For the second time in his career, Jimmy Johnson has won the Daytona 500. The NASCAR media operation should be thrilled that star Danica Patrick finished eighth and might have finished even higher if it were not for an unlucky choice to stop for her third set of tires on Lap 130. She had gone 71 laps on the first lap, and if she waited that long for the next set she could have stopped under a yellow in Lap 137 and perhaps finished in the top few.
There is no doubt that Patrick may win a NASCAR race after her performance today. Starting on the pole, she was in the top five throughout most of the race before falling further back only after pit stops for new tires on laps 71 and 130.
The day after the wreck in the Nationwide race, the Daytona 500 had an outstanding conclusion.
In a thrilling finish, Johnson held off a late charge from runner-up Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and third-place finisher Mark Martin.
Betting odds for Patrick winning this Sunday had improved from 150-to-1 to as close as 20-to-1 in some places due to her popularity resulting in small bets.
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