NASCAR: Dale Earnhardt Jr. wins 2014 Daytona 500 (+photos)

From NASCAR.com

In a race that was delayed more than six hours by rain, Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the 56th running of the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway, opening round of the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup.

Only 38 laps had been completed when the race was halted for rain. Officials red-flagged the race at 2:13 p.m. ET.

Although the rain intensified – severe weather warnings were issued for the surrounding region and lightning streaked against the gray sky – after nearly six and one half hours, the cars were back on the race track.

NASCAR Daytona 500 2014

Photo: NASCAR

The 39-year-old Earnhardt led six times for 54 laps in the 200-lap event, holding off Denny Hamlin for the victory in a two-lap dash set up after a multicar crash in Turn 3.

A winner of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ premier event in 2004, Earnhardt Jr. had finished second in three of his last four Daytona 500 attempts. Sunday’s victory was his first win in his last 56 starts.

NASCAR Finish line

Photo: NASCAR

Another crash erupted on the final lap, forcing the race to end under caution, but the mayhem was in the leader’s rear-view mirror.

Denny Hamlin, eyeing a sweep of events at Daytona — he won last week’s Sprint Unlimited and one of Thursday’s two Budweiser Duel races — rallied from sixth to second in the closing laps.

Brad Keselowski, Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson completed the top five in the season’s season-opening event.

NASCAR Dale Earnhardt Jr Daytona 500 2014

Dale Earnhardt Jr., 2014 Daytona 500 winner. (Photo: NASCAR)

Results – 2014 Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup
Pos.  Nu.  Driver  Car manufacturer  Laps completed
1  88  Dale Earnhardt Jr  Chevrolet  200 laps
2  11  Denny Hamlin  Toyota  200
3  2  Brad Keselowski  Ford  200
4  24  Jeff Gordon  Chevrolet  200
5  48  Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet   200
6  20  Matt Kenseth  Toyota  200
7  17  Ricky Stenhouse Jr  Ford  200
8  16  Greg Biffle  Ford  200
9  3  Austin Dillon  Chevrolet   200
10  13  Casey Mears  Chevrolet  200
11  22  Joey Logano  Ford  200
12  40  Landon Cassill  Chevrolet  200
13  4  Kevin Harvick  Chevrolet  200
14  1  Jamie McMurray  Chevrolet  200
15  52  Bobby Labonte  Chevrolet  200
16  36  Reed Sorenson  Chevrolet   200
17  99  Carl Edwards  Ford   200
18  9  Marcos Ambrose  Ford  200
19  18  Kyle Busch  Toyota  200
20  32  Terry Labonte  Ford   200
21  41  Kurt Busch  Chevrolet  199
22  31  Ryan Newman  Chevrolet
23  23  Alex Bowman  Toyota
24  98  Josh Wise  Ford  196
25  33  Brian Scott  Chevrolet  196
26  47  AJ Allmendinger  Chevrolet   194
27  51  Justin Allgaier  Chevrolet  193
28  26  Cole Whitt  Toyota  193
29  30  Parker Kligerman  Toyota  193
30  55  Brian Vickers  Toyota   192
31  5  Kasey Kahne  Chevrolet  192
32  27  Paul Menard  Chevrolet  184
33  21  Trevor Bayne  Ford  183
34  34  David Ragan  Ford  176
35  14  Tony Stewart  Chevrolet  174
36  38  David Gilliland  Ford  171
37  7  Michael Annett  Chevrolet   161
38  42  Kyle Larson  Chevrolet   160
39  43  Aric Almirola  Ford  146
40  10  Danica Patrick  Chevrolet  145
41  66  Michael Waltrip  Toyota  144
42  15  Clint Bowyer  Toyota  127
43  78  Martin Truex Jr  Chevrolet  30

NASCAR Matt Kenseth

Matt Kenseth. (Photo: NASCAR)

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