One day after one of the wildest wrecks ever at Daytona the Sprint Cup drivers take to the track for the first points race this season. On poll for the event was Danica Patrick who was the first female ever on the poll for the event.
"A lot of unknowns today with this car," said Kevin Harvick.
As the green flag drops Jeff Gordon got the best of the start and the race lead as the high side again for the Sprint Cup cars is the way to go. By lap five the field had a big section in the back of three wide racing as the bottom line started to get fast with Kevin Harvick slowly marching his way to the front. That did not work for long and then at lap 10 it was a long single line of racing cars.
Around lap 21 Jeff Gordon was still leading the race, but had junk on the grill of his car causing his temps to rise. By this time Michael Waltrip and Trevor Bayne were off the pace. At lap 27 it was the first caution of the day for some metal debris. The caution brought down everyone with Jeff Gordon keeping the lead of the race.
This time after the green flag dropped the low line worked enough so that Jimmie Johnson could get the race lead. It was not too much longer and it was wreck time. Kasey Kahne gets loose and helps take out Kevin Harvick, Juan Pablo Montoya, Jamie McMurray, Casey Mears, and Tony Stewart.
"It just all happened really fast," said Kasey Kahne.
"I got spun around," said Jamie McMurray. "I guess we can get it fixed."
"I saw the five(Kasey Kahne) spinning," said Kevin Harvick.
Tony Stewart stated that he saw the five and 29(Kevin Harvick) car spinning.
The low side was working again and Matt Kenseth this time was able to get the race lead. The top side though started to gain more momentum and a single line cars started to form. Then it got to be a long line of single line cars.
At lap 70 the first of the green flag pit stops started with Austin Dillion. Kyle Busch wound up with a slow stop due to a jack issue and Aric Almirola picked up a penalty for exiting too fast from pit road. After the pit stops were over Denny Hamlin picked up the race lead with Martin Truex Jr. in second pace.
The caution finally came out on lap 85 for debris. This caution brought in the leaders for fuel only pit stops. As the race restarted Danica Patrick gets to be the first woman to lead laps at the Daytona 500. Denny Hamlin and the low line started to get hot and he took over the race lead. Denny went to the top side which allowed Matt Kenseth on the low side to move up to the top and take the race lead.
The green flag racing continued and with 74 laps left it was another round of green flag pit stops. Three laps go by and Danica Patrick with a bunch of other cars pit. After all the pit stops were over Matt Kenseth was back to the race lead. The caution finally comes out again with 63 laps left for the second group of wrecking cars. The wrecked cars included Carl Edwards, Trevor Bayne, Austin Dillion, David Gilliand, Josh Wise, and David Ragan. This has been the fifth wreck that Carl has been in this year.
"This has not been fun," said Carl Edwards. "Very frustrating day."
When the race restarted Matt Kenseth kept on leading laps. With 52 laps left though his car started smoking big time. This caused Denny Hamlin back into the race lead and Matt down to pit road. Three laps later and Kyle Busch goes down put road as his car is toast.
"Transmission or engine," said Matt Kenseth.
"Really unfortunate," said Kyle Busch.
With 28 laps left a big bulk of cars go down for green flag pit stops. With 25 laps left Martin Truex Jr. and his engine went south. On the next lap Jeff Burton in a single car wreck brings out the caution. When the race finally restarted with 19 laps left Brad Keselowski was in the race lead while Danica Patrick was back in sixth.
Brad Keselowskoi started out leading more laps as it quickly got single file up front with Danica Patrick in third. The low side started to get fast with Jimmie Johnson moving his way up to second place. With 13 laps left it got three wide behind Danica. Four more laps go by and the caution came out again for debris out on the race track.
Jimmie Johnson was in the race lead at the time of the caution with Danica in sixth. With six laps left the race restarted high side with Jimmie Johnson leading the laps. As the laps quickly went down Jimmie Johnson was the leader at the last lap. Mark Martin pushed Dale Earnhardt Jr. up to second place while Greg Biffle and Danica Patrick lost momentum big time. Dale Jr. could not do anything in the final corner
Danica Patrick stated that she felt like she was going to get freight trained if she got out of line. Danica finished the race in eighth place which is the best every finish for a woman at Daytona.
"The Lowe's Chevrolet was so good," said Jimmie Johnson. "Awesome day." Jimmie winds up being the sixth only driver to win in his 400th start.
"It was a ton of fun," said Chad Knauss who is the crew chief for Jimmie Johnson.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. stated that he just kinda run out of steam on turn four.
"Lane got stalled on the restart," said Brad Keselowski.
"Great effort," said Mark Martin.