First, it was reports of rain surfacing in Turns 1 and 2 as well as on pit road while under caution for a Aric Almirola spin on the backstretch.
That was quickly followed by the red flag and within 16 minutes of it being thrown, the event is called for rain.
And Matt Kenseth is declared the winner of the 2009 Daytona 500. It is Kenseth’s, and team owner Jack Roush’s, first Daytona 500 victory.
The top ten is comprised of four Dodges with A.J. Allmendinger leading the way in third followed by Elliot Sadler (fifth), Reed Sorenson (ninth), and Kurt Busch (10th).
The leading Toyota was Michael Waltrip’s #55 in seventh (who’da bet on that?) closely followed by Stewart’s in eighth.
In fact, who would have bet on any in the Top Ten except Kenseth, Harvick (second), Stewart, and Ragan except Mother Nature, who obviously knew the “fix” was in long before any of us fans.
While on the subject of “fixes,” the overriding question leaving Daytona is when will Dale Earnhardt Jr. solve his pit road problems? If blown calls by the crew chief don’t kill his chances, Junior does it to himself as he did early in the event.
The crowd went wild as Jr. took the lead from Kyle Busch on lap 54 but that was short-lived. Junior pitted outside the box on Lap 120, and the No. 88 team was flagged by an official for a one-lap penalty.
A short four laps later came a melee of Junior diving below the yellow line attempting to pass Brian Vickers.
The wreck took out Kyle Busch, who had dominated to that point, Carl Edwards, Robby Gordon, Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson, Jamie McMurray, and Scott Speed.
With Kenseth winning, the Cat in the Hat must be feeling like he’s sitting in the Catbird Seat about now. Fontana is next week and Roush Racing has won three of the last six events, four of the last eight, and Kenseth has two of them.
Who will upstage Roush Racing?