Daytona 500 2012 Results: Daytona Win Will Propel Huge Season for Matt Kenseth

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistFebruary 28, 2012

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 27:  Matt Kenseth, driver of the #17 Best Buy Ford, poses with the Harley J. Earl Trophy in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 27, 2012 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Todd Warshaw/Getty Images

Matt Kenseth had a strong 2011. He's already proving to have an excellent 2012.

Kenseth survived a rain delay and then a two-hour delay after a crash on Lap 160 to win the Daytona 500 on Monday evening. He also held off a late charge on the last lap from Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

Kenseth is looking to build off of a strong 2011 that saw him finish fourth in the standings, win three races, finish in the top five on 12 occasions and run strong in the Chase. Had he not tangled with Brian Vickers down the Chase stretch, he may have won the Cup title.

Remember, with four races to go he was second in the chase and only trailed Carl Edwards by 14 points. Unfortunately, then he tangled with Vickers at Martinsville and Phoenix, causing poor finishes (31st at Martinsville, 34th in Phoenix) and subsequently killing his shot at a Cup title.

But he certainly got 2012 off on the right foot.

A win at Daytona is no guarantee for success in the future, but coupled with the season Kenseth had in 2011, it certainly appears that he is a driver to be reckoned with this year.


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