DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Jimmie Johnson has won his second Daytona 500, racing past defending NASCAR champion Brad Keselowski on the final restart, while Danica Patrick finished eighth.
Johnson wasn't challenged over the final six laps Sunday, adding another 500 title to go with his 2006 victory. This time crew chief Chad Knaus can enjoy it -- he was suspended by NASCAR for the first victory.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. made a late move to finish second, but didn't challenge his Hendrick Motorsports teammate for the victory. Mark Martin was third.
An early wreck in the Daytona 500 has knocked out several top contenders, including three-time NASCAR champion Tony Stewart and 2007 race winner Kevin Harvick.
Stewart, winless in 14 starts in The Great American Race, says he is "heartbroken and disappointed."
The nine-car wreck started when Kasey Kahne let off the gas to slow as they neared the first turn at Daytona International Speedway. Kyle Busch tried to do the same, but couldn't avoid contact.
Busch sent Kahne spinning across the track. Juan Pablo Montoya, 2010 race winner Jamie McMurray and defending series champion Brad Keselowski also were involved. So were Kurt Busch and Casey Mears. The accident ended Harvick's attempt to become the first in NASCAR history to win the exhibition Sprint Unlimited, a twin qualifying race and the Daytona 500 in the same Speedweeks.
Patrick was third on the final lap, but faded in the flurry of late action. She became the first woman in history to lead laps in the Daytona 500, though, with her three laps out front. Fans were on their feet as Patrick beat Michael Waltrip to the front of the field on a restart.
Patrick started the 200-lap race on the pole after becoming the first woman to qualify in the top spot. She failed to lead the first lap, though, falling behind three-time race winner Jeff Gordon. Nonetheless, it was a big moment for NASCAR and Patrick.
Patrick also made history as an IndyCar driver. She led 19 laps as a rookie in the 2005 Indianapolis 500, becoming the first woman to lead open-wheel racing's premier event. She finished fourth.
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