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Seven Points to Ponder: 2009 Daytona 500 Edition

*Does this win seal Matt Kenseth’s legacy as one of the greatest drivers in recent history?* Without a doubt. In 328 starts, Matt Kenseth has established himself as one of the best drivers of this era. By winning the 2009 Daytona 500 and the 2003 Sprint Cup championship, he joins an elite list of just eleven other men to have earned both titles (Most Recent: Jimmie Johnson, 2006).

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A.J. Allmendinger Opens 2009 With Career Best Run

With the weight off his shoulders just by making the Daytona 500, A.J. Allmendinger came out and ran the race of his life in the 51st running of the prestigious event. The young Richard Petty Motorsports driver who is set to run only the first eight races of the season, pending sponsorship, ran in the top 12 for the entire second half of the race, leaving Daytona with a career best finish of third. Sitting at the podium in the media center following the race, Allmendinger could have easily blasted the teams that have given up on him in the past; but the former open-wheel driver did just the opposite.

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Sprint Cup Rookie Report: Freshmen Cannot Dodge Wrecks at Daytona

This week’s rookie recap is based on the results of a rain-shortened Daytona 500. What is important to note is the race would’ve finished all 500 miles -- if the green flag didn’t fall at the ridiculous start time of 3:40 PM eastern. When are the networks going to realize that fans want racing, not marathon pre-race shows? *Joey Logano:* *Start: 7th; Finish: 43rd* *Summary:* The No. 20 Home Depot Camry started the Daytona 500 in its usual spot – up front. Joey Logano’s solid fourth place finish in his Gatorade Duel event not only proved that he could run with the leaders on a restrictor plate track, but also gave the rookie a top 10 start in the Great American Race.

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Bubble Breakdown: A.J. Allmendinger Sticks the Landing While Joey Logano Sticks It in the Wall

The 2009 Sprint Cup season officially kicked off Sunday afternoon with the running of the Daytona 500; and with that, the battle for the top 35 is on. For those of you new to the sport, the top 35 teams in _owner's_ points are locked into the starting grid each week. For the first five races of the season, NASCAR uses the owner’s standings from the previous year, then reverts to the current season’s standings from there on out. So while the top 35 are locked in for the first few races, the jockeying for position has begun with the bubble teams in an effort to transfer into a locked in spot when the series visits Martinsville in a month and a half. So, read on to see who improved their position and who is already behind the 8 ball in this week's edition of the Bubble Breakdown.

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Tracking the Trucks: 2009 NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona

*In a Nutshell:* Todd Bodine took the checkered flag 0.249 seconds ahead of Kyle Busch to win the NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway on Friday night. Bodine overcame an early race black flag for advancing his position below the double yellow line on his way to victory lane. Terry Cook, rookie J.R. Fitzpatrick and Ron Hornaday, Jr. rounded out the Top 5.

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Matt Kenseth Scoots in Front Just in Time to Win 2009 Daytona 500

Matt Kenseth entered Daytona winless in his last 36 starts. That winless streak is now history. Kenseth passed Elliott Sadler in turn 3 on lap 145 for the lead under threatening skies. Half a lap after the pass, the yellow came out for a crash involving the No. 98 of …

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Big Six: 2009 Daytona 500

Who… gets my shoutout of the race? Had the rains not come, A.J. Allmendinger had a shot at taking it all. In the end, he had to settle for third, but that’s a long way from a year ago, when Allmendinger watched the race on television after failing to qualify. …

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Numbers Game: 2009 Daytona 500

1 Number of times winner Matt Kenseth led the Daytona 500 Sunday. 2 hours, 51 minutes, 40 seconds Time it took to complete the Daytona 500. 7 Laps led by Daytona 500 winner Kenseth. 7 Cars moved to the rear of the field at the start of the Daytona 500. …

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Beyond the Cockpit: Colin Braun on Truck Racing, Year 2

Roush Fenway driver Colin Braun is one of the most accomplished road racers in the country. Prior to jumping over to NASCAR full-time in 2008, Braun’s list of accomplishments included: youngest driver to win a formula race, Grand-Am race winner, and 2007 RACER Magazine Rookie of the Year. He has …

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