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February 28. 2012 1:06AM

Kenseth wins wild Daytona 500


NASCAR Sprint Cup Series safety crews work to put out a fire from a jet drier that was hit by driver Juan Pablo Montoya (not pictured) under caution during the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. The race was run on Monday for the first time in the 54-year history of the race due to rain. (Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Matt Kenseth won a wild Daytona 500, earning his 22nd career victory. Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished second, followed by Greg Biffle.

The race, which finished early Tuesday morning at 12:56 a.m., was suspended with 40 laps remaining after a bizarre accident when Juan Pablo Montoya’s car hit a jet dryer truck causing it to burst into flames.

The race was under caution when Montoya, with no rival car near him, lost control of his vehicle and struck the back of the truck, which is used to dry out the track and blow away debris.

A giant fireball shot up from the vehicle as the fuel in the truck ignited, though it was well away from the spectator areas. Montoya got out of his vehicle unhurt and while the truck driver was taken to the hospital he was reported to be unhurt. The race was stopped as officials sought to remove the truck and the fuel from the track.

Earlier, Jimmie Johnson and Danica Patrick were involved in a five-car crash on the second lap. The NASCAR season opener was postponed from Sunday due to rain.


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