Jimmie Johnson, Danica Patrick Make Statements at Daytona 500

The incredible stories of NASCAR‘s two most popular drivers just keep getting better. The 2013 Daytona 500 was one of the most hyped races in recent memory and it didn’t disappoint. After coming up short in his bid for a sixth straight Sprint Cup title, Jimmie Johnson came out of nowhere at the end of the Daytona 500 to seal the win and let the NASCAR world know he’s out to reclaim his throne in 2013. Meanwhile, Danica Patrick continued to make history by becoming the first woman to lead the race after winning the pole. In fact, she was in third until fading to eighth on the final lap.

Johnson almost did the impossible (again) by winning a sixth consecutive championship last year, but came up short to Brad Keselowski, so it was only fitting that Johnson flew past on the final restart and never gave up his lead. Even then, another great part of the story was the fact Johnson masterfully held off a late surge by Dale Earnhardt, Jr. to take the checkered flag and set the tone for the 2013 NASCAR season and let everyone know he’s on a mission to win his sixth title in seven years.

All eyes were on Patrick (for more than one reason) after her record-setting day at the pole. She turned in a great performance, but was disappointed she gave up the lead and then gave up five spots at the end of the race. She often says she’s in it to be the best, not just the best girl. She’s definitely the best-looking girl, but she’s not quite the best driver yet…but she’s getting close. How cool would it be if Johnson and Patrick went into the final race of the season with the Sprint Cup title on the line? Wishful thinking? I wouldn’t be so sure about that.

Jeric Griffin is the Director of Content for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @JericGriffin, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

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