By winning the pole last weekend, Danica Patrick was easily the most talked about driver heading into Sunday’s Daytona 500, but at the end of the day, experience paid off for Jimmie Johnson, who raced across the finish line with the checkered flag waiving for the second time in his career at “The Great American Race.”
Johnson, a five-time NASCAR champion, became only the 10th driver in the history of the sport to win the Daytona 500 for a second time. His previous victory came in 2006.
“There is no other way to start the season than to win the Daytona 500. I’m a very lucky man to have won it twice,” said Johnson, according to ESPN.com. “I’m very honored to be on that trophy with all the greats that have ever been in our sport.”
Patrick, who became the first woman in history to lead the event this year, still had an impressive eighth-place finish. But making history was not enough for Patrick. She wanted to win. However, that inexperience may have cost her, as she faded from third to eighth during the final lap.
“I would imagine pretty much anyone would be kicking themselves about what they coulda, shoulda have done to give themselves an opportunity to win,” she said. “I think that’s what I was feeling today, was uncertainty as to how I was going to accomplish that.”
Dale Earnhardt Jr. also enjoyed a fine performance, finishing the race in second. Mark Martin came in third, 2012 NASCAR champion Brad Keselowski came in fourth and Ryan Newman finished next, rounding out the top five.
Racing fans will likely wish the Daytona 500 didn’t have to end, but fortunately for them it’s kicked off what should be another exiting and memorable Sprint Cup Series. A whole season of fantastic events awaits, so make sure you strap in and hold on tight because it’s going to be a wild ride in 2013! Here are a few of the big events Fandeavor.com has experiences for coming up on the calendar:
You won’t want to miss one of NASCAR’s premier races at one of its finest tracks at the world famous Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The experience includes free food and beverage, a souvenir gift bag, VIP parking and exclusive Neon Garage and Cold Pit Road access!
Make sure to check out the Texas 500 at the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. The experience includes a guided pit tour, a pass to pre-race driver introductions, an exclusive tour of the garage and Q & A with Sprint Cup Series drivers. Could it get any better?