Only one in the 43-driver field can take home the Harley J. Earl Trophy from Daytona. The rest of the field will take home memories, some to be treasured and others best forgotten.
Being a winner of the Great American Race is a prestigious title they will carry throughout their life. Many dreams are fulfilled—and shattered—at Daytona.
Just making the race is an accomplishment, and the events that often unfold can be daring and dramatic.
The 54th running of the Daytona 500 is in the books. The return of pack racing gave the fans what they wanted, and other odd events brought them even more.
The two-car tandems still worked because it is just plain faster, but it had to be brief to avoid the overheating problems inherent in pack racing.
With the return of some semblance of old-school, restrictor-plate racing, we saw many feats of daring drama and, of course, accidents.
Certain drivers were the focus of attention for specific reasons—some good and some not so good. Let's take a look at some of the best performances in the 2012 Daytona 500.