• 52°

McDowell beats 100-1 odds for upset Daytona 500 victory

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Michael McDowell stormed through a crash scene to win the Daytona 500, snapping an 0-for-357 streak with a fiery pileup in his rearview mirror.

McDowell led just the final lap — maybe half of it, really — when Brad Keselowski turned teammate Joey Logano as the Team Penske drivers jockeyed for the victory.

McDowell stayed flat in the gas and plowed past the two spinning cars to the lead, then won a three-wide drag race until NASCAR threw a race-ending caution.

It was mayhem behind McDowell as a huge pack of cars could not avoid Keselowski and Logano. The collisions were one on top of another, flames erupting all over Daytona International Speedway as the race came to a close early Monday morning, nearly nine hours after it began.

McDowell, a 36-year-old journeyman from Arizona, was a 100-1 underdog at the start of the race and seemed in disbelief after taking his first checkered flag.

“So many years just grinding it out hoping for an opportunity like this,” McDowell said. “We’re the Daytona 500 champions. I cannot believe this. Luckily was able to make it through.”

A rain delay of almost six hours pushed the race into the night and under the lights, albeit without almost half the field. A 16-car accident just 15 laps into the race — moments before the rain — thinned the contenders and set up a showdown between Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin.

Hamlin and Harvick had the two best cars but pit strategy ended Hamlin’s shot at winning a record third-consecutive Daytona 500.

Reigning Cup Series champion Chase Elliott finished second and 2018 Daytona 500 winner Austin Dillon was third. Harvick finished fourth, and Hamlin was fifth after leading a race-high 98 laps.

Comments

Coronavirus

Three deaths, 29 new COVID-19 positives reported

Crime

Blotter: Bullet holes found in woman’s Park Avenue apartment

Crime

Man faces assault charges for domestic incident

High School

Photo gallery: Carson girls win West Regional, headed to state championship

High School

High school basketball: Carson girls headed to state championship game

Local

Commissioners set date for public hearing on potential solar energy system rule changes

Health

Two of Rep. Sasser’s bills successfully pass through Health Committee

Local

Rep. Warren’s measure to allow removal of public notices from newspapers put on back burner

China Grove

China Grove Town Council weighs future of previously rejected housing development

Local

Salisbury City Council hears public comments, receives presentation on Main Street reconfiguration

Crime

Blotter: Man charged with felony drug offenses

Nation/World

California crash kills 13 of 25 people crammed into SUV

Nation/World

Biden vows enough vaccines by end of May

Coronavirus

State to vaccinate medically vulnerable starting March 24

Coronavirus

One new death, 20 new COVID-19 positives reported in Rowan

Kannapolis

Kannapolis man dies in moped crash

Crime

Salisbury Police chief addresses K-9 video, says officer separated from animal

Local

Rowan Rescue Squad sets record straight on fundraising typo

Local

City approves DOT agreement, Salisbury Station project could begin next year

Local

County plans to use vulture effigy, enforce violations to remedy animal carcass feeding problem

Education

Two weeks after ending enhanced protocols, Catawba has no COVID-19 cases

News

Council to hear revised version of Downtown Main Street Plan

Local

Veto override of NC school reopening bill fails in Senate

News

Political Notebook: Majority of likely voters, local legislators support school reopening bill