The Two-Way
4:22 am
Tue February 28, 2012

After Rain Then Fire, Matt Kenseth Wins Daytona 500

"The Great American Race" was supposed to start on Sunday, but rain delayed the start until Monday evening and when the race finally go under way, it was delayed once more by a massive fire.

At about 1 a.m. ET this morning, Matt Kenseth edged out Dale Earnhardt Jr. to become the 54th winner of the Daytona 500.

CNN reports:

"Those who made it to the end survived multiple accidents, including one on the second lap, and 10 caution flags.

"Officials shut down the race for nearly two hours after Juan Pablo Montoya careened into the back of a jet dryer that was being used to blow debris off the track during a caution flag. Montoya's car, the jet dryer and the truck pulling it all burst into flames and also set a section of the track on fire."

That was a pretty dramatic scene, which you can see in this video:

One of the commentators says, "Well I've seen a lot of things, but never something like this." The reason the flames were so fierce is that the dryer, which for those of us who don't watch racing is literally a jet engine, had 200 gallons of jet fuel in it.

USA Today reports the delay was so long that driver Brad Kaselowski found time to tweet. He said this was probably the first tweet from a car on the track of the Daytona 500.

Yahoo! News rounds up the tweets:

"He was funny: 'Maybe the Mayans were right about 2012...' Keselowski tweeted when a fan asked about the oddity of the whole weekend, what with the fire, the rain-delayed start and all of Daytona's other oddities.

"He was informative, giving updates from inside and outside of his car on when the race might restart.

"He was revealing – or at least he revealed the awful battery life on his iPhone. At 10:08 p.m., it held a 60 percent charge. By 11:30 p.m., it had dipped to 28 percent."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.