Matt Kenseth took the checkered flag at the 2012 Daytona 500.  The 39-year-old drove the number-17 car to victory lane in a green-white-checkered finish for his second career win at the "Great American Race."

Kenseth was also the champion in 2009.  He is the first repeat champion since Jeff Gordon backed up victories in 1997 and 1999 with a 2005 win.  Dale Earnhardt Jr. took second place, while Kenseth's Roush-Fenway teammate Greg Biffle finished third.  Denny Hamlin and Jeff Burton rounded out the top-five.

Paul Menard came in sixth, followed by Kevin Harvick and pole-sitter Carl Edwards.  Joey Logano drove the 20-car to a ninth-place showing, while veteran Mark Martin rounded out the top-10.  Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson were involved in early wrecks and finished 40th and 42nd, respectively.  Defending Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart finished the race in 16th place.  Danica Patrick recovered from an early wreck, but finished 38th in her Sprint Cup debut.  Patrick became the third woman to start a Daytona 500, and the first since Shawna Robinson in 2002.

The race was delayed over two hours with 40 laps to go when there was an explosion on the track after Juan Pablo Montoya lost control of his car and crashed into a jet dryer truck.  Jet fuel poured out of the truck and on to the track after the crash.  Crews worked on extinguishing the fire and then drying the track to make it safe for racing.  It was the first time the 500 had been run on a Monday, or at night, after lengthy rain delays backed the schedule up.