5 Most Disappointing Performances at 2013 Daytona 500
Sunday's Daytona 500 turned out to be an exciting, historical race.
Drivers were given the chance to stand out, and Danica Patrick managed to take full advantage of the opportunity as she became the first female driver to lead a lap at Daytona under green flag conditions.
However, other drivers suffered bad luck and left the field after disappointing performances.
Some of the top drivers were taken out in the two multi-car crashes that occurred during the race.
Other drivers simply ran into car problems and didn’t deliver during the end of the race after dominating early on.
Everyone wants to win the Daytona 500, but in the end it's still a points race. These five drivers put on the most disappointing performances at Daytona and will have to try to catch up in the standings next week at Phoenix.
5. Carl Edwards
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Carl Edwards hoped to start the 2013 season in a positive way.
He almost accomplished his goal but ended his day in the garage when he got caught up in the second multi-car wreck at Daytona.
Edwards has been paired with a new crew chief, Jimmy Fennig, and hoped to have success at Daytona closer to his 2011 second-place finish.
Now that the Daytona 500 is finally over, Edwards will be happy to move on, to say the least.
He wrecked a car during testing earlier in January, at the Sprint Unlimited, another at practice last Wednesday and one during the Budweiser Duel.
Carl expected to turn his performance from last season around, and fans were hoping he would, too.
However, his bad luck looks like it's going to continue into the 2013 season.
4. Kevin Harvick
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Kevin Harvick was going for the sweep on Sunday. He won the Sprint Unlimited, one of the Budweiser duels and tried to complete the package with a Daytona 500 win.
He looked like he had a strong car, too, as he raced toward the front during the beginning of the event.
Unfortunately, Harvick was another strong pick to win the Daytona 500 who wouldn't get the chance to deliver.
The Closer got caught up in the first wreck of the race, and it ended his day.
Harvick was quoted by David Newton after the wreck (h/t ESPN.com) as saying:
I let off a little bit to miss the wreck. It looked like the No. 18 hooked the No. 5, and that kind of just started a chain reaction. I don't know who was behind me, but just one of those deals.
Harvick won one race last season, and he seemed to be heading in the right direction this year.
Instead, the only direction Harvick headed to was the garage.
3. Tony Stewart
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Tony Stewart pulled off a major block on Marcos Ambrose during the Sprint Unlimited race last week that started a multi-car crash.
However, Smoke managed to gain control of his car and avoided spinning out.
He would go on to win the Nationwide race at Daytona on Saturday as well.
Stewart showed he isn't afraid to be aggressive, and he had the right attitude to win the Daytona 500.
Unfortunately, he was another favorite to win the race that didn't get the chance to make it to the end. He wrecked his car in the same crash that took out Kevin Harvick.
"If I told you I wasn't heartbroken, I'd be lying to you," Stewart was quoted as saying by David Newton (h/t ESPN.com).
Tony would have been one of the drivers charging to the front when the race narrowed down to the end. Instead, he ended up in the garage repairing his car.
2. Jeff Gordon
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Jeff Gordon went into the Daytona 500 looking incredibly strong. He qualified up front and led a good amount of laps for the earlier part of the race.
Gordon put on a strong performance, to say the least, after the rough year he had in 2012. By the time the race ended, though, Gordon finished in 20th.
What happened over the course of the Daytona 500 that saw one of the strongest drivers finish in the back?
Gordon had problems with his car, and it showed. Once he fell to the back, he couldn’t drive up to the front of the pack.
His performance is reminiscent of his troubles in 2012, and hopefully Gordon can move on from his 20th-place Daytona finish this season.
1. Matt Kenseth
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Matt Kenseth had the car to beat at the 2013 Daytona 500.
He led the most laps, 86, and out-performed the other drivers in the top of the standings.
Then Kenseth started having car problems and had to bring the No. 20 car into pit road. Unfortunately for him and Joe Gibbs Racing, there was a problem with the engine, and when he brought the car into pit road, his day was done.
He had one of the best performances during the Daytona 500, and when his engine blew, it made his fantastic first-place run go from the best of the day, to the worst.
"It's a transmission or engine and if it's the transmission we can get that fixed and get back out there," Kenseth was quoted as saying by Matt Weaver (h/t Matt Weaver, SBNation.com).
"Obviously, if it's an engine, our day is done. What a disappointing end to a great day... We had one of the cars to beat and I think we'll be a force to be reckoned with."
Kenseth would have been up in front to win the race during the final laps of the Daytona 500. Instead, his day was ruined as his engine failed, leaving Kenseth with the worst performance of the race.