Jimmie Johnson celebrates in victory lane after winning the
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 race at the Daytona
International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Jimmie Johnson has added to his place in NASCAR's list of
greats by winning his second Daytona 500 while Danica Patrick
placed eighth, the best-ever finish for a woman in the 'Great
Five-time Sprint Cup champion Johnson led through the last 10
laps to finish ahead of Dale Earnhardt Jr and the 54-year-old
Patrick, who was the first woman to start on pole in the 500,
went into the final lap in third place but fell back five
places during the final push to the finish line.
Johnson, driving the number 48 Chevrolet for Hendrick
Motorsports, first won the race in 2006 but had not finished
above 27th in the last six editions of stock car racing's
"I had a lot of confidence in those final two laps leading
the train because I knew just how fast this car was," said
The race came a day after a crash in the second tier
Nationwide race at the Daytona International Speedway left 28
fans needing treatment after debris flew into the crowd.
As usual there were some wrecks in the always incident filled
race with an early collision on lap 33 with nine cars
involved, several spinning off the track including one of the
favourites Tony Stewart and 2007 Daytona 500 winner Kevin
Patrick conceded her inexperience may have cost her at the
decisive stage of the race but that her performance was more
significant than winning the pole.
"I think it was better to have run up in the top 10 all
day...being able to stay up and lead at one point for me that
was more of an accomplishment", she said.
But Johnson proved too quick for Patrick and the pack.
"Once Jimmie got into the outside line he showed that he was
fast. It was a steady day for me. Nothing super-duper
eventful," she said.
The 30-year-old former Indy Car driver led briefly after the
90th lap, becoming the first woman drive to lead the Daytona
500. She had lost her pole position to Jeff Gordon on the
Earnhardt Jr, whose father died at in the race 12 years ago,
finished second in the Daytona 500 for the third time in four