Daytona 500: Jimmie Johnson Wins NASCAR’s Biggest Race
(DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.) — NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson won the Daytona 500 on Sunday, while Danica Patrick, who made history as the first woman to win the pole position in the race, finished in eighth place.
Crews worked overnight to repair a fence at the Daytona International Speedway for Sunday’s race after a fiery crash in the final lap of the Nationwide race on Saturday injured at least 28 fans when debris flew into the stands.
While there were no reports of fans being injured on Sunday, there were a handful of crashes.
A nine-car wreck during lap 34 of the race took star drivers Tony Stewart and Kevin Harvick out of the running. Stewart won the Nationwide race at the speedway on Saturday.
“Happy with our car, was just waiting for it to all get sorted out again,” Stewart told ESPN. “I don’t know what started it, but we just got caught up in another wreck.”
It was a history-making race for Patrick, who was entered the final lap in third place, but finished in eighth, the best showing for a woman at the Daytona 500. She also became the first woman to lead a lap — she led five — at the prestigous race.
The previous highest woman finisher was Janet Guthrie, who came in 11th in 1980.
Several cars tangled and crashed in the final lap of the race, although nothing like Saturday’s last-lap crash that sent rookie Kyle Larson’s car airborne and a tire, engine and other debris barreling into the stands.
NASCAR officials did not throw a yellow flag and allowed Johnson to lead the pack to the checkered flag at the finish line.
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