Johnson Wins 2nd Daytona 500

Danica Patrick was first woman to lead the race

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Feb 24, 2013 3:56 PM CST

(Newser) – Danica Patrick made history up front at the Daytona 500 today, only to see Jimmie Johnson make a late push ahead of her and reclaim his spot at the top of his sport. It was the second Daytona victory for Johnson, a five-time NASCAR champion who first won "The Great American Race" in 2006. Patrick, the first woman to win the pole, also became the first woman to lead the race. She was running third on the last lap, but faded to eighth at the finish.

There were several crashes during the race, none approaching the magnitude of the wreck that injured more than two dozen fans a day earlier in a second-tier race on the same track. Johnson raced past defending NASCAR champion Brad Keselowski on the final restart and pulled out to a sizable lead that nobody challenged over the final six laps. Dale Earnhardt Jr. settled for second as Hendrick Motorsports drivers went 1-2 in the new Chevrolet SS. Mark Martin was third in a Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota. Click for more, or an update on the injured fans.

Danica Patrick, center, prepares to get in her car at the NASCAR Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series auto race at Daytona International Speedway, Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013, in Daytona Beach, Fla.
Danica Patrick, center, prepares to get in her car at the NASCAR Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series auto race at Daytona International Speedway, Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013, in Daytona Beach, Fla.   (Terry Renna)
Jimmie Johnson crosses the finish line to win the Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series auto race, Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013, at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla.
Jimmie Johnson crosses the finish line to win the Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series auto race, Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013, at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla.   (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
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