Countdown to the Daytona 500: A look back on the controversial finish in 2007 Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

The Daytona 500 is only two days away, and we’re counting down the days until the NASCAR season begins at Daytona International Speedway with memorable moments at the most prestigious race in the sport.

Mark Martin had been so close to winning the Daytona 500 on multiple occasions, but his ultimate heartbreak came at the 2007 running of the event.

Martin led for 26 laps, and he was the leader late in the race and looked to be well on his way to his first Daytona 500 win. It was his 23rd attempt, and he had seven finishes in the top 7.

Related: Countdown to the Daytona 500: Remembering the closest finish in Daytona 500 history in 2016

However, on the last lap, Kevin Harvick made a late surge, and he was neck-and-neck with Martin. As Kyle Busch attempted to pass them, he got loose and spun out, and it started a chain reaction as a plethora of other drivers wrecked.

Clint Bowyer flipped and skidded across the finish line on his roof, and Jeff Gordon was also involved in a wreck.

Surprisingly, the caution flag didn’t come out, and Harvick beat Martin to the finish line by .002 seconds for his first career win at the Daytona 500.

Related: Countdown to the Daytona 500: Remembering Dale Jr.’s first Daytona 500 win

Many felt like the caution flag should’ve been out, which might’ve helped Martin overcome Harvick’s late surge to win the race.

Martin raced at six more Daytona 500s, but he was never able to win. He finished third in his final appearance at the track in 2012.

Cole Frederick About the author:
Cole Frederick is from a small town in Alabama, and he graduated from the University of Mississippi with a degree in journalism. He loves all sports - especially football and basketball - and quotes The Office frequently.
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