Race ends under caution, Waltrip wins

Daytona Beach, Fla-- With three laps remaining in the Pepsi 400 at Daytona, caution came out, giving NASCAR the option to do something they chose not to do in February; end the race under caution. With the yellow firmly displayed with the...

Daytona Beach, Fla-- With three laps remaining in the Pepsi 400 at Daytona, caution came out, giving NASCAR the option to do something they chose not to do in February; end the race under caution. With the yellow firmly displayed with the checkered Michael Waltrip coasted to his second career victory with no threat of a last lap pass.

"What a great night. the key to my car, it was real fast and it could handle. I'm just real thankful." The excited Waltrip added "I believe in this team."

Waltrip and DEI teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. once again had the dominate race cars before Earnhardt Jr. faded out of the top five to a sixth place finish.

Veteran Penske driver Rusty Wallace piloted his blue deuce from 37th starting spot to a strong second. "37th to second. We just had a great handling car. They dropped the flag and this old hotrod took off."

Reining Winston Cup champion Jeff Gordon had problems early. While the field took the green flag after a caution, Gordon was forced to pull his No. 24 Chevy to the pits for new tires after his left rear went flat.

With only 25 laps remaining in the event, the horrid big one reared its ugly head yet again. A yellow line rule was mandated following last year's Daytona 500 and any car caught dropping below the yellow line, advancing position would be black flagged. The rule was enforced to keep cars in the racing groove for safety issues.

Saturday night's wreck happened while the 99 Ford driven by Jeff Burton dropped to the yellow to pass the 88 Ford of Dale Jarrett. Jarrett cut down to protect his position, got bumped from behind and what followed was a scene replayed year after year during the restrictor plate events. The out of bounds line was passed and 15 cars ended up damaged.

The No. 11 Ford driven by Brett Bodine broke out in flames as it rolled to a stop. Hendrick Motorsports' 25 Chevy driven by Joe Nemechek, who won the Busch Series race the prior night, took a hard hit into the outside retaining wall. Luckily, neither driver was hurt.

Joe Gibbs Racing's Tony Stewart hasn't had much luck at Daytona this year. After blowing an engine in less than five laps at the 500, he was wrecked on lap two under the lights by the Wood Brother's No. 21 driven by Elliott Sadler.

Race winner Waltrip was involved in an early incident with No. 10 Pontiac driver Johnny Benson. Waltrip's No. 15 caught the rear of Benson's car, sending his Pontiac into the wall. Being back only a few short weeks after suffering broken ribs at Richmond, Benson went to Halifax hospital for a follow-up.

Points leader Sterling Marlin drove his No. 40 Dodge to a third place finish. Ganassi teammate Jimmy Spencer gunned his No. 41 to a fourth place run. Roush Racing's Mark Martin closed out the top five.

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Brett Bodine , Jeff Burton , Jeff Gordon , Dale Jarrett , Tony Stewart , Rusty Wallace , Michael Waltrip , Jimmy Spencer , Joe Nemechek , Sterling Marlin , Johnny Benson , Elliott Sadler , Mark Martin
Teams Hendrick Motorsports , Joe Gibbs Racing