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David Ragan wins at Daytona at last

David Ragan redressed the mistake he made at Daytona at the season opener in February and claimed his long-overdue maiden Cup victory, as many cars and big names came to grief.
David Ragan looked set to win the Daytona 500 in February only to be penalised for changing lanes too soon at the penultimate restart that mean the win eventually went to Trevor Bayne.

At the series' first return to Daytona International Speedway since that fateful race, Ragan put that wrong to rights and clinched the win, while other big names - including Bayne himself - had more torrid and bruising outings.

"We got one back at Daytona," said Ragan. "It would have been tough to lose another one. I thought about that, actually, under that last caution. I said, 'Man, if we don't win this thing, I'm not going to talk to anyone afterward'!"

It's Ragan's first Cup win in 163 starts, and the 12th different winner of the 2011 season. His victory here means that all three restrictor plate races this year have had different winners, with Bayne winning the Daytona 500 and Jimmie Johnson claiming victory at Talladega.

Ragan won with the help of a big push from Matt Kenseth on the second green-white-chequered (GWC) restart and was given victory when a massive wreck broke out after the white flag flew. Two-car drafting had once again proven to be the default form of racing at Daytona, and the Ragan/Kenseth pairing endured almost the full 170 lap race distance.

Ragan's challenge at the final restart came from the drafting duo of Joey Logano who was being pushed by Kasey Kahne, but Ragan and Kenseth were too strong.

It was a disastrous night for Ragan's team mate Carl Edwards, who spun on lap 23 while being drafted by Greg Biffle and into heavy contact with the inside wall that left him in 37th place even though he resumed running after extensive ongoing repairs. His 25-point championship lead was wiped out and he no longer leads the Cup standings - Kevin Harvick takes over the top spot after finishing in seventh place on Saturday evening.

Bayne spun out early on after an attempt to hook up with Brad Keselowski on lap 5 for some drafting advantage was mistimed. Bayne finished in 41st, the worst finish for a Daytona 500 winner in the season's second Daytona outing since Cale Yarborough in 1983 - which is at least prestigious company for the 20-year-old current Nationwide regular. Bayne's exit also caught up Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer, Jeff Burton, Jamie McMurray and Bobby Labonte to varying degrees although all were able to continue.

Kyle Busch moves up to third place in the Cup standings despite hitting the wall on lap 157 in the aftermath of a spectacular spin-and-save by Jeff Gordon, the resulting caution setting up the first attempt at a GWC finish of the evening that was thwarted when the biggest wreck of the night saw Joey Logano put Mark Martin into the wall which then caught up Martin Truex Jr., Clint Bowyer, Landon Cassill, Brian Vickers, Regan Smith, Kurt Busch, Joe Nemechek, Casey Mears, Tony Stewart and David Reutimann in the aftermath.

The second GWC finish made it past the white flag, so when two separate incidents further back down the field caught up at least 15 cars in the maelstrom, the race finished under caution with Ragan declared the winner.

Full times and positions available.



Related Pictures

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David Ragan, driver of the #6 UPS Ford, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke ZERO 400 Powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on July 2, 2011 in Daytona Beach, Florida. [Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images]
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Stars and Stripes Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 3, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, walks through the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 3, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, leads Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, at the end of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on June 28, 2015 in Sonoma, California. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on June 28, 2015 in Sonoma, California. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Moore/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on June 28, 2015 in Sonoma, California. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on June 28, 2015 in Sonoma, California. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Moore/Getty Images)
Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on June 28, 2015 in Sonoma, California.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Pro Services Chevrolet, leads Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on June 28, 2015 in Sonoma, California. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Folds of Honor/Outback Steakhouse/Budweiser Chevrolet SS, finishes in fourth place, Sunday June 28, 2015, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California.  (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Folds of Honor/Outback Steakhouse/Budweiser Chevrolet SS, finishes in fourth place, Sunday June 28, 2015, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California.  (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, finishes in second place, Sunday June 28, 2015, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California.  (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, finishes in second place, Sunday June 28, 2015, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California.  (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)

Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, finishes in second place, Sunday June 28, 2015, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California.  (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)

Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Folds of Honor/Outback Steakhouse/Budweiser Chevrolet SS, finishes in fourth place, Sunday June 28, 2015, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California.  (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)

Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Folds of Honor/Outback Steakhouse/Budweiser Chevrolet SS, finishes in fourth place, Sunday June 28, 2015, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California.  (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Chevrolet SS, qualifies for fourth position, Saturday June 27, 2015, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Chevrolet SS, qualifies for fifth position, Saturday June 27, 2015, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AARP Member Advantages Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on June 26, 2015 in Sonoma, California. (Photo Credit: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Clint Bowyer, left, driver of the #15 5-Hour Energy Toyota, talks with Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on June 26, 2015 in Sonoma, California. (Photo Credit: Sarah Crabill/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on June 26, 2015 in Sonoma, California.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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