Matt Kenseth, driver of the #17 Best Buy Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane with the Harley J. Earl Trophy after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 27, 2012 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Getty Images)more pics » Matt Kenseth (Getty Images)
It one of the more bizarre Daytona 500s in recent memory, complete with rain, fire, wreckage, fog, and delays, it was Matt Kenseth
who saw the checkered flag wave.
After a wild and unprecedented 36 hours of on-again-off-again racing, Kenseth held off Dale Earnhart Jr. and Greg Biffle in a two-lap overtime finish. "We had a really fast car and have fast cars in the past, and I figured out a way to mess it up," Kenseth said. "I am glad it all worked out."
The Daytona 500, which was supposed to run on Sunday afternoon, finished up Tuesday evening after a series of unfortunate and strange events. Rain caused NASCAR to postpone the race to Monday, but after a freak accident that caused a a fuel truck fire, the finish was pushed back another day.
"The thing that comes into my mind is NASCAR just can't catch a break," Earnhardt bemoaned. "We're trying to deliver, and we just have some unfortunate things happen such as the rain delay, potholes in the track a couple of years ago. We're a good sport, and we're trying to give a good product."
Although the race may be remembered for its craziness, Kenseth, who was well in the lead before Monday's delay, still earned his place in NASCAR history. Kenseth celebrated with his pit crew and wife amidst champagne showers and multiple trophy hoistings.
Relive the 2012 Daytona 500 with these amazing photos: