DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Mother Nature played a big role in the outcome of Sunday’s Daytona 500 by halting the event with rain after 152 of 200 laps were completed. Had she intervened just one lap earlier, Dodge would have successfully defended its Daytona 500 title, with Elliott Sadler nearly taking the checkered flag.
Despite this turn of events, four members of the Dodge Motorsports team finished in the top-10. Here’s how the whole team did:
• 3rd – A.J. Allmendinger, #44 Valvoline Dodge Charger
• 5th – Elliott Sadler, #19 Stanley Dodge Charger
• 9th – Reed Sorenson, #43 McDonald’s Dodge Charger
• 10th – Kurt Busch, #2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger
• 29th – Kasey Kahne, #9 Budweiser Dodge Charger
• 32nd – Sam Hornish, Jr., #77 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger
• 33rd – David Stremme, #12 Penske Racing Dodge Charger
Elliott Sadler took the lead on lap 122 in the No. 19 Stanley Dodge Charger. He had a strong push from teammate Reed Sorenson from the second spot as reports of rain converging on the 2.5-mile track intensified. Sadler held the point for 24 circuits, but when Sorenson was tapped from behind on lap 146, the rear end of the No. 43 McDonald’s Dodge Charger lost traction briefly which allowed eventual winner Matt Kenseth and runner-up Kevin Harvick to make the pass and take aim at Sadler. The two drafted past Sadler’s No. 19 Stanley’s Dodge Charger just as the rain began to intensify. The caution appeared just after lap 146 was completed. After six laps under yellow, the red flag was displayed and the cars were stopped on pit road. After a 20-minute wait, NASCAR® officials announced the race had been called.
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