Local Jimmie Johnson Wins Daytona 500

5-time is now 2-time

By Derek Togerson
|  Sunday, Feb 24, 2013  |  Updated 2:14 PM PDT
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Local Named Most Influential Athlete

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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)

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Once again, El Cajon rules the NASCAR world.

Granite Hills High School alum Jimmie Johnson won the 55th running of the Daytona 500 on Sunday. It's the second time the Lowe's #48 car has won The Great American Race. The first was in 2006, when Johnson win the first of his 5 straight NASCAR Sprint Cup Championships.

"This race car, this Lowe's Chevrolet, was so good," said Johnson in Victory Lane "(crew chief) Chad Knaus and all of Hendrick Motorsports had me a fast car, and I could really stay up front all day long."

With 20 laps to go, Johnson had reigning Sprint Cup champ Brad Keselowski were side-by-side on a restart. Keselowski gave it a good run, but damage his car sustained from a crash earlier in the race eventually took its toll. Still, Keselowski did a tremendous job getting back into contention with duct tape holding the from end of his car together.

Without a dominant car, he really had no chance to hang with the 48.

"I had a lot of confidence those final few laps leading the train," said Johnson, who really went unchallenged after another restart with 6 laps left. "I knew just how fast this car was."

Danica Patrick finished 8th, the highest finish ever for a woman at the Daytona 500. Crowd favorite Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 2nd, right behind his team mate.

It's the 61st win of Johnson's Hall of Fame career. He's the 10th driver in history to win multiple Daytona 500 titles.

Afterwards, he did what all good drivers do. Thanked the fans, and played corporate pitch man.

"Go to Lowe's, buy some stuff, Spring's coming. Go and buy a Chevrolet. Awesome day."

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