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Daytona 500 Results: Breaking Down Top Performances from Thrilling Race

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 24:  Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe's Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 24, 2013 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Dan TalintyreSenior Analyst IIFebruary 24, 2013

Jimmie Johnson is the 2013 Daytona 500 champion for the second time in his career after hanging on for the win in an amazing finish to the sport's biggest race.

Johnson survived crashes throughout the race to hang on from Dale Earnhardt Jr. in second place, with Mark Martin rounding out the podium in third.

Pre-race leader Danica Patrick finished in eighth.

Read on to see all the top performances from another thrilling Daytona 500.

 

Jimmie Johnson

Jimmie Johnson drove spectacularly well to record a win here at Daytona—as you have to—but it was his patience over the final few laps that proved key.

Johnson survived challenges from numerous drivers for the checkered flag, and was able to hang on and continue to manage the car well towards the line.

Rick Hendrick's seventh Daytona 500 victory came solely because of the level-headedness that Johnson possessed in the final few minutes of the race.

 

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

It's almost hard not to feel sorry for Earnhardt here, who pulled out another huge performance at the Daytona 500—only to fall agonizingly short of success.

Earnhardt's second-place finish is the third time he's done so in the past four Daytona 500s. There's no doubt he's wishing he could finally crack the race once more.

That 2004 title must seem like an eternity ago after all these second-place finishes, even despite Earnhardt being a true model for consistency at the track.

 

Ryan Newman

Ryan Newman emerged as a big winner on the day, given how far back in the grid he had to come from even to be in contention for the win here.

Newman qualified 34th for the big race, but with some solid driving and dogged determination, moved his way into fifth overall—a remarkable performance.

With 50 laps to go, Newman wasn't even in the top 10. Now he can claim to have another top-five finish at the Daytona 500 to his name.

 

Danica Patrick

All of the pre-race attention was focused on female rookie Danica Patrick, who had already created history to become the first woman to win pole position at the race. However, many had expected her to slide further down the rankings once the race had actuality started—making her eighth-place finish something that was truly a strong performance indeed.

Patrick became the first woman to lead a lap of the Daytona 500, and clearly showed that she has a bright future in the sport with a strong performance here.

As the GoDaddy crew said after the race (per Sports Illustrated), "we stayed in the top 10 basically all day, and we can't complain about that".

An eighth-place finish certainly was no small feat for Patrick here.

 

What did you make of the 2013 Daytona 500?

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