"[I] almost ended up a lap down," Kenseth admitted of those early issues with the car, including the overheating water. "I had my radio break and my tach break and we pushed all the water out and had to come in and put water in it. These guys did a great job. They never panicked and I think they enjoyed their day more because they couldn't hear me on the radio with my radio problems!"
Overall, Kenseth was just ecstatic to have delivered the full potential that he had known was in the car all week. "We had a really fast car and have fast cars in the past and I figured out a way to mess it up. I am thankful everything worked out on the restarts and I am glad it all worked out," he said, adding: "It feels good!"
"This is a special night, Matt is a real champion," said team owner Jack Roush, who celebrated a landmark of 300 wins for Roush Fenway Racing with Kenseth's success. "It feels great. It is very fitting that Matt won the 300th victory ... We started in 1988 and [Kenseth's crew chief] Jimmy Fennig has been with us for most of the time and Matt has been here most of the time as well. It is great to celebrate our 300th win here with the 54th Daytona 500. This is Matt's second 500 win and that makes it special as well."
"All of us at Ford want to congratulate Jack and his team at Roush Fenway Racing for their 300th NASCAR victory, and for it to come in the Daytona 500 is fantastic," said the director of Ford Racing, Jamie Allison. "Jack is true-blue, and always has been, and we couldn't be prouder to be associated with him and his race team.”
The evening had seen 25 lead changes among 13 drivers, and ten cautions including the fire-induced red flag. With the race finally run, everyone was keen to pack up and head out of Daytona, where they had been encamped for a week and a half for the full duration of 2010 Speedweeks. There's also another race weekend fast looming on the horizon, with everyone needing to get over to Phoenix, Arizona for the start of Friday's Nationwide and Cup races there.
Instead, it turned out that the weather had one last sting in the tale for the weary NASCAR battalions: fog grounded many of the flights out of Daytona Beach after the event and meant another long wait for the drivers before they could get going. But then, they're getting very used to that sort of thing now.
Full race results
Montoya crash - report
Montoya crash - video