• Feb 17th 2008 at 11:28PM
  • 31
click above for more high-res images from the Daytona 500

[Spoiler Alert] The run up to the Daytona 500 this past week was monopolized with news of Hendrick Motorsports' Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the fast Toyotas of Joe Gibbs Racing. In the end, however, neither camp could pull out a win in Daytona. The checkered flag went to Ryan Newman of Penske Racing, who owes his first win at Daytona and the end to an 81-race-long draught to teammate Kyle Busch. We'll forego the theatrics of the first 499 miles and skip right to the last lap, which began with Tony Stewart in the lead. Stewart on the inside, however, couldn't stop Newman who slipped his Dodge in front of Busch's car on the outside as the latter emerged from a draft. The two cars flew by Stewart, and for his unselfish act, Busch earned a second place finish. Stewart, however, called his 3rd place performance "one of the most disappointing moments of my racing career." Ouch.

The win was also the first Daytona victory for team Penske Racing, which, despite winning the Indy 500 a record 14 times, had never crossed the finish line first in Daytona. And what about the other drivers who everyone expected to finish fast? Jeff Gordon had suspension trouble and dropped out on lap 186. Denny Hamlin, who gave Toyota its first ever NASCAR win earlier this week, finished 17th, while Dale Earnhardt Jr., who won both the Bud Shootout and his Gatorade Duel qualifying race, finished 9th.

As for which automaker has the most reason to celebrate after Daytona, the answer is Dodge, whose cars nabbed six of the top ten finishes, including first and second. Toyota, meanwhile, grabbed 3rd and 4th thanks to Tony Stewart and Kyle Busch, respectively. Earnhardt Jr.'s 9th place finish gave Chevy one spot in the top ten, while Greg Biffle drove his Blue Oval car to a 10th place finish.

[Source: NASCAR, Photos - Getty Images]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      Autoblog, when you write something about NASCAR and mention Busch - you must say which Busch, since there are two of them (I saw a race today so I know what happen, but there are people who haven't).

      AND Newman's teammate isn't KYLE Busch, it's KURT Busch.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Yes Andrew, I believe it unfortunately is... I'd be curious to see how a nascar driver would fair in a Le Mans or F1 race and vice versa; that would be interesting. Anyone know if this has been done?
        • 7 Years Ago
        Jaun Pablo Montoya is a former F1 Driver moved to NASCAR.
        He does okay, middle of the pack.

        NASCAR is very team oriented, the subtleties of team decisions are what make or break a NASCAR Teams sunday.(tires, fuel, etc)

        Nascar is very specialized type of racing, but many NASCAR Drivers come from broad backrounds, dirt, sprint, karts.

        Im becoming a bigger nascar fan every weekend theres no nfl.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Mario Andretti did it all in his day. Won everything at the time
      • 7 Years Ago
      I admit I laughed when Toyota came so close to having the top two spots and then finished 3 and 4 to Dodge's 6 of the top 8. So close...

      It does seem a bit strange to see a Spoiler Alert for NASCAR. If I were a NASCAR fan, I don't think I could avoid the results tonight if I tried.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Should have let KITT race. He wouldn't need to stop for gas more than once and at 200MPH he'd be laps ahead of the lame COT and it's 185MPH top speed in the draft.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Mario Andretti never won le mans.....i believe his best finish was second
      • 7 Years Ago
      thank you.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I actually enjoy these new cars more than any of these spec Nascar racers. (and I'm not much of a Nascar fan) They certainly did a lot of passing which is exciting.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Wasn't a spoiler really, considering its been over for a few hours.
      • 7 Years Ago
      i think it is funny how everyone thinks that a car manufacturer won the race. at the end of the year when chevy has 50% of the wins then you can say what manufacturer won
      • 7 Years Ago
      I find it hard to believe that so many people care about cars going around in a circle for hours.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I don't think you can even say a particular manufacturer won...

      Next month/Australian Grand Prix/12 Hours of Sebring can't come quick enough.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The above comment is for Taylor (first post). Apparently AutoBlog's comment reply code doesn't work with Safari
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