The Wood Brothers famous No. 21 returned to Victory Lane in the Daytona 500 in dramatic fashion when Trevor Bayne, a day after his 20th birthday, held off the field coming to the checker flag for his first win in his second ever NASCAR Sprint Cup race.
Bayne exclaimed as he crossed the start/finish line: "Are you kiddin me!!!"
Bayne said later in victory lane, "I kept thinking I'm dreaming. How cool is it to see the Wood Brothers in Victory Lane?"
Bayne left the interview as he was congratulated by his team and his owners, the legendary Wood Brothers family.
Bayne lost his drafting partner on the final restart when it was determined that David Ragan dropped down to the bottom lane too quickly. Ragan was penalized with a stop and go penalty. In the end, Bobby Labonte pushed Bayne to the victory and helped hold Carl Edwards enough to give Bayne the win.
It was another classic finish in the Daytona 500. David Pearson, no stranger to dramatic finishes in the Daytona 500, told Bayne after they met Friday night, "You have got to this 21 car some justice"
Bayne did live up to task of driving the legendary No.21 Wood Brothers car. Amazingly, the new NASCAR Sprint Cup leader heading into Phoenix will be Carl Edwards, because Bayne checked off that he will run for the NASCAR Nationwide title this year.
The finish behind Bayne was as follows: Carl Edwards, David Gilliland, Bobby Labonte and Kurt Busch.
Juan Montoya and Kurt Busch looked like they were on their way to the front in the final lap when they became separated with a half lap remaining. Kurt Busch said when he exited his car, he was "sick to his stomach" that he could not win the race.
Regan Smith was another driver that looked like he had an opportunity to become the next Daytona 500 winner or at least push the next Daytona 500 to victory. Smith and his No. 78 Furniture Row Chevy had an ECR engine under the hood, and it was a monster all weekend, including the Daytona 500.
Smith and Busch pushed their way up front at will throughout the day, and with less than 10 laps to go, they ran into problems.
Smith and Busch became separated, and when Busch got back to Smith's bumper, it sent Smith screaming sideways up the track. Smith survived with extensive damage, but he returned to the track to finish seventh.
Bayne is the first driver to win the Daytona 500 in his first try since Lee Petty won the the first Daytona 500 ever held in 1959. Bayne will now go on a whirlwind tour of New York City and over 250 radio and television interviews over the next few days.