2009 Daytona 500

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2009 Daytona 500
Race details
Race 1 of 36 in the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season
Date February 15, 2009 (2009-02-15)
Location Daytona International Speedway
Daytona Beach, Florida, U.S.
Course Permanent racing facility
2.5 mi (4.023 km)
Distance 152 laps, 380 mi (610 km)
Scheduled Distance 200 laps, 500 mi (804.672 km)
Weather Temperatures reaching up to 73.9 °F (23.3 °C); wind speeds up to 8.9 miles per hour (14.3 km/h)[1]
Average speed 132.816 miles per hour (213.747 km/h)
Pole position
Driver Earnhardt Ganassi Racing
Qualifying race winners
Duel 1 Winner Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports
Duel 2 Winner Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing
Most laps led
Driver Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing
Laps 88
No. 17 Matt Kenseth Roush Fenway Racing
Television in the United States
Network Fox
Announcers Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip, and Larry McReynolds
Nielsen Ratings 9.2/19
(15.954 million viewers)[2]

The 2009 Daytona 500, the 51st running of the event, was the first points-paying race of the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. The race was held on February 15, 2009 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. The race was won by Matt Kenseth, making a car numbered 17 winning the race for the first time in 20 years since Darrell Waltrip's win back in 1989 and the first Daytona 500 win for Roush Fenway Racing. The race was called off with 48 laps to go after a severe rainstorm that had been lingering throughout the area hit the track.

Defending champions[edit]

For the first time since 1981, the defending race champion driver and team have been split. Ryan Newman, the champion driver, drove for Stewart Haas Racing in the #39 US Army Chevrolet Impala with sponsorship from the U.S. Army. The team that he won with, Penske Racing, fielded the #12 Dodge Charger with David Stremme behind the wheel.

The #12 was without a sponsor, peruse to NASCAR's enforcement of the "Viceroy Rule," which was imposed by former NASCAR series sponsor R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company by prohibiting rival cigarette manufacturers from advertising in series which they sponsor. Under the agreement between Nextel Communications (the predecessor to Sprint) and NASCAR signed in 2003, rival wireless telecommunications companies may not enter the sport; companies that had been involved would be permitted provided no name change or team change took place. The Cellco Partners' (a joint venture of Verizon and Vodafone) purchase of Alltel (which had sponsored Newman from 2000–2008, and the #12 team since 2002) terminates the grandfather clause that allowed the sponsor to remain under the terms of the 2003 Nextel-NASCAR agreement.

(It should be known the rule does not affect Cellco's sponsorship of NASCAR Nationwide Series cars because Nationwide is an insurance company, not a wireless carrier. Accordingly, in 2008, Chase Miller was able to drive a Cellco Partners-sponsored Dodge Charger in that series. However, two rival insurance sponsors, Farm Bureau and GEICO, were tossed by Nationwide's enforcement of the Viceroy Rule.)

The last time a driver and team split was when Buddy Baker drove for Harry Ranier Racing in winning the 1980 event, but the next year was the driver of Hoss Ellington's #1.

Former winners Kevin Harvick (2007), Michael Waltrip (2001, 2003), Jeff Gordon (1997, 1999, 2005), Bill Elliott (1985, 1987), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2004), Jimmie Johnson (2006), and Ryan Newman (2008) did race in the event finishing second, seventh, thirteenth, twenty-third, twenty-seventh, thirty-first, and thirty-sixth respectively. Derrike Cope (1990) and Geoff Bodine (1986), also former winners, failed to qualify.


The Daytona 500 is the only event with a unique qualifying system on the NASCAR circuit. In the primary qualifying, only the front row (the pole position and the second fastest driver) are locked into the race positions. Since 2005, NASCAR's top 35 owners points standings from the previous season automatically qualifies those teams (not the drivers) into the event. The top two teams that are not within the owners' Top 35 automatically qualify in the Gatorade Duels, a pair of 150 miles (240 km) races. This is followed by a combination of last years' owners points, pole qualifying speed and if needed, a past champions' provisional fills out the field.

Qualifying• One round of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series timed qualifying will be held. Each team may run two laps with the fast lap setting the qualifying time. The two fastest qualifiers set starting positions one and two and are the only guaranteed positions, filling the front row for the Daytona 500. • The Gatorade Duels, the 150-mile qualifying races, will determine starting positions for the Daytona 500 beyond the front row. In the event of cancellation, the field will be set according to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rule Book.

Gatorade Duel Assignment • The eligible highest ranked 35 in 2008 car owner points will be assigned to Gatorade Duel races based on their standing in the 2008 final car owner points. Odd-numbered owner points will compete in the first Gatorade Duel; evennumbered owners will compete in the second. The only exception is that the fastest qualifier will start on the pole in the first Gatorade Duel and the second fastest will start on the pole in the second, regardless of 2008 car owner point standings. • Owners who failed to finish in the top 35 of the 2008 car owner points will be assigned to a Gatorade Duel based on qualifying times – the highest qualifying owner to the first Duel; the next to the second and alternating through the remaining entries. Starting positions for the Gatorade Duels are based on qualifying times.

Daytona 500 Lineup • Finishing positions in the Gatorade Duels will determine starting positions in the Daytona 500 once the two fastest qualifiers will start on the front row of the Daytona 500 based on their qualifying times,regardless of their finish in the Duels. Based on their finish in the first Duel, the eligible highest ranked 35 in car owner points plus the two highest finishing non-top 35 teams will be lined up in the odd-number starting positions. Based on their finish in the second Duel, the eligible highest ranked 35 in car owner points plus the two highest finishing non-top 35 teams will be lined up in the even-number starting positions. • The remaining positions will be filled based on qualifying times beginning with the next available position. • The composition of the front row will reduce the above numbers. If there are top-35 teams on the front row, the number of guaranteed starters is reduced accordingly. If there are no top-35 teams on the front row, the number of cars that get in based on time are reduced accordingly. • The 43rd starting position will be assigned to any car owner who has the most recent eligible past NASCAR Sprint Cup champion as long as the past champion competed in the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. If the 43rd position is not used by a past champion, it will be assigned to the next highest qualifying time.

Recap The bottom line – for the 2009 Daytona 500 – is that the top-two qualifiers are in. The remaining top-35 guaranteed starters are in. Four drivers will make the field based on their performance in the duels and the remaining positions will be filled based on qualifying times or being a past champion.

Race Summary[edit]


Country singer Keith Urban performed a concert on the infield singing "Days Go By", "Sweet Thing", and "Better Life". Urban tossed his guitar pick into crowd at the end of his performance. The first episode of the miniseries "The Adventures of Digger and Friends" premiered during the FOX pre-race coverage; Keith Urban's "Little Digger," the theme song to "The Adventures of Digger and Friends," also premiered. However, from there on, Digger would draw much opposition, including sites, forums, and blogs warning FOX about his use.

The Grand Marshal was the Florida Governor Charlie Crist.[3] RCA Records recording artist Gavin DeGraw sang the USA National Anthem, and actor Tom Cruise drove the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro pace car to the start of the race.[4][5]


Rain had been pounding the track during the pre-race. NASCAR announced there would be a competition caution on lap 25. Bobby Allison waved the green flag as the "Martin and Martin" front row led the field to the start of the race. Martin Truex, Jr. led the first lap and Mark Martin led the next one before being passed by Kyle Busch. The first caution came out on lap 9 when Aric Almirola got tapped from behind by David Ragan and spun near the entrance to pit road, nearly collecting Travis Kvapil. The race restarted on lap 11, with Busch still leading; Busch would remain there until lap 53, when Dale Earnhardt, Jr. passed him for the lead. With the help of his Busch (his former teammate), Tony Stewart passed Earnhardt, Jr. for the led while entering turn 4. Shortly after, Travis Kvapil smacked the wall twice on lap 55, bringing out the third caution. Earnhardt, Jr. missed his pit stall and lost a lap because he was forced to pit again. Tony Stewart came out of the pits with the lead, until being passed by Jeff Gordon on lap 70. On lap 72, Ryan Newman was in the pits changing tires under green flag conditions when somehow the car fell off the jack while changing the left-side tires. Newman's crew had to use two jacks to lift the car off the ground and complete the pit stop. On lap 80, 18-year-old Joey Logano avoided Scott Speed losing control out of turn 4 but made contact with the front of Greg Biffle's car, causing him to crash head-on into the inside retaining wall on the frontstretch, ending his day. Busch won the race off pit road edging ahead of his teammate Denny Hamlin by over half a car length, while Hermie Sadler reported bad weather about 40 minutes away from the track.

The race reached the halfway mark on lap 101, meaning the race could be called official if it rains. Gordon pitted under green over tire wear concerns, and his crew changed tires on lap 113. Green flag pit stops ensued on lap 119. David Stremme blew a tire on pit road as soon as his teammates Reed Sorenson and Elliott Sadler exited. Sadler wound up in 2nd and Sorenson in 2nd while the entire field had to pit one lap later. Earnhardt, Jr. mistakingly made his second pit stop in Lap 121 by completing his pit stop with his right front tire over the outside boundary line of his pit box. Earnhardt, Jr. was held for one lap as a penalty.

On lap 124, confusion over the recipient of the "Lucky Dog" free pass resulted in the "Big One". This began when Earnhardt, Jr. spun Brian Vickers into traffic toward the end of the backstretch, collecting race dominator Busch and his brother Kurt, Robby Gordon, Jamie McMurray, Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin, Scott Speed, and Earnhardt, Jr.'s teammate Jimmie Johnson. R. Gordon's car slid in front of Earnhardt, Jr. within a couple of feet of contact. Many of Earnhardt Jr.'s fans, the Daytona 500 participants, and the drivers believed that the contact was done intentionally; and many fans (including those of the #88 fans) and drivers (such as Vickers, Ku. and Ky. Busch, R. Gordon, Hamlin, and McMurray gave NASCAR requests and calls to black-flag Earnhardt, Jr. This request was not granted but Earnhardt Jr. was ordered to restart in the back of the field as a consequence and did not recover from the penalty. Brian Vickers was angry and said when interviewed "To wreck somebody intentionally like that in front of the entire field is really kind of dangerous. That's my biggest problem with it. But, apparently, (Earnhardt, Jr.) wanted a caution pretty bad." Both Vickers and Earnhardt, Jr. were a lap down before the wreck occurred, and Earnhardt, Jr. was unaware that he was battling Vickers for the position. Ironically, no lucky dog was awarded for the caution. At this time, Kevin Harvick pushed Matt Kenseth into a battle for first between Kenseth and Sadler. On lap 138, Jeff Burton smacked the wall, collecting Paul Menard. Burton was then black-flagged for having a piece of sheetmetal hanging from his bumper.

On lap 146, Matt Kenseth took the lead from Sadler a lap after the action resumed. Almirola was then spun by Kasey Kahne after Almirola made contact with Sam Hornish, Jr. on the backstretch. At this time, rain began to fall on the track under the yellow. On lap 152, the cars came into pit road under the red flag; Kenseth remained in his car while other drivers stayed in theirs and others exited their cars. During the red flag period, asked what happened with Brian Vickers, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. said, "I got a run on him and (Vickers) saw me coming. I had a big ol' run on him and I went to the inside. I didn't try to make no late move and make some kind of surprise or anything. I just kind of ease on over and he went to block me and hit me in the fender sending us both off, sent me down into the grass and I tried to recover my car. I got back into him coming back into the racetrack." When asked what happened was accidental, Earnhardt, Jr. was unrepentant and said, "Yeah, it was accidental. I didn't want to wreck the field." The drivers and fans did not buy Earnhardt Jr.'s excuse and to this day Vickers, the drivers, and fans do not believe that the crash was accidental. Later that week, Earnhardt Jr. gave a public apology for the incident and decided that he should have thought before he made his move that obviously would have crashed Vickers.

At 6:49 p.m. EST, sixteen minutes after the start of the red flag, NASCAR officials decided to call the race declaring Kenseth as the winner. "It's going to be really wet out here because I'm crying like a baby," said Kenseth moments after the race was called. "I tell you what, after last year, winning a race means a lot to me," Kenseth later said who was winless in 2008.[6] Harvick, winner of the Bud Shootout, was second. Richard Petty Motorsports drivers A.J. Allmendinger (#44), Sadler (#19), and Reed Sorenson (#43) finished 3rd, 5th, and 9th respectively. Michael Waltrip had the best finishing Toyota in 7th. Stewart was 8th in his first race as a driver and team owner. Truex, Jr. finished 11th, J. Gordon (Gatorade Duel #1 winner) finished 13th, Marcos Ambrose (in his first 500 start) finished 17th, Johnson (the defending Series champion) finished 31st, Speed (the high-finishing rookie) finished 35th, Ryan Newman (the defending 500 winner) finished 39th, Ky. Busch (who led the most laps at 88 and won Gatorade Duel #2) finished 41st because of him being involved in the lap 124 multi-car crash, and Logano (also in his first Daytona 500 start also) finished 43rd.

Starting lineup[edit]

Pos Car No. Driver Team Make Sponsor
1 1 Martin Truex, Jr. Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats
2 5 Mark Martin Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Kelloggs/Carquest
3 24 Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Dupont
4 18 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota M&M's
5 14 Tony Stewart* Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet Office Depot/Old Spice
6 83 Brian Vickers Red Bull Racing Team Toyota Red Bull
7 48 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Lowe's
8 42 Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevrolet Target/Polaroid
9 20 Joey Logano Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota The Home Depot
10 11 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Fedex Express
11 8 Aric Almirola Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevrolet Guitar Hero World Tour/Target
12 96 Bobby Labonte Hall of Fame Racing Ford Ask.com
13 2 Kurt Busch Penske Championship Racing Dodge Miller Lite
14 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Amp Energy/Mountain Dew/National Guard
15 9 Kasey Kahne Richard Petty Motorsports Dodge Budweiser
16 99 Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Racing Ford Aflac
17 36 Scott Riggs Tommy Baldwin Racing Toyota Red Bank Ale & Quail Qutfitters
18 41 Jeremy Mayfield Mayfield Motorsports Toyota All Sport Body Quencher
19 98 Paul Menard Yates Racing Ford Quaker State/Menards
20 44 A.J. Allmendinger Richard Petty Motorsports Dodge Valvoline
21 26 Jamie McMurray Roush Fenway Racing Ford Crown Royal
22 33 Clint Bowyer Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Cheerios/Hamburger Helper
23 47 Marcos Ambrose JTG Daugherty Racing Toyota Little Debbie/Kingsford/Clorox
24 12 David Stremme Penske Championship Racing Dodge Penske Racing
25 07 Casey Mears Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Jack Daniel's
26 31 Jeff Burton Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Caterpillar
27 55 Michael Waltrip Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota NAPA Auto Parts
28 00 David Reutimann Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota Aaron's Dream Machine
29 77 Sam Hornish, Jr.* Penske Championship Racing Dodge Mobil 1
30 19 Elliott Sadler Richard Petty Motorsports Dodge Stanley Tools
31 7 Robby Gordon Robby Gordon Motorsports Toyota Jim Beam
32 29 Kevin Harvick* Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Shell/Pennzoil
33 6 David Ragan Roush Fenway Racing Ford UPS
34 43 Reed Sorenson Richard Petty Motorsports Dodge McDonald's
35 16 Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Racing Ford 3M
36 39 Ryan Newman* Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet U.S. Army
37 34 John Andretti* Front Row Motorsports Chevrolet Window World
38 82 Scott Speed* Red Bull Racing Team Toyota Red Bull
39 17 Matt Kenseth* Roush Fenway Racing Ford DeWalt Tools
40 21 Bill Elliott Wood Brothers Racing Ford Motorcraft
41 28 Travis Kvapil Yates Racing Ford Golden Corral
42 78 Regan Smith Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet Furniture Row/Denver Mattress
43 66 Terry Labonte Prism Motorsports Toyota Window World

* - NASCAR rules state that if a car, engine, or transmission change is made by the team, that car starts the race in the back of the field. For the Daytona 500, the rule applies to a car if a crash takes place in the Gatorade Duel or in the Friday or Saturday practice. An engine or transmission change is permitted after the Gatorade Duel, so the engine and transmission used in Friday practice must be used in Saturday practice and the race. The penalty for an engine or transmission change applies only if a second engine change is made after the Gatorade Duel once Friday practice begins.

Failed to Qualify: #87-Joe Nemechek, #08-Boris Said, #09-Brad Keselowski (R), #27-Kirk Shelmerdine, #71-Mike Wallace, #37-Tony Raines, #73-Mike Garvey (R), #75-Derrike Cope (W), #23-Mike Skinner, #51-Kelly Bires (R), #46-Carl Long (R), #64-Geoffrey Bodine (W), #57-Norm Benning (R), #60-James Hylton(Forced to withdraw before qualifying due to engine problems)

Race Results[edit]

Pos Car No. Driver Make Laps Led Status
1 17 Matt Kenseth Ford 152 7 Running
2 29 Kevin Harvick (W) Chevrolet 152 0 Running
3 44 A.J. Allmendinger (R) Dodge 152 0 Running
4 33 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet 152 0 Running
5 19 Elliott Sadler Dodge 152 24 Running
6 6 David Ragan Ford 152 0 Running
7 55 Michael Waltrip (W) Toyota 152 0 Running
8 14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet 152 15 Running
9 43 Reed Sorenson Dodge 152 0 Running
10 2 Kurt Busch Dodge 152 0 Running
11 1 Martin Truex, Jr. Chevrolet 152 1 Running
12 00 David Reutimann Toyota 152 0 Running
13 24 Jeff Gordon (W) Chevrolet 152 14 Running
14 42 Juan Pablo Montoya Chevrolet 152 0 Running
15 07 Casey Mears Chevrolet 152 0 Running
16 5 Mark Martin Chevrolet 152 1 Running
17 47 Marcos Ambrose (R) Toyota 152 0 Running
18 99 Carl Edwards Ford 152 0 Running
19 34 John Andretti Chevrolet 152 0 Running
20 16 Greg Biffle Ford 152 0 Running
21 78 Ragan Smith Chevrolet 152 0 Running
22 96 Bobby Labonte Ford 152 1 Running
23 21 Bill Elliott (W) Ford 152 0 Running
24 66 Terry Labonte Toyota 152 0 Running
25 36 Scott Riggs Toyota 152 0 Running
26 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota 152 0 Running
27 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (W) Chevrolet 152 1 Running
28 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet 152 0 Running
29 9 Kasey Kahne Dodge 152 0 Running
30 8 Aric Almirola (R) Chevrolet 152 0 Running
31 48 Jimmie Johnson (W) Chevrolet 152 0 Running
32 77 Sam Hornish, Jr. Dodge 151 0 Running
33 12 David Stremme Dodge 151 0 Running
34 7 Robby Gordon Dodge 151 0 Running
35 82 Scott Speed (R) Toyota 151 0 Running
36 39 Ryan Newman (W) Chevrolet 150 0 Running
37 26 Jamie McMurray Ford 139 0 Running
38 98 Paul Menard Ford 138 0 Contact BS
39 83 Brian Vickers Toyota 126 0 Contact T2
40 41 Jeremy Mayfield Toyota 126 0 Running
41 18 Kyle Busch Toyota 123 88 Contact T2
42 28 Travis Kvapil Ford 90 0 Running
43 20 Joey Logano (R) Toyota 79 0 Contact T4


  1. ^ "Weather information for the 2009 Daytona 500". The News Tribune. Archived from the original on 2013-06-22. Retrieved 17 June 2013. 
  2. ^ Gorman, Bill (2009-02-24). "NASCAR Daytona 500 TV Ratings". Zap2it. Retrieved 2011-02-20. 
  3. ^ "Florida governor Crist named Grand Marshal for Daytona 500". Yahoo!. January 26, 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-16. 
  4. ^ "Tom Cruise to drive Daytona 500 pace car". SceneDaily.com. February 13, 2009. Archived from the original on 19 February 2009. Retrieved 16 February 2009. 
  5. ^ "2010 Camaro to pace Daytona 500 field". Birmingham News. February 13, 2009. Archived from the original on 17 February 2009. Retrieved 16 February 2009. 
  6. ^ "Rain brings Daytona 500 to a halt with Matt Kenseth out front". AP. February 16, 2009. Retrieved 18 February 2009. 

External links[edit]

Previous race:
2008 Ford 400
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
2009 season
Next race:
2009 Auto Club 500