Kenseth Wins Rainy Daytona 500

By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 15, 2009 8:20 PM CST
Kenseth Wins Rainy Daytona 500
Matt Kenseth celebrates after winning the NASCAR Daytona 500 auto race in Daytona Beach, Fla. Sunday, Feb. 15, 2009. The race was shortened by rain.    (J Pat Carter)

Rain that had threatened today's season-opening race finally rolled in moments after Matt Kenseth slid past Elliott Sadler for the lead, the AP reports. Then the former NASCAR champion was forced to sit out a 20-minute delay before claiming victory in the Daytona 500 after 152 of 200 laps. It was just the fourth rain-shortened 500 in the race's 51-year history, and first since Michael Waltrip's 2003 victory.

"It's going to be really wet out here, because I'm crying like a baby," the usually cool Kenseth said as he choked back tears. Coming off one of the worst seasons of his career, Kenseth's 2009 start seemed to be headed in the wrong direction, too. He wrecked his primary car, had to go to a backup, and started at the back. But knowing rain was coming, he sliced through to take the lead and held it to claim NASCAR's biggest prize. (Read more NASCAR stories.)

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