Trevor Bayne, in only his second top-level race, became the youngest Daytona 500 champion, winning the US stock car classic on Sunday only a day after his 20th birthday.
In a race that produced a record 16 caution flags, Bayne held off a fistful of veteran racers in his Ford over a final two-lap race to the checkered flag to become the second-youngest winner in NASCAR Sprint Cup series history.
"I don't even know where to go," Bayne said. "I didn't even know how to get to Victory Lane."
Bayne pulled off an unlikely triumph for the Wood Brothers team, a famed stock car pioneer group that collected its 98th series victory but its first since 1976.
"I keep thinking I'm dreaming. I really do," Bayne said. "To win our first 500 in our second-ever Cup race, it's unbelievable. Wow."
Bayne, who surpassed Jeff Gordon as Daytona's youngest champon, edged US compatriot Carl Edwards with David Gilliland third, Bobby Labonte fourth, Kurt Busch fifth and Colombia's Juan Pablo Montoya, a former Formula One racer, in sixth.
"I've never been to a race track with this many people," Bayne told the crowd.
There were 74 lead changes at Daytona International Speedway oval in the second-slowest 500 because of crashes, one which came near the end of the scheduled 200 laps and forced the event into extra laps.
NASCAR rules set-up a two-lap "green, white, checkered flag" finish if a crash forces the last lap to finish under caution, but the first try was spoiled by a crash and an improper move by leader David Ragan.
Ragan changed lanes before the start-finish line and was penalized by race officials, so when the second attempt was made the finish, it was Bayne who was leading the way and Ragan whose dream was dashed.
"It will take us a long time to get over this one," Ragan said. "NASCAR in their judgement I moved down too early. It will be a hard lesson to learn."