Tony Stewart dominated Saturday's rain delayed Pepsi 400, sitting through a three hour delay for moisture before leading all but a handful of laps in a race that didn't finish until nearly 2am.
Bud Pole winner Stewart led all but nine of the 160 laps of Daytona's 2.5-mile oval to take his second Nextel Cup series win in as many weeks and complete the Daytona domination he also showed during this year's Daytona 500.
For much of the race it was Jimmie Johnson who led the chase of Stewart but even though Johnson got himself shuffled out of the draft in the closing laps and dropped to sixth at the finish, he still reclaimed the points leader from Greg Biffle, who was the innocent victim of Michael Waltrip's tyre failure shortly before the half way mark. Biffle finished 36th.
Jamie McMurray emerged in second place after a frantic final lap scramble although Stewart remained untouchable as he had done for much of the evening while Dale Earnhardt Jr tigered his way into third position after coming on strongly in the final 40 laps.
Rusty Wallace finished fourth on his final Daytona appearance and although neither he nor Mark Martin were able to break their Daytona victory duck Wallace was far more fortunate than Martin, who was taken out after just 35 laps in a chain reaction crash started when Jeff Gordon slowed to enter pit road under green flag conditions.
Dale Jarrett rounded out the top five ahead of Johnson, Gordon and Mike Wallace, who got his #4 Morgan McClure team back in the top 35 in owner points with a typically feisty drive.
Matt Kenseth enjoyed one of the better nights of his 2005 season as he crossed the line in ninth place ahead of veteran Ken Schrader, Jeff Burton and Jeremy Mayfield.
Several multi-car incidents thinned the field slightly although there was no 'big one' on a night where caution appeared to be more in evidence between the 43 drivers.
The third restrictor plate race of the year still claimed its fair share of victims, notably Martin and defending series champion Kurt Busch, who were both involved in the first crash of the night on lap 35 as was outside pole sitter Scott Riggs and 2000 series champion Bobby Labonte.
Michael Waltrip cut a tyre and careered into points leader Biffle shortly before half way while Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch were all taken out less than 15 laps from home when Jeff Burton seemed to pinch Edwards into Harvick coming off turn four.
Biffle's problems couple with another top ten for Johnson pushed the Hendrick Motorsport driver back to the top of the standings with a new margin of 73 points over Biffle with Stewart now third just 136 points in arrears. Biffle's misfortune also allowed Jeff Gordon to sneak back into the Chase for the Championship in 13th place but only 396 markers out of first place.