Jimmie Johnson survives to win Daytona 500

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)

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)

Jimmie Johnson won his second Daytona 500 Sunday holding off Dale Earnhardt Jr., to score the 61 win of his career. For Johnson however it wasn’t a dominating performance, instead Johnson won NASCAR’s version of Survivor.

Early in the race it seemed the day would belong to Matt Kenseth. Kenseth, who started 12, took the lead from Jeff Gordon on lap 38 after fighting his way through the field. Kenseth took the lead just after a caution for a multi-car crash on lap 32 involving 9 cars that eliminated many favorites including Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne and Kevin Harvick. The crash started when Kyle Busch hit Kahne sending him spinning.

“The guys in front of me were all checking up,” Kahne said. “I was trying not to run over Jeff (Gordon) and I could feel a lot of momentum right there, so I was trying hard not to run over Jeff. Kyle (Busch) was probably feeling the same momentum from behind and hit me, which shot me to the infield. There were a lot of cars close together.”

While Kahne, Stewart and Harvick were forced to the garage; Brad Keselowski who also sustained damage as well as Busch were able to continue. MORE>>>

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