What better way to start off the 2012 racing season then with the first ever Daytona 500 run under the lights and on prime time television?
Mother Nature did her part to wreak havoc on the Great American Race, but the fans and drivers were not to be scared away easily. Rain on Sunday bumped the race to Monday afternoon, but early Monday morning the call was made to shift the start of the race to 7PM. With all the storylines looking for resolution going into the race that familiar sound could not come soon enough:
"Lady and gentlemen, start your engines!”
Fair weather fans were quickly reminded why they like to watch the race, but don’t mind waiting till Sports Center for the highlights. An early crash—two laps in—piled up six of NASCAR’s finest including Jimmie Johnson and Danica Patrick. Later on, after Juan Pablo Montoya had a freak accident that resulted in him losing control of his car and nailing a fuel truck causing it to burst into flames. While all the accidents and explosions were kinda cool (no serious injuries), the delays-eh, not so much.
On a good note, since Brad Keselowski was able to tweet pictures during the two-hour (yawn!) delay the number of twitter followers he had practically tripled!
Another wreck during Lap 188 and yet another during Lap 196 gave fans that were still awake on a work night a little more excitement. Dale Jr. tried to make a move on race leader Matt Kenseth, but was unsuccessful finishing a slim two-tenths of a second behind him.
The win is No 22 for Kenseth in his career and his second in the Great American Race (first being in 2009).
In case you missed all or any of the action, check out these great shots from the race: