2005 Daytona 500
|Race 1 of 36 in the 2005 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series season|
Daytona International Speedway
|Date||February 20, 2005|
|Location||Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, Florida|
|Course||Permanent racing facility
2.5 mi (4.02336 km)
|Distance||203 laps, 507.5 mi (816.742 km)|
|Scheduled Distance||200 laps, 500 mi (804.672 km)|
|Weather||Temperatures reaching up to 72 °F (22 °C); wind speeds approaching 11.1 miles per hour (17.9 km/h)|
|Average speed||135.173 miles per hour (217.540 km/h)|
|Driver||Dale Jarrett||Robert Yates Racing|
|Qualifying race winners|
|Duel 1 Winner||Michael Waltrip||Dale Earnhardt, Inc.|
|Duel 2 Winner||Tony Stewart||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|Most laps led|
|Driver||Tony Stewart||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|Television in the United States|
|Announcers||Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip and Larry McReynolds|
(18.7 million viewers)
The 2005 Daytona 500 was a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series (now Sprint Cup Series) racing event that took place on February 20, 2005, at the Daytona International Speedway. Dale Jarrett won the pole. Jeff Gordon won the race, his third career Daytona 500 win, while Kurt Busch finished second and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. finished third. This was the first Daytona 500 to go longer than 500 miles.
As the result of NASCAR's implementation of the green-white-checker finish rule the previous season, the race had three extra laps due to a caution with 3 laps to go, reaching a total distance of 507.5 miles. It was also the first Daytona 500 to end at sunset.
A crowd of 200,000 people were estimated to have attended this race.
The green flag waved with Dale Jarrett out in front, but he lost the first lap to Jimmie Johnson, and fell back down the field after a small bump from behind from defending Daytona 500 champion Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
The first caution came out on lap 15, halfway through the first fuel run, when Bobby Labonte's engine blew up. Tony Stewart had been leading for 11 laps. Scott Wimmer, who had only changed 2 tires, led after the caution.
The second caution flew on lap 28 when Ricky Rudd spun in the middle of the field while Michael Waltrip was leading, collecting 5 cars. On lap 36, Matt Kenseth, one of the pre-race favorites who was in trouble with a smoking exhaust, pitted under green.
On lap 61, there came to the start of green flag pit stops, with the Dodges coming in first as they did not get as good fuel mileage as others. Earnhardt, Jr. was pushed by Jeff Burton coming into his pit stop, and had to back up to get out after his tires were changed, causing him to drop down the field. There were about 7 speeding violations on pit road during this round of pit stops, most notably Johnson. Once the green flag pit stops cycled through on lap 64, Jeff Gordon had the lead.
Debris on the racetrack brought out the third caution on lap 86, with Gordon still in the lead. Stewart led the race on the restart, and he was also leading at halfway and at the point of the fourth caution, for debris on lap 105.
On lap 137, there came another series of green flag pit stops, with Stewart retaining the lead, before the fifth caution came out on lap 144 and the sixth on lap 155. Waltrip brought out the seventh caution, which allowed him to leave the race and led to another round of pit stops on lap 164. Jason Leffler and Kyle Busch both came together on pit road, dropping them both down the field.
With 32 laps to go, John Andretti, running three wide and following a group of cars going four wide, crashed and turned into Leffler, taking that driver out of the race and bringing up the eighth caution, with Stewart still in the lead.
Stewart became the first driver since Bobby Allison in 1981 and 1982 to lead the most laps in two consecutive Daytona 500's.
The "Big One" occurred on lap 184, when Greg Biffle turned in to Scott Riggs, collecting 11 cars in turn 3. Scott Wimmer's car took the worst of it, as his car got onto the apron, flipped over four times, and spun on its nose before crashing hard on its wheels, bringing out the ninth caution. Only some cars chose to pit, with Stewart and others remaining out. Earnhardt, Jr., who had languished in midfield for the earlier part of the race, was now up to 3rd.
On the restart on lap 187, Andretti drove straight into Mike Skinner, starting a chain reaction crash involving eight or so cars to bring out an immediate tenth caution. This accident was the result of someone (possibly Skinner) missing a gear on the restart.
The race restarted with 6 laps to go. With 5 to go, Earnhardt, Jr. briefly took the lead. Stewart retook it on the next lap; Earnhardt, Jr. and Stewart raced side-by-side until Earnhardt, Jr. regained the lead. Gordon took the lead before the eleventh caution came out with three laps to go.
The race length of 500 miles (200 laps) was completed under yellow, so a green-white-checker finish was in order. The race restarted on lap 202 with 2 laps to go. Despite much activity behind him, Gordon was able to hold off Kurt Busch and Earnhardt, Jr. to win his third Daytona 500.
It was the second-slowest Daytona 500 to go the distance, with only the 1960 race slower. Two other races in the 2000s were slower but both were rain-shortened events.
- "Weather of the 2005 Daytona 500". The Old Farmers' Almanac. Retrieved 2013-06-19.