Daytona 500 winner takes in San Francisco sights 

click to enlarge Daytona 500 winner Matt Kenseth, right, drops a crab into a boiling pot of water with Fishermen’s Grotto owner Anthony Geraldi on Thursday. - JOSEPH SCHELL/SPECIAL TO THE S.F. EXAMINER
  • joseph schell/special to the s.f. examiner
  • Daytona 500 winner Matt Kenseth, right, drops a crab into a boiling pot of water with Fishermen’s Grotto owner Anthony Geraldi on Thursday.

Fresh off winning a wet and fiery Daytona 500 on Monday, Matt Kenseth took a much slower ride through the streets of San Francisco on Thursday.

Kenseth rode a motorized cable car across the Golden Gate Bridge to Fisherman’s Wharf, where he cracked crab and peeled shrimp with a chef at Fishermen’s Grotto, then headed over to Ghirardelli Square, where he signed autographs for cheering fans before making an ice cream sundae.

Steve Page, president and general manager of Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, welcomed Kenseth with an assortment of photos featuring the driver’s face pasted onto a bohemian, a Raiders fan in the Black Hole, leaving Lady Gaga’s apartment at 6 a.m., refereeing a UFC match and joining Bay Area rock legends Metallica.

Kenseth won his second Daytona 500 after poor weather in Daytona Beach, Fla., pushed the race from Sunday to Monday. During the race, Juan Pablo Montoya’s car crashed into a safety truck loaded with jet fuel, which immediately ignited, causing more delays and distractions.

Kenseth is just the seventh driver to win a NASCAR championship and multiple Daytona 500s. He said he’s not letting his rising star go to his head, though.

“I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it or looking back at it,” he said. “Once I get done with everything tonight and finally go to bed, I’ll put my ring away where the other one is and go to work in Phoenix.”

After the race, Kenseth made stops in Dallas and Los Angeles before coming to The City, and left for Phoenix after his visit to San Francisco for the next installment of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

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