DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- Matt Kenseth didn't win a NASCAR Sprint Cup race all last year, but he has started off the 2009 season with a bang.
Kenseth won the rain-shortened Daytona 500 for a victory in NASCAR's biggest race of the year. Kenseth was in front when a steady rain started falling at Daytona International Speedway. The race was called with 48 laps remaining.
Kevin Harvick ran second with A.J. Allmendinger third. The race endured eight caution flags in the accident-filled Great American Race.
Kenseth calling winning the Daytona 500 "an unbelievable feeling" and said it was great to jump-start the 2009 season with a victory.
"After last year, winning a race means a lot to me," Kenseth said.
Three-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch were knocked out of the Daytona 500 in a multi-car accident started by Dale Earnhardt Jr. Busch had led for 88 laps before the accident, which came just after a restart with 75 laps remaining. Kenseth did a great job avoiding that wreck and led to his first Daytona victory.