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Roush finally breaks 500 duck.


Veteran NASCAR team owner Jack Roush finally claimed the race win that had eluded him for two decades, as Matt Kenseth was ruled winner of the Daytona 500 during a late rain break.

Roush has been chasing success in the blue riband season-opener for 20 years, but had never bettered second place before the rain arrived over Daytona on Sunday night. On this occasion, however, he could count himself lucky, as Kenseth received a push to the front just over a lap before a caution flew for Aric Almirola's second spin, and then the race was abandoned when yellow turned to red with 48 laps remaining.

Even then, however, Roush did not immediately grasp the significance of Kenseth's yellow-and-black #17 DeWalt Ford sitting in top spot as the field gathered under cover in pit road.

“I was really agonizing over the missed opportunities [with Jamie McMurray and Carl Edwards], rather than starting to count my chickens for the fact that Matt was in the catbird seat and had a chance to do it,” he confessed.

“I hadn't done the math. I knew that NASCAR was willing to keep this thing going until midnight, [but] I hadn't thought about that fact that it was going to take three hours, as I was told later, to get the track dry from where it was.

“You look at three hours to get it dry and you've got three hours of predictable rain coming, and it's seven o'clock, the math really tells you that you're finished. I wasn't focused on that. I was thinking that if it did get started, Matt would have to hang on and that was going to be a challenge as David Ragan would be coming, and had a good car.

“I was thinking about 'what if it came back', and helping myself to try to get ready emotionally for what that was going to mean, more than I was to really anticipate the rain-shortened race at something like 7pm when they finally called it.

“We've been here for more than 20 years, trying to do this thing, and I got so conditioned for being frustrated through it that I was almost not believing that it happened. I'll be black and blue for the next few days just from pinching myself to make sure that I'm not dreaming."

As ever, however, Roush found time to praise those closer to the action instead of reflecting on finally breaking his duck in the famous race.



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