Ward Burton, who never led until three laps before the finish, won his first Daytona 500.
Burton held off Elliott Sadler at line as Dale Jarrett spun into the infield to start the final lap.
Sterling Marlin and Jeff Gordon were battling for the lead with three laps left when they tangled and were forced to back of the pack on the re-start.
Las Vegas resident Kurt Busch, who led NASCAR's most prestigious race with less than 30 laps remaining, wound up an impressive fourth. At age 21, Busch would have been the youngest driver ever to win the 500.