NASCAR newcomer Trevor Bayne wins wild Daytona 500 in double overtime
Trevor Bayne, who turned 20 years old Saturday, held off a charging Carl Edwards and David Gilliland in NASCAR's version of double overtime to win a wild Daytona 500 on Sunday that featured a 14-car crash and a record number of lead changes and caution periods.
Making only his second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start, Bayne won during the second two-lap overtime -- known as a "green, white, checker" finish -- after the latest in a spree of accidents occurred in the first overtime following the scheduled 200 laps in NASCAR's crown-jewel race.
Bayne, who became the race's youngest winner, wasn't even sure where to find Victory Lane as he steered his No. 21 Ford to meet his thrilled teammates.
"I keep thinking I'm dreaming," Bayne said in a television interview. "This is just incredible."
As the field came down the back straightaway on the first overtime, former Daytona 500 winner Ryan Newman spun and collected Martin Truex and Dale Earnhardt Jr., among others.
Bayne drives for the Wood Brothers racing team, a dominant NASCAR team in the 1960s and '70s but one that hadn't won a Cup race since 2001.
The newly repaved Daytona International Speedway spawned a constant shuffling of the leaders while they raced in two-car pairs around the 2.5-mile, high-banked track.
Earnhardt led the race at times, but his late crash was a disappointment for fans of NASCAR's most popular driver. He also was the sentimental favorite because this weekend marked the 10th anniversary of the death of his father, seven-time Cup champion Dale Earnhardt, in a crash on the last lap of the Daytona 500.
Reigning Cup champion Jimmie Johnson and his teammate Jeff Gordon, a three-time Daytona 500 winner, lost their chance to win when they were among 14 cars collected in a huge crash on the 29th lap. Johnson and Gordon returned after lengthy repairs but finished several laps behind the leaders.
The crash also collected Brian Vickers, Marcos Ambros, Michael Waltrip and his teammate David Reutimann.
-- Jim Peltz, reporting from Daytona Beach, Fla.
Photo: Trevor Bayne celebrates with his racing team after winning the Daytona 500 on Sunday. Credit: Pierre Ducharme / Reuters