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Daytona 500: Dale Earnhardt Jr wins after long rain delay

Dale Earnhardt Jr scored his second Daytona 500 win - 10 years on from his first - in a race that featured a record rain delay.

The 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup opener was red-flagged for six hours and 22 minutes as a storm blew in after 38 laps.

NASCAR was determined to run the full distance on Sunday if at all possible, and the race eventually resumed under floodlights just after 8.30pm local time.

Earnhardt was the man to beat in the final stages, regularly able to pull a gap from his rivals on restarts.

That helped in the decisive shootout, where he held off a horde of rivals in a green-white-chequered finish following one of several late pile-ups.

Earnhardt's Hendrick team filled the top three places on occasion, but it was Joe Gibbs Racing's Denny Hamlin who surged through to challenge the winner on the run to the flag.

Hamlin came within 0.092 seconds of completing a clean sweep of Unlimited, Duel and 500 wins.

Jeff Gordon, Brad Keselowski and Jimmie Johnson filled the rest of the top five, having also been in the thick of the lead battle into the closing laps.

Roush Fenway's Ricky Stenhouse Jr jumped to sixth with a great final restart, ahead of Matt Kenseth.

Polesitter Austin Dillon made it home in eighth, despite being in the thick of three of the multi-car accidents in the second half of the race, and arguably triggering two of them in contact with rookie of the year rival Kyle Larson and then Childress team-mate Ryan Newman.

Long-time lead threat Greg Biffle took ninth, with Casey Mears completing the top 10.

Another big crash meant the caution flag flew just as Earnhardt came to the line. That incident brought promising nights for Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards and Reed Sorenson to a messy end.

Kurt Busch was also a victory threat, though a late solo spin left him with only 21st place.

His Stewart-Haas team-mate and boss Tony Stewart was plagued by engine troubles on his comeback.

The unluckiest man of all was Martin Truex Jr. Forced to the back of the field due to Duel crash damage having qualified on the front row, his engine failed after just 28 laps as he charged through the field.

Results - 200 laps:                                                      
Pos  Driver              Team/Car                      Time/Gap 
 1.  Dale Earnhardt Jr   Hendrick Chevrolet        3h26m29.000s          
 2.  Denny Hamlin        Joe Gibbs Toyota               +0.092s          
 3.  Brad Keselowski     Penske Ford                    +0.203s          
 4.  Jeff Gordon         Hendrick Chevrolet             +0.235s          
 5.  Jimmie Johnson      Hendrick Chevrolet             +0.280s          
 6.  Matt Kenseth        Joe Gibbs Toyota               *0.378s          
 7.  Ricky Stenhouse Jr  Roush Fenway Ford              +0.391s          
 8.  Greg Biffle         Roush Fenway Ford              +0.508s          
 9.  Austin Dillon       Childress Chevrolet            +0.478s          
10.  Casey Mears         Germain Chevrolet              +0.808s          
11.  Joey Logano         Penske Ford                    +1.474s          
12.  Landon Cassill      Hillman Chevrolet              +2.939s          
13.  Kevin Harvick       Stewart-Haas Chevrolet         +4.175s          
14.  Jamie McMurray      Ganassi Chevrolet              +4.269s          
15.  Bobby Labonte       Hscott Chevrolet               +5.299s          
16.  Reed Sorenson       Baldwin Chevrolet              +5.737s          
17.  Carl Edwards        Roush Fenway Ford             +10.573s          
18.  Marcos Ambrose      Petty Ford                    +12.845s          
19.  Kyle Busch          Joe Gibbs Toyota              +21.527s          
20.  Terry Labonte       Go FAS Ford                     +1 lap          
21.  Kurt Busch          Stewart-Haas Chevrolet          +1 lap          
22.  Ryan Newman         Childress Chevrolet             +1 lap          
23.  Alex Bowman         BK Toyota                      +3 laps          
24.  Josh Wise           Parsons Ford                   +5 laps          
25.  Brian Scott         Childress Chevrolet            +5 laps          
26.  AJ Allmendinger     JTG Daugherty Chevrolet        +7 laps          
     Justin Allgaier     Hscott Chevrolet              193 laps          
     Cole Whitt          Swan Toyota                   193 laps          
     Parker Kligerman    Swan Toyota                   193 laps          
     Brian Vickers       Waltrip Toyota                192 laps          
     Kasey Kahne         Hendrick Chevrolet            192 laps          
     Paul Menard         Childress Chevrolet           184 laps          
     Trevor Bayne        Wood Brother Ford             183 laps          
     David Ragan         Front Row Ford                176 laps          
     Tony Stewart        Stewart-Haas Chevrolet        174 laps          
     David Gilliland     Front Row Ford                171 laps          
     Michael Annett      Baldwin Chevrolet             161 laps          
     Kyle Larson         Ganassi Chevrolet             160 laps          
     Aric Almirola       Petty Ford                    146 laps          
     Danica Patrick      Stewart-Haas Chevrolet        145 laps          
     Michael Waltrip     Waltrip Toyota                144 laps          
     Clint Bowyer	 Waltrip Toyota                127 laps          
     Martin Truex Jr	 Furniture Row Chevrolet        30 laps
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