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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]
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, and Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet, lead a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, passes Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, to take the lead and win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, and team owner Tony Stewart celebrate winning in Victory Lane after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates with his wife DeLana and son Keelan in victory lane after winning during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates with the trophy in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Christa L Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, leads Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet, Miss Sprint Cup Kim Coon, Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, pose for a photo prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

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