a great race with excitement, drama, some controversy and one of the wildest finishes in the sport's history.
  • Sunday's race put the cheating scandal out of the spotlight, but the controversy of did they or didn't they throw the caution before the field raced to the finish line might open a new can of worms.
  • With all the excess boxes of Daytona 500 cologne laying around in the media center it makes us wonder if that was the illegal substance found in the No. 55 car’s intake manifold.
  • This is a tale of two races, the first 400 miles and the craziness of the final 50.
  • By the way everyone, Harvick just swept another Busch-Cup weekend. The more things change....
  • Can someone please find Tony Stewart? Everyone thought he'd be hopping mad after the incident with Kurt Busch, but now kind and gentle Tony was the guy talking to reporters. Did he get Paxil as a sponsor this off season?
  • Grand Marshal Nicolas Cage had a big weekend with his new movie "Ghost Rider" taking in $44 million at the box office. Maybe a cup of coffee next time he's at a race to give the command to start engines would be in order, he was a bit timid on Sunday.
  • Too bad Cage left the race to spend the Chinese New Year with his wife. He missed a good one.
  • Kelly Clarkson will be this year's Jewel for NASCAR promotion. It's probably a wash, but at least the American Idol winner seems more awake.

    Garage Talk
  • "This had to be the wildest Daytona 500 I've ever watched. I kept my eyes shut there for a little while it was so wild." - Richard Childress
  • "I really wanted to win that thing. They were going to have to pry it out of my fingers, man." - Mark Martin
  • "It just wasn't meant to be today. I'm still disappointed, but we've got a lot to be proud of. We had an awesome Speedweeks." - Tony Stewart
  • "He's not a dumbass. He's a pretty smart guy." - Jeff Burton on Mark Martin going to Ginn Racing.

    RacingOne Rating
    On a scale of one to ten Daytona International Speedway windbreakers (man it was chilly in Florida this week), we'll give Sunday's Daytona 500 a ten, but only because an 11 is not an option. What more could you want from a race, let alone the biggest one of the season. The first half was a little dull, but you could feel things getting tighter and tighter as the laps wound down. Once Stewart and Busch tangled, all heck broke lose and the wild finish will go down in history right behind the fighting finish between Donnie Allison and Cale Yarborough in 1979. Things should quiet down a little next week, we think, with a trip west to California Speedway.

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