The winner had six top-10 finishes at Daytona before finally grabbing the big prize.
His best Nextel Cup finish is also his first top-five at a restrictor-plate track.
Hadn't had a Daytona top-10 since he was eighth in his track debut, the 500 in '02. ELLIOTT SADLER
The highest-finishing Ford is the only Fusion among the first eight cars.
The 2005 series champ is sent to the back of the field thrice but rallies each time.
OUT OF BOUNDS
STILL SEARCHING: Jimmie Johnson won the 500 in his fifth try, but many others had a much longer wait extended. Terry Labonte fell to 0-for-27 in the Great American Race. Mark Martin, Kyle Petty and Ken Schrader each dropped to 0-for-22, Bobby Labonte 0-for-14 and pole-sitter Jeff Burton 0-for-13.
"That's the kind of thing that's gotten us (through) the whole time. (Otherwise) I'd still be sitting home, watching this on TV and wishing I hadn't eaten so much pizza. People like that have helped us enough to get here."
- KIRK SHELMERDINE, on Dale Earnhardt Sr. fans who picked up Shelmerdine's tire bill for the week (Shelmerdine was Earnhardt's crew chief for several years). Shelmerdine finished 20th, his best Nextel Cup finish in 24 career starts