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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]
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Pro Services Chevrolet SS, races to victory with third place finisher Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet SS, Sunday, May 31, 2015, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware. This was Johnson`s 10th win at Dover, his career 74th. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Pro Services Chevrolet SS, takes the chequered flag, Sunday, May 31, 2015, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware. This was Johnson`s 10th win at Dover, his career 74th. Following in second and third place are Kevin Harvick, driver of the # 4 DiTech Chevrolet SS and Kyle Larson, driver of the # 42 Target Chevrolet SS. (Photo by David Tullis/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Pro Services Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover International Speedway on May 31, 2015 in Dover, Delaware.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, leads Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Skittles Toyota, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover International Speedway on May 31, 2015 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo Credit: Photo by Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, races Trevor Bayne, driver of the #6 AdvoCare Ford, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover International Speedway on May 31, 2015 in Dover, Delaware.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)
Cole Whitt, driver of the #35 Ford, leads Carl Edwards, driver of the #19 Stanley Toyota, and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Pro Services Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover International Speedway on May 31, 2015 in Dover, Delaware.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Daniel Shirey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Tyler Reddick, driver of the #19 BBR Music Group Ford, celebrates with the chequered flag after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 200 at Dover International Speedway on May 29, 2015 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo Credit: Photo by Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 DiTech Chevrolet SS, qualified for sixth position, Friday, May 29, 2015, for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race Sunday at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware. Harvick leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet SS, qualified for third position, Friday, May 29, 2015, for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race Sunday at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware. Larson is 22nd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS, qualified for second position, Friday, May 29, 2015, for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race Sunday at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware. Truex, Jr. is second in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Carl Edwards, driver of the #19 Subway Toyota, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 24, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/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 Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 24, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 24, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 DeWalt Toyota, and Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, lead the field through the green flag to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 24, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 DeWalt Toyota, leads the field through the green flag to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 24, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet, Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, and Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Office Toyota, lead the field into turn one during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 24, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images)
Carl Edwards, driver of the #19 Subway Toyota, wins the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 24, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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