NASCAR

No Daytona Dream Ending for Jimmie Johnson

El Cajon native and 7-time NASCAR Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson doesn't finish his final Daytona 500

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Seven-time NASCAR Cup Champion and 2-time Daytona 500 winner Jimmie Johnson was hoping for something special in his final race at the famed Florida track, but it was not to be.

Johnson, who will retire after this NASCAR season, had to exit the race with 10 laps remaining. He finished in 35th place. Johnson's #48 car was involved in a wreck and his crew was not able to make the needed repairs in the allotted time to return to the track.

When asked about the condition of his car, Johnson said it was "More tore up than we realized. It's going to be a great year, just got to keep digging."

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"It was an emotional day right up until I got in the car. Then it was business. So the bad finish isn't emotional, it's just disappointing," added Johnson.

The 44-year-old has 83 career wins in 19 NASCAR seasons, but hasn't won since 2017. After this disappointment at Daytona, Johnson has gone 96 starts without a victory. Quite a drought for a driver who dominated NASCAR, averaging five wins a season for 16 straight years.

In a race marred by crashes, Denny Hamlin won the 2020 Daytona 500 in the 2nd overtime. For Hamlin, this is his 2nd straight Daytona 500 victory and 3rd in the last five years.

As the race was finishing, Ryan Newman was involved in accident that saw his car go airborne, and land on the drivers side roof. As the mangled car went skidding down the track, flames were visible coming out from underneath the car. Emergency crews were on scene and put out the fire, but there has been no update on Newman's condition.

The Daytona 500 was a Monday finish because rains postponed the race on it's originally scheduled Sunday.

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