A blown engine on lap 81 doomed Jeff Gordon to his worst finish in nearly four years. Gordon finished 40th due to the problem, which was his worst Daytona 500 finish since 1996.
Gordon started 16th and moved to 13th by the end of lap 1. He evaded Jimmie Johnson’s spinning car on the second lap which collected six drivers — including Danica Patrick in her Cup series debut. After the restart, Gordon fell back to 17th on the low line in the draft. Ryan Newman’s spin on lap 12 brought out the second caution flag. Pit stops followed with Gordon exiting pit road in 16th place. On lap 30, he moved to the outside line and drafted up to 9th behind Greg Biffle. He remained in the top-10 and led a lap during a green flag pit stop sequence on lap 59. A debris caution slowed the field just three laps later. On lap 79, Gordon moved into the top-5 behind Denny Hamlin on the outside line. However, the engine blew on Gordon’s car on lap 81, thus ending his night.
As the race progressed, a two-hour red flag delay was necessitated on lap 160 after Juan Pablo Montoya spun under caution and hit the jet dryer on the track. The fuel erupted in a blaze that required extensive track cleanup. As the laps wound down, the clock ticked near 1 am on the east coast. Matt Kenseth held off Dale Earnhardt Jr and Greg Biffle for his second Daytona 500 victory.
Daytona 500 In-Car Audio – with spotter chatter
Gatorade Duel In-Car Audio -with spotter chatter
Bud Shootout In-Car Audio – with spotter chatter