The 2012 Daytona 500 will come down to a green-white-checkered finish, thanks to a crash on Lap 196 that sent Tony Stewart sideways and collected Kyle Busch, Ryan Newman, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr., among others.
The crash almost certainly means that Stewart, excellent through the Daytona fortnight, won't break through to win his first Daytona 500 in the early hours of Tuesday morning, but did nothing to reshuffle the lead pack. Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle, Denny Hamlin and Dale Earnhardt Jr. all remain out in front.
And now, with fewer than three laps left, the green-white-checkered finish is invoked. Drivers will have three attempts to run a clean green flag lap and bring out the white flag for a final lap, and after the white flag is waved, any flag will end the race.