When Jimmie Johnson won Sunday’s Daytona 500, he joined elite company as he became just the 10th driver to win the Harley J. Earl trophy multiple times. His other Daytona 500 crown came in 2006. One of the more interesting stats coming out of Daytona was that he achieved this victory during his 400th Sprint Cup Series start. Amazingly, five other drivers raced to wins in the Daytona 500 in their 400th start. They are Lee Petty, Richard Petty, David Pearson, Dave Marcis and Dale Earnhardt. All but Marcis are in the NASCAR Hall of Fame and Johnson seems well on his way to join the other four someday.
Television ratings for the Daytona 500 jumped 30 percent from a year ago. FOX Sports reported the race earned a 10.0 overnight rating and a 22 share, making it the highest-rated Daytona 500 in the last seven years. Much of the ratings success is credited to Danica Patrick making history as the first woman to start a Sprint Cup Series race from the pole. The debut of the Generation 6 car also helped fuel curiosity as well as a frightening crash during the Nationwide Series race on Saturday afternoon.
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