By Mark Atkinson for MSN Autos
Jimmie Johnson won his second-ever Daytona 500 on Sunday afternoon, despite not leading many laps along the way. Johnson restarted in the lead with only six laps to go, and despite a charge by Earnhardt Jr. and Mark Martin, Johnson wasn't really challenged at the checkers.
“It’s a very, very proud moment. Plate racing has been a little tough on the 48 the last few years," Johnson said.
It was the first win for Chevrolet with its new Gen-6 SS racecar, and it also took six of the top-10 finishers. Ford had three while Toyota had only one, although it was third-placed Martin.
Matt Kenseth, Jeff Gordon and Denny Hamlin were the most dominant in terms of laps led, but finished poorly in 37th, 20th and 14th respectively.
For those wondering, Danica Patrick set another record on Sunday by becoming the first woman to lead a Cup race at Daytona. She was racy all day and was into the mix until the final lap where she dropped from second to eighth.
Bad luck also gave Patrick's teammate and boss Tony Stewart a headache when he wrecked out early despite having won the infamous crash-filled Nationwide race the night before. Despite being Sprint Cup champ at least twice, he's never won the big one at Daytona.
Overall, the race turned out to be more a snoozer than NASCAR was hoping for. Apparently the Gen-6 cars were safe enough on their first outing, but it was difficult to pass and run two or three wide. However, the focus for the new Sprint Cup cars is to improve the 'show' at the mid-sized 'mile-and-a-half' tracks that make up the bulk of the schedule, not the two-mile 'plate' tracks like Daytona and Talladega.
Did you watch the race? What did you think? Were you rooting for Danica to win or crash out? Let us know in the comments.