Date: Sunday, Feb. 24
Start Time: 1 p.m. ET
Site: Daytona International Speedway (1959) -- Daytona Beach, Fla.
Track: 2.5-mile tri-oval - 3,800 feet (Frontstretch); 3,000 feet (Backstretch)
Capacity: 146,000 (Grandstand Seating)
On TV: FOX
On Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio
Race record: Buddy Baker, 1980 (177.602 mph)
Qualifying record: Bill Elliott, 1987 (210.364 mph)
Defending champion: Matt Kenseth
Runner up: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Pole winner: Carl Edwards (194.738 mph)
1. Matt Kenseth (Start: 4)
2. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (5)
3. Greg Biffle (2)
4. Denny Hamlin (31)
5. Jeff Burton (9)
6. Paul Menard (37)
7. Kevin Harvick (13)
8. Carl Edwards (1)
9. Joey Logano (12)
10. Mark Martin (22)
Average speed: 140.256 mph
Time of race: 3 hrs., 26 mins., 2 secs.
Margin of victory: 0.210 secs.
Caution flags: 16 for 60 laps (race record)
Lead changes: 25 among 13 drivers
2012 Matt Kenseth, Ford, 140.256 mph
2011 Trevor Bayne, Ford, 130.326 mph
2010 Jamie McMurray, , 137.284 mph
2009 *Matt Kenseth, Ford, 132.816 mph
2008 Ryan Newman, Dodge, 152.672 mph
2007 Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 149.335 mph
2006 Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 142.667 mph
2005 Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 135.173 mph
2004 Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, 156.345 mph
2003 *Michael Waltrip, Chevrolet, 133.870 mph
2002 Ward Burton, Dodge, 142.971 mph
2001 Michael Waltrip, Chevrolet, 161.794 mph
2000 Dale Jarrett, Ford, 155.669 mph
1999 Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 161.551 mph
1998 Dale Earnhardt, Chevrolet, 172.712 mph
1997 Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 148.295 mph
1996 Dale Jarrett, Ford, 154.308 mph
1995 Sterling Marlin, Chevrolet, 141.710 mph
1994 Sterling Marlin, Chevrolet, 156.931 mph
1993 Dale Jarrett, Chevrolet, 154.972 mph
1992 Davey Allison, Ford, 168.256 mph
1991 Ernie Irvan, Chevrolet, 148.148 mph
1990 Derrike Cope, Chevrolet, 165.761 mph
1989 Darrell Waltrip, Chevrolet, 148.466 mph
1988 Bobby Allison, Buick, 137.531 mph
1987 Bill Elliott, Ford, 176.263 mph
1986 Geoff Bodine, Chevrolet, 148.124 mph
1985 Bill Elliott, Ford, 172.265 mph
1984 Cale Yarborough, Chevrolet, 150.994 mph
1983 Cale Yarborough, Pontiac, 155.979 mph
1982 Bobby Allison, Buick, 153.991 mph
1981 Richard Petty, Buick, 169.651 mph
1980 Buddy Baker, Oldsmobile, 177.602 mph (race record)
1979 Richard Petty, Oldsmobile, 143.977 mph
1978 Bobby Allison, Ford, 159.730 mph
1977 Cale Yarborough, Chevrolet, 153.218 mph
1976 David Pearson, Mercury, 152.181 mph
1975 Benny Parsons, Chevrolet, 153.649 mph
1974 Richard Petty, Dodge, 140.894 mph
1973 Richard Petty, Dodge, 157.205 mph
1972 A.J. Foyt, Mercury, 161.550 mph
1971 Richard Petty, Plymouth, 144.462 mph
1970 Pete Hamilton, Plymouth, 149.601 mph
1969 LeeRoy Yarborough, Ford, 157.950 mph
1968 Cale Yarborough, Mercury, 143.251 mph
1967 Mario Andretti, Ford, 146.926 mph
1966 *Richard Petty, Plymouth, 160.627 mph
1965 *Fred Lorenzen, Ford, 141.539 mph
1964 Richard Petty, Plymouth, 154.334 mph
1963 Tiny Lund, Ford, 151.566 mph
1962 Fireball Roberts, Pontiac, 152.529 mph
1961 Marvin Panch, Pontiac, 149.601 mph
1960 Junior Johnson, Chevrolet, 124.740 mph
1959 Lee Petty, Oldsmobile, 135.521 mph
Race: The Sprint Unlimited at Daytona (Feb. 16)
Site: Daytona International Speedway -- Daytona Beach, Fla.
Finish line order: Kevin Harvick, Greg Biffle, Joey Logano, Tony Stewart, Matt Kenseth
Time of Race: 1 hr., 3 mins., 22 secs.
Average speed: 177.538 mph
Margin of victory: 0.149 secs.
Caution flags: 3 for 4 laps
Lead changes: 9 among 5 drivers
Lap leaders: C. Edwards - pole; G. Biffle 1-2; M. Truex Jr. 3-4; M. Kenseth C. Edwards - pole; G. Biffle 1-2; M. Truex Jr. 3-4; M. Kenseth 5-29; T. Stewart 30-33; K. Harvick 34-42; T. Stewart 43; K. Harvick 44-61; M. Kenseth 62; K. Harvick 63-75.
#1 Jamie McMurray (Joplin, MO) Chevrolet/McDonald's Chevrolet
#2 Brad Keselowski (Rochester Hills, MI) Ford/Miller Lite
#5 Kasey Kahne (Enumclaw, WA) Chevrolet/Farmers Insurance
#7 Dave Blaney (Hartford, OH) Chevrolet/Florida Lottery
#9 Marcos Ambrose (Launceston, Australia) Ford/Stanley Ford
#10 Danica Patrick (Roscoe, IL) Chevrolet/GoDaddy
#11 Denny Hamlin (Chesterfield, VA) Toyota/FedEx Express
#13 Casey Mears (Bakersfield, CA) Ford/GEICO
#14 Tony Stewart (Columbus, IN) Chevrolet/Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1
#15 Clint Bowyer (Emporia, KS) Toyota/5-Hour Energy
#16 Greg Biffle (Vancouver, WA) Ford/3M
#17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (Olive Branch, MS) Ford/Best Buy
#18 Kyle Busch (Las Vegas, NV) Toyota/M&M's
#19 Mike Bliss (Milwaukie, OR) Chevrolet/G-Oil/Plinker Tactical
#20 * Matt Kenseth (Cambridge, WI) Toyota/Dollar General
#21 Trevor Bayne (Knoxville, TN) Ford/Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire
#22 Joey Logano (Middletown, CT) Ford/Shell/Pennzoil
#24 Jeff Gordon (Vallejo, CA) Chevrolet/Drive to End Hunger
#26 Michael Waltrip (Owensboro, KY) Toyota/Sandy Hook School Support
#27 Paul Menard (Eau Claire, WI) Chevrolet/Menards/Peak
#29 Kevin Harvick (Bakersfield, CA) Chevrolet/Budweiser
#31 Jeff Burton (South Boston, VA) Chevrolet/Caterpillar
#32 Terry Labonte (Corpus Christi, TX) Ford/C&J Energy Services
#33 Austin Dillon (Welcome, NC) Chevrolet/Honey Nut Cheerios
#34 David Ragan (Unadilla, GA) Ford/Detail Doctor
#35 Josh Wise (Riverside, CA) Ford/MDS Transport
#36 J.J. Yeley (Phoenix, AZ) Chevrolet/Golden Corral
#38 David Gilliland (Riverside, CA) Ford/Love's
#39 Ryan Newman (South Bend, IN) Chevrolet/Quicken Loans
#42 Juan Pablo Montoya (Bogota, Colombia) Chevrolet/Target
#43 Aric Almirola (Tampa, FL) Ford/Smithfield
#47 Bobby Labonte (Corpus Christi, TX) Toyota/Kroger
#48 Jimmie Johnson (El Cajon, CA) Chevrolet/Lowe's
#51 Regan Smith (Cato, NY) Chevrolet/Guy Roofing
#52 Brian Keselowski (Rochester Hills, MI) Toyota/truckerfan.com
#55 Mark Martin (Batesville, AR) Toyota/Aaron's Dream Machine
#56 Martin Truex Jr. (Mayetta, NJ) Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts
#78 Kurt Busch (Las Vegas, NV) Chevrolet/Furniture Row
#83 David Reutimann (Zephyrhills, FL) Toyota/Burger King/Dr. Pepper
#87 Joe Nemechek (Lakeland, FL) Toyota/Florida DOT
#88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Kannapolis, NC) Chevrolet/National Guard
#93 Travis Kvapil (Janesville, WI) Toyota/Burger King/Dr. Pepper
#95 Scott Speed (Manteca, CA) Ford/Leavine Family Racing
#98 Michael McDowell (Glendale, AZ) Ford/K-Love/Curb Records
#99 Carl Edwards (Columbia, MO) Ford/Fastenal
|Dale Earnhardt Jr||Won||3||8||32||9||27||2||24||2|
|Martin Truex Jr||34||16||29||20||11||6||19||12|
|Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||20|
|Juan Pablo Montoya||19||32||14||10||6||36|
Last Sunday, Danica Patrick became the first female to win a pole for a race in NASCAR's top series (Sprint Cup). Patrick, who is a rookie-of-the-year contender in the series this year, claimed the pole for the Daytona 500 with a qualifying lap at 196.434 mph (45.816 seconds) during time trials. Jeff Gordon grabbed the second starting position with a lap at 196.292 mph (45.850 secs.). The rest of the 43-car field for this race was determined in Thursday's Budweiser Duel (twin qualifying races).
Matt Kenseth, who is in his first season as driver of the No. 20 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing, is the defending winner of this race.
Last year's Daytona 500 featured a first for this event. It was delayed one day due to rain. The race also ran from start to finish at night for the first time. After the weather in the Daytona Beach area had improved on Monday afternoon, the 2.5-mile track was dried in time for a 7 p.m. ET start time.
By the time Kenseth hoisted the Harley J. Earl Trophy for winning the Daytona 500 a second time in his career, it was past 1 a.m. on Tuesday, thanks to a lengthy delay for a freakish accident that occurred with 40 laps to go. Juan Pablo Montoya's car slammed into a track-drying vehicle while the race was under caution. Montoya was traveling at a high rate of speed on the backstretch while rejoining the field, but he lost control and slid into the back of the dryer located in turn three. The vehicle, which had jet fuel on board, burst into flames. The fuel then spilled down the track in the turn area before a fire erupted. Track personnel were successful in repairing the track surface affected by the fire.
Kenseth overcame overheating issues and then avoided two big crashes on the tri-oval before holding off Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Greg Biffle in a green- white-checkered finish to win the race. A pair of multi-car wrecks occurred on the tri-oval during the closing laps. Seven drivers were involved in the first one, while eight were caught up in the last incident, which set up the two-lap overtime finish. Kenseth pulled away from Biffle and Earnhardt Jr. coming out of the final turn on the last lap. He beat Earnhardt Jr. to the finish line by 0.2 seconds. Kenseth's first Daytona 500 win came in 2009, a race that was curtailed because of rain.
Those drivers who have won back-to-back Daytona 500s include: Sterling Marlin, Richard Petty and Cale Yarborough. Marlin was the last driver who accomplished the feat, doing so from 1994-95. He's also the only driver whose first two career wins in the Cup Series occurred in the Daytona 500. Petty won this race consecutively from 1973-74, and Yarborough scored back-to-back victories from 1983-84.
Trevor Bayne is the youngest winner of the Daytona 500. Bayne won this race one day after he celebrated his 20th birthday on Feb. 20, 2011. When he was 50 years, 2 months and 11 days old, Bobby Allison became the oldest driver to win the Daytona 500 on Feb. 14, 1988.
Petty holds the record for most Daytona 500 wins with seven ((1964, '66, '71, '73, '74, '79, '81). Gordon leads all active drivers with three victories in this race (1997, '99 and 2005).
Lee Petty won the inaugural Daytona 500 on Feb. 22 1959. With more than 41,000 in attendance at the newly-built DIS, Lee Petty beat Johnny Beauchamp in a photo finish to win the race. However, the winner was not decided until 61 hours after the checkered flag had waved. NASCAR founder Bill France Sr. reviewed the finish from a newsreel and concluded that Petty crossed the line just two feet ahead of Beauchamp.
Since NASCAR began using electronic timing and scoring in 1993, the closest margin of victory in the Daytona 500 happened in 2007 when Kevin Harvick nipped Mark Martin to finish line by only 0.02 seconds.
The quickest a Daytona 500 has been completed occurred in 1980 when Buddy Baker, driving an Oldsmobile, finished the race in 2 hours, 48 minutes and 55 seconds at an average speed of 177.602 mph.
Seven drivers recorded their first career Cup Series victories in the Daytona 500: Tiny Lund (1963), Mario Andretti (1967), Pete Hamilton (1970), Derrike Cope (1990), Marlin (1994), Michael Waltrip (2001) and Bayne (2011).
Four drivers who are competing in this year's Daytona 500 made their first career Cup start in this race: Tony Stewart (1999), Casey Mears (2003), Kasey Kahne (2004) and Patrick (2012).
The purse for this year's Daytona 500 will be $19,339,134, with at least $1,444,850 awarded to the race winner. The second-place finisher is guaranteed to collect $1,063450, while the third-place finisher gets $773,000. Last year's purse for the Daytona 500 was $19,142,601. Kenseth had a $1,588,887 payday for his victory.
The driver who leads the 100th lap in the Daytona 500 will collect a $200,000 bonus. Martin Truex Jr. led the way at the halfway point in last year's race to claim the inaugural "Daytona 500 Mid-Race Leader Award."
Actor James Franco will serve as Grand Marshal for this year's Daytona 500. Franco stars in the Disney adventure fantasy film "Oz The Great and Powerful," which is scheduled for release on March 8. His other film credits include: "127 Hours," in which he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor, the "Spider-Man" trilogy, "Milk," "Pineapple Express" and "Rise of the Planet of the Apes."
The next Sprint Cup Series race is the March 3 Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. Denny Hamlin won last year's race there.