Roger Penske has celebrated a lot of birthdays, but his 85th just might be his most memorable.

Austin Cindric delivered an unforgettable birthday present to The Captain today at Daytona. The rookie, and son of Team Penske President Tim Cindric, won the Daytona 500 in his first start as the full-time driver of the No. 2 Ford. Cindric edged out Bubba Wallace in a photo finish of the 64th Great American Race.

"Oh my God," Cindric said. "You know what makes it all better? A packed house! I appreciate Ryan (Blaney) being a great teammate. I'm so pumped. Damn, I am so excited. This makes up for losing the championship last year. I'm surrounded by great people. I knew there would be highs and lows being a rookie, and I'm just grateful for the opportunity."

With today's victory, the 23-year old became the first true rookie to ever win the Daytona 500. Trevor Bayne won it in 2011 but only ran 17 of the 36 races and was not eligible for rookie honors that year. Bayne still holds the record for being the youngest winner, and Cindric is now behind him as the second-youngest. The margin of victory was just 0.036 seconds, which is the third-closest in the history of the event.

The race came down to a two-lap overtime, which is when Cindric got a big shove out front from Blaney. His teammate in the No. 12 machine tried to go around him on the high side, but Cindric timed his block just right and was able to fend off both he and Wallace who was to his inside. Cindric is just the fourth driver since 1994 to score his first Cup victory in the Daytona 500.

Chase Briscoe rebounded nicely from an early spin in the race to finish 3rd, while Blaney and Aric Almirola rounded out the top five. Kyle Busch guided his battered Toyota to a 6th place finish and last year's winner Michael McDowell came home in 7th. David Ragan had a great run to finish 8th while Brad Keselowski and Chase Elliott rounded out the top ten.

This was the 17th Daytona 500 win for Ford, who had four cars in the top five and seven of the top ten. It is the third 500 win for Penske, who also won in 2008 (Ryan Newman) and 2015 (Joey Logano).

Today was another tough pill to swallow for Wallace. The 23XI Racing driver had a runner-up finish in the 2018 Daytona 500, but this one stung a little more because of how close he was. "I'm gonna be pissed off about this one for a while," Wallace said. "I was happy about the first one but this one sucks. What could've been, right? I'm just dejected. When you come out of the gates like that, it's encouraging. We came up just short."

Several contenders were taken out of this race as the aggression level got a little too high. Keselowski was the trigger in a couple of key incidents on Sunday. The first came at the end of Stage 1 when he kept pushing Harrison Burton out in front of the pack, but the driver of the No. 21 Ford had to make a couple of quick saves before the fatal bump from Keselowski sent him flipping down the backstretch.

Burton was okay after his Wood Brothers Racing machine finally landed on its tires, but other contenders like Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Christopher Bell, William Byron, Alex Bowman, and Ross Chastain were all collected. Hamlin's bid for a fourth Daytona 500 victory ended there, in what was his first ever DNF in this race in 18 career starts.

Martin Truex Jr was able to win the first stage but not everyone was pleased with how it ended. "It looked like the two cars on top," a frustrated Hamlin said. "The 6 (Keselowski) was pushing the 21 (Burton) and you could see the 21 was kind of getting out of control there, so you know the mindset was that you’ve got to back off but I think the 6 was just insistent on pushing him at all costs and eventually turned the 21 around. Just too aggressive pushing right there when they weren’t lined up and in control," he concluded.

Truex also won the second stage, although this one was much closer. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver made a pass on the final lap to get around Logano, taking the stage in a photo finish. His shot at Daytona glory ended with 50 laps to go when he got caught up in a wreck on the front stretch. Tyler Reddick had a toe link break on his Chevrolet and it took out Truex, Logano, and Kurt Busch.

With 10 laps remaining, Kyle Larson had a massive run at the leaders and gave a massive shove to Kevin Harvick, which caused him to lose control at the start/finish line. That incident took out many more contenders up front like Chase Elliott, Erik Jones, Noah Gragson, and Todd Gilliland.

“I had a run there on Harvick, didn’t realize how close he was to (Chris) Buescher,” Larson said. “I hate that I did that but it’s so hard to see in front of him." NASCAR stopped the race for nearly six minutes to clear the track of debris. On the next restart with five laps to go, Keselowski got into the back of Ricky Stenhouse Jr, which took him and Buescher out of contention. That set up the overtime, where Cindric mastered the art of blocking.

For three veteran champions of the sport, it was another winless outing on NASCAR's biggest stage. Kyle Busch, Truex, and Keselowski will have to wait another year for their next opportunity to win this marquee event. Earlier in the race, Busch passed Tony Stewart for the most all-time laps led in the Daytona 500 without ever winning it.

There were 35 lead changes during the race, with an average speed of 142.295 mph. There were seven cautions for 37 laps as drivers had to deal with wheel and tire issues, among other things. It seemed as though many drivers struggled to get their Next Gen cars rolling after suffering flat tires.

Cindric is off to a great start in his Cup career. Rusty Wallace, Kurt Busch, and Keselowski were never able to win the Daytona 500 driving the No. 2 car for Penske.

The next stop for the Cup series is a trip out west to Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. The Wise Power 400 begins at 3:30 PM ET next Sunday on FOX.