Matt Kenseth Wins 2012 Daytona 500 Amid Lengthy Delay [VIDEO]
After multiple rain delays and a two hour Red Flag stoppage, the 2012 Daytona 500 finished Tuesday morning with a repeat winner. Matt Kenseth gained his first lead lap on lap 146 (of 200) and went on to win his second career Daytona 500 ahead of Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Greg Biffle. Kenseth’s win came after 10th Caution Flag of the race forced a Green-White-Checkered finish.
The two hour Red Flag stoppage came with 40 laps left in the race during a caution. Juan Pablo Montoya was driving along Turn 3 trying to get back with the pack of cars when he lost control of his car. Montoya’s car spun and careened into a modified tow truck outfitted with a jet engine being used to dry the track. Montoya’s car and the jet engine apparatus both caught fire.
Montoya and the driver of the truck both escaped injuries as emergency personnel hurriedly worked to put out the blaze.
After the fire was put out, track officials then had to clear the track of the burned truck, jet fuel, debris, repair a gash caused when a forklift removed the truck and dry the track of water and fire retardant. The two hour delay allowed drivers the time to leave their cars, congregate on the backstretch, post on Twitter and grab a bathroom break.
There were 10 cautions and 27 lead changes in 3-plus hours of racing. Denny Hamlin actually led the most laps during the race with 57 and Kenseth was second with 50 laps led.
The Daytona 500 was scheduled for its traditional Sunday afternoon start and it was rained out. Then it was supposed to take place at Monday at Noon Eastern, but further showers pushed the start of the race back to 7p EST. The Daytona 500 ended at 12:56a EST, Tuesday.