- Associated Press - Monday, February 27, 2012

DAYTONA BEACH, FLA. (AP) - Martin Truex Jr. picked up a $200,000 bonus for Michael Waltrip Racing by leading at the halfway point of the Daytona 500.

Truex passed Greg Biffle on lap 100 and held off the pack for the big paycheck.

NASCAR’s most prestigious race comes with a record purse of more than $19 million, and officials tweaked the payout rules this season to add more incentive to leading at the halfway point of the season opener.

The winner collects more than $1.4 million. Drivers, especially those driving for smaller teams, openly talked about going for the halfway bonus.

Former series champion Terry Labonte was going for it before he got spun out. That set the stage for Truex, who waited for a chance to make a move on Biffle.

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