Sunday, February 22, 2015

Joey Logano Wins 57th Daytona 500

Joey Logano won his first career Daytona 500 after leading 31 laps under the yellow flag for a last lap accident. Logano held off defending champion Kevin Harvick, defending Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Denny Hamlin and Jimmie Johnson on the first and only green-white-checkered attempt for the victory.

Casey Mears finished sixth, his third career top ten finish in the Daytona 500 and the second consecutive year the nephew of four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Rick Mears has finished in the top ten in The Great American Race. Clint Bowyer finished seventh with his former teammate Martin Truex finishing eighth. Washingtonians Kasey Kahne and Greg Biffle rounded out the top ten.

David Gilliland came home 11th for Front Row Motorsports with Sam Hornish, Jr. in 12th, a career best finish for the 2006 Indianapolis 500 winner in the Daytona 500. Michael Annett finished 13th in his first race for HScott Motorsports. Austin Dillon finished 14th and Aric Almirola rounded out the top fifteen in the #43 Ford.

Regan Smith finished 16th after stepping into the #41 Chevrolet on short notice substituting for the suspended Kurt Busch. David Ragan finished 17th with Truck Series regulars and ThorSport teammates Johnny Sauter and Matt Crafton 18th and 19th respectively. Crafton made his Cup series debut substituting for an injured Kyle Busch. A.J. Allmendinger rounded out the top twenty.

Danica Patrich finished 21st with Cole Whitt in 22nd. Jamie McMurray overcame right side damage to finish 23rd. Carl Edwards finished 24th in his first race with Joe Gibbs Racing. Two-time Daytona 500 winner Michael Waltrip finished 25th. Former Cup champion Bobby Labonte finished 26th. Paul Menard finished 27th in the #27 Chevrolet. Menard's Richard Childress Racing teammate Ty Dillon came home in 28th. Roush Fenway Racing teammates Ricky Stenhouse, Jr and Trevor Bayne rounded out the top thirty.

Michael McDowell, Reed Sorenson, and Jeff Gordon were the final cars on the lead lap after get together on the back straightaway, drawing the caution that ended the race. Kyle Larson was also involved and finished one lap down.

Matt Kenseth couldn't overcome early damage after getting into the back of Ryan Blaney and finished a lap down in 35th. Mike Wallace finished 36th in his first Daytona 500 since 2007. Justin Allgaier retired from the race after being involved in an accident with Ty Dillon. Allgaier's caution was the one that forced the green-white-checkered finish. Ryan Newman finished 38th. Ryan Blaney's engine failed on his Daytona 500 debut and he finished 39th.

J.J. Yeley, Brad Keselowski, Tony Stewart and Landon Cassill round out the top field. Keselowski and Cassill each had engine failures while Stewart suffered suspension damage after cotntact with the outside wall in the first quarter of the race.

This is Team Penske's second Daytona 500 victory. Ryan Newman won for the team in 2008. This is Ford's 14th Daytona 500 victory. Ford becomes the first manufacture to sweep the three national touring division races at Daytona with Logano's victory. Tyler Reddick won the Truck race Friday night and Ryan Reed won the Grand National race Saturday.

The second round of the NASCAR Cup season will be held at Atlanta next Sunday.