DAYTONA BEACH FL - FEBRUARY 20: Trevor Bayne driver of the #21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford celebrates after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 20 2011 in Daytona Beach Florida. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Trevor Bayne Wins Daytona 500 In His Second Career Start

At 20 years and one day old, Trevor Bayne become the youngest driver to win the Daytona 500 after outlasting the field and holding off the pack on the final lap.

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Daytona 500 Results: Trevor Bayne Wins In His Second Career Start

For a moment, it looked like the Daytona 500 was destined to be remembered for the crashes and cautions. When Dale Earnhardt Jr. smacked the wall on the restart, during the first attempt at a green-and-white-checkered finish, the star-power in the field faded away, fallen by the wayside after numerous crashes at Daytona International Speedway zapped many of the familiar names. But Trevor Bayne came out of nowhere down to the wire, driving like a pro in just his second career race to give us an incredible storyline.

Bayne was a rookie in every sense of the world, never before racing in a Daytona 500 and being about as green as they come. At 20 years old, Bayne became the youngest driver to win a 500, leading the way into the tri-oval and holding off a hard-charging pack that included Carl Edwards and Bobby Labonte. It was almost too unbelievable to see a fresh-faced 20-year-old out-maneuver some of NASCAR's finest over 500 miles.

The whole story surrounding his win makes it a feel-good tale for fans that watched from afar. Bayne's birthday was on Saturday -- just one day before he took the track for the Daytona 500. At 20 years and one day old, Bayne easily eclipsed the youngest-driver mark set by Jeff Gordon, breaking that by over five and a half years. Gordon started on the outside of the first row on Sunday, but was caught up in a massive wreck early on.

SB Nation's Jeff Gluck has Bayne's back story, and it's one that makes him even more likable. From his nickname -- T-Bayne -- to his brash prediction that he'd win a race this year -- only in the Nationwide Series, though -- Bayne is a guy NASCAR could use. Whether it was luck or the beginning of something special, Bayne's performance at Sunday's Daytona 500 was an impressive display, capping a race that alternated between wild and slow-going under caution.

When it was all said and done, Bayne found himself doing donuts on the track and cruising into the winner's circle at Daytona. Not a bad day for a driver that just exited his teenage years.

For more on the race, check out our Daytona 500 StoryStream.


Daytona 500 Results: Trevor Bayne Wins After Green-White-Checkered Finish

In a race filled with cautions, Trevor Bayne came out on top, edging Carl Edwards at the finish to bring home the Daytona 500 victory after a green-white-checkered finish. Bayne won the 500 in just his second career start, making it the ultimate Cinderella story for NASCAR. In a fantastic finish, Bayne blocked the rest of the field as they entered the tri-oval, securing himself a Daytona 500 victory.

Caution came out with just about 15 laps to go, bunching the field together once again and setting up another inevitable crash. Ryan Newman held the lead with just a few laps left, but eight cars were within a second of a lead as the Daytona 500 bordered on out of control and wild, with drivers jockeying for position and looking for an opening to make a move.

The big one came with just five laps to go, spoiling what appeared to be a fantastic finish. Regan Smith, Ryan Newman and a long list of drivers were all caught up in the mess, with many unable to avoid the carnage. Because of the late caution, the field was all set up for a green-white-checkered finish, a quick shootout for all the marbles.

On the restart, it was David Ragan, Trevor Bayne, Kurt Busch, Tony Stewart and Dale Earnhardt Jr. listed as the top-five. Kyle Busch sat in sixth as the field grouped up one more time for the race to the finish. Martin Truex Jr. and Dale Earnhardt Jr. hit the wall on the backstretch just after the restart, taking both out of the race as they each tried to link up for the two car draft. Robbie Gordon got loose just ahead of the wreck.

Finally, on the second try at the green-white-checkered finish, six cars broke away in pairs, with Bayne holding the lead for both laps with a push from Bobby Labonte. Carl Edwards finished second after an impressive run down the backstretch to close the gap and nearly pull-off the win.

Kasey Kahne was running well for much of the day, but fell out of contention in heartbreaking fashion, after taking damage just before the stretch run with less than 20 laps to go. Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and others were caught up in a big crash early in the race, ending their days as well. By the time it was all said and done, more than half the field had fallen off the lead lap.

The 16 cautions were a Daytona 500 and track record as drivers spent an inordinate amount of time behind the pace car on Sunday. From the start, small mistakes — including spinouts and wall taps — forced the yellow flag to come out, turning the race into more of a grind than anything else. When the drivers were actually racing, the action was fast and furious, though, as it always is at Daytona.

For more on the race, check out our Daytona 500 StoryStream.


Daytona 500: Start Time, Lineup, TV Information And More

The Great American Race, the Daytona 500, is set to take place on Sunday with NASCAR's best drivers duking it out over 500 miles at Daytona International Speedway. From Dale Earnhardt Jr. to Enumclaw's Kasey Kahne, the field is full of star-power, gathered together to kick the 2011 season off right. Drivers start their engine early on Sunday morning and on the third lap, fans in attendance will participate in a tribute to Dale Earnhardt to mark the 10-year anniversary of his passing at Daytona.

Here's all the information for Sunday's race.

Time: Coverage begins at 9 a.m. local time, live from Daytona International Speedway.

Lineup: The full lineup can be found here. Though Earnhardt Jr. won the pole in qualifying last Sunday, a wreck during Wednesday's practice will force him to the back of Sunday's field. In his place, Kurt Busch will start on the pole, though Earnhardt Jr. is still officially the pole-sitter. Enumclaw's Kasey Kahne was slotted at 11th, but will start on the inside of the fifth row.

TV Information: FOX has the race coverage and will be with you the whole way, beginning at 9 a.m. Pacific. For the local viewers in Seattle, the FOX affiliate can be found on channel 13.

What To Watch For: As with any major speedway race, everyone is on the lookout for the big one. Most of the drivers will spend the race bunched together tightly in a wolfpack on steroids, with side-by-side and three-wide racing the norm at Daytona. One minor slip and it all goes downhill fast.

Dale Earnhardt Tribute: To mark the 10th anniversary of Earnhardt's passing, NASCAR officials are asking fans to stand in silence during the third lap of the Daytona 500. Fans will hold up three fingers are cars fly by during the third lap, with the broadcast crew sitting silent during the tribute. It should be a touching tribute for a racing legend.

It's About The Draft: After last weekend's Bud Shootout, it became clear changes were afoot in NASCAR. Drivers paired-off, two-by-two, to draft, forgoing the typical drafting lines prevalent at restrictor-plate races. The two-car draft allowed drivers to easily break the 200 mile per hour barrier, but wasn't as pleasant on the eyes for many. In response, NASCAR made some changes this week to force cars to stay away from the two-car drafts for most of Sunday's race, making it easier for the cars to overheat. Expect cars to pair-off down the stretch, though, as everyone looks to make their move late in the race.

If there's one NASCAR event to watch a year, it's the Daytona 500. It's still regarded as the biggest and best race on the series; and event race fans look forward to each year. With the rest of the SpeedWeeks events in the books -- including the Bud Shootout, Camping World Truck Series race and Nationwide Series race -- it all comes down to the main event in Daytona Beach. Tune in at 9 a.m. for all the action on FOX.

For more on the race, check out our Daytona 500 StoryStream.

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