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Matt Kenseth declared the winner of rain-shortened Daytona 500 race

UPI News Service, 02/15/2009 

Matt Kenseth was declared the winner of the Daytona 500 Sunday after a severe rainstorm interrupted the race with only 152-of-200 laps completed.

Kenseth, who did not win a Sprint Cup race last season, started 2009 with his first victory at the Daytona Beach (Fla.) International Speedway while driving a backup Ford from a rear-of-the-pack start.

"I was pretty miserable by Friday night because we couldn't make our car run right," Kenseth said in a post-race television interview. "I never dreamed we could win."

The 2003 points champion avoided a major wreck and grabbed the lead on lap 146 when he got a push from Kevin Harvick and passed Elliott Sadler.

Harvick finished second, with A.J. Allmendinger, Clint Bowyer and Sadler completing the top five.

Kenseth made car owner Jack Roush a first-time Daytona 500 winner.

After leading 88 laps, the chances of Kyle Busch ended when he was among 10 drivers involved in a multicar crash on lap 124.

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Copyright 2009 by United Press International

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