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Dale Earnhardt Jr. Wins The Daytona 500

By February 15, 2004

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It was a much different looking Daytona 500 than we've seen over the last few years as it was down to just three cars in a four car draft for the win. Tony Stewart settled for second when he couldn't find enough help to pass and Scott Wimmer took two tires on the last stop to steal third.

Even though the bigger emphasis on handling and softer tires separated the field into smaller packs we still had "The Big One" as Michael Waltrip ended up on his roof. That 12-car melee on the back stretch started when rookie Johnny Sauter lost it a little bit and pinched rookie Brian Vickers up into Michael who spun down through the grass, dug in and tumbled.

My impression in general though matches up with Kevin Harvick who said it was "boring as hell." I'm glad Daytona is over and we can now get down to the business of real NASCAR racing as we head off to Rockingham and the rest of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup schedule.

You can check out the complete unofficial finishing order at NASCAR Online.

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