Rookie Trevor Bayne Wins Wreck Filled Daytona 500
Trevor Bayne took home the Daytona 500 victory on the 10th anniversary of the death of Dale Earnhardt. This was the first time that DRIVER managed to win the Great American Race and it was only his second race ever.
Bayne, who is only 20 years-old, won the Daytona 500 in only his second race in NASCAR. In the history of the Daytona 500, Bayne in the youngest ever winner of the race.
Following the final caution of the day, the Daytona 500 came down to a green, white, checker finish with rookie Trevor Bayne in second place behind race leader David Ragan.
Once the green flag dropped, Ragan received the black flag for changing lanes before the start/finish line, ending his hopes of winning the race. It was after this event that the 16th caution of the day came out when Earnhardt Jr. crashed into the outside wall.
On the restart of the Daytona 500, 20 year-old Trevor Bayne found himself in the lead, but fuel was an issue for the Wood Brothers team. Luckily, that issue never reared its ugly head, as the rookie took the checked flag, with Carl Edwards pushing him along for a second place finish.
David Gilliland came in third, with veteran Bobby Labonte in fourth and Kurt Busch in fifth.
The 2011 Daytona 500, which took place at the Daytona International Speedway, saw a record 16 caution flags and numerous lead changes, which led to one of the most exciting races in the history of the event.
This year’s Daytona 500 was unlike any other in history. Aside from the lead changes and caution flags, the track itself received a major overhaul during the off-season, not to mention the new drafting technique. Drivers discovered that drafting with one partner was quicker than drafting in a group, which led to two-car drafting all over the racetrack.
NASCAR’s favorite son, Dale Earnhardt Jr. managed to avoid the accident fest that was this year’s Daytona 500, but a flat tire during the 15 caution ended his hopes to win the race.
At the halfway point of the Daytona 500, Martin Truex Jr. was out in front of the field, following a massive multi car accident that took out several of the prominent figures in NASCAR, despite this new drafting technique.
Two of those prominent figures, Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson, a three-time Daytona 500 winner, wrecked early on, but managed to return to the race, albeit numerous laps down. The other notable drivers involved in wrecks were Brian Vickers, Michael Waltrip and David Reutimann.
At that point in the race, there were numerous other drivers that were less than one second behind Truex in the sport’s opening race, including Carl Edwards, Juan Pablo Montoya and last year’s Daytona 500 winner, Jamie McMurray.
Kevin Harvick and Jeff Burton, both of which drive for Richard Childress Racing, were knocked out of the race early with blown engines. Harvick won the Daytona 500 back in 2007.
Rounding out the top for the 2011 Daytona 500 was Juan Pablo Montoya, Regan Smith, Kyle Busch, Paul Menard and Mark Martin.