DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Ryan Newman snapped an 81-race winless streak Sunday, using a huge push from teammate Kurt Busch to give car owner Roger Penske his first Daytona 500 victory.
Penske, the most successful owner in open wheel history with 14 wins in the prestigious Indianapolis 500, now has a victory in NASCAR's showcase event.
It only took him 23 years to get it.
It came in the historic 50th running of The Great American Race, and it came in thrilling fashion.
The Penske cars were quiet for 199 of the 200 laps, letting Joe Gibbs Racing stars Tony Stewart and Kyle Busch race each other in a battle of Toyotas. With one lap to go, it appeared Stewart finally would get a Daytona 500 win in his 10th try.
Running out front in the high line, he held off the two Penske cars as they circled the famed speedway. But at the last second, he dropped low on the track to block Kyle Busch, who was charging hard on the bottom.
The decision backfired when the two Penske cars flew past him on the top, and Newman pulled away for his first win since New Hampshire in September 2005.