Daytona Beach, FL (SportsNetwork.com) – Matt Kenseth avoided several crashes,
including a 12-car pileup, and then held off Martin Truex Jr. at the finish to
win Saturday night’s Sprint Unlimited preseason race at Daytona International
Kenseth returned to victory lane in the Sprint Cup Series after he was winless
last season. In 2013, his first year as driver of the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing
Toyota, Kenseth won a series-high seven races during the season. He has two
victories in the Daytona 500 (2009 and ’12) before claiming his first win in
the Sprint Unlimited.
Truex, who led the most laps with 28, finished 0.219 seconds behind Kenseth,
while Carl Edwards, who is Kenseth’s new teammate at JGR this season, crossed
the line in third. Casey Mears and Kyle Larson rounded out the top-five.
The 12-car accident, triggered by Jamie McMurray, occurred on the frontstretch
on lap 45, forcing NASCAR to display the red-flag to briefly stop the race for
track cleanup efforts. Another wreck involving Tony Stewart, Greg Biffle and
Kurt Busch on the backstretch with eight laps left forced another red flag.
Kevin Harvick, the reigning series champion, and Joey Logano confronted each
other on pit road after the two had raced aggressively on the final lap.
Logano had bumped into the slower car of Harvick and moved him up the track
before he bounced off the wall. One of Logano’s crew members had to pull him
away from Harvick to avoid an altercation.