Iracingone Rewind:/I Daytona
February 19, 2006 | 11:21 P.M. EST
Jimmie Johnson held off the field in a green-white-checkered finish to win the 48th edition of the Daytona 500, his first career win in the race and team owner Rick Hendrick's sixth.
Keys to Victory Lane
Johnson got a great restart on the race's overtime start and was able to pull ahead of the pack in the two lap shootout.
Zero to Hero
Clint Bowyer started in the 37th position but the Richard Childress Racing rookie moved his Jack Daniels Chevrolet slowly but surely to the front of the field and finished sixth in his first career Daytona 500. Honorary mention to Brian Vickers, who came from the 35th starting spot and led the race for eleven laps, eventually finishing seventh.
Hero to Zero
Carl Edwards started fifth but the sophomore driver ran over the front of Kyle Petty's car in a lap 80 incident, and finished dead last in the rundown.
Rookie of the Race
Bowyer bested the seven rookies in the field with a sixth-place finish. It was the ninth time a Raybestos Rookie has posted a top 10 in the Daytona 500 since 1975. Martin Truex Jr. was the second highest finishing rookie in 16th with Brent Sherman putting in a respectable 21st-place finish in his first start in the No. 49 Dodge. J.J. Yeley finished last among the group after he was involved in the Lap 79 six-car incident.
"They better penalize that frickin Stewart or I'm gonna blow a gasket." - Matt Kenseth after Tony Stewart took him out.
"This engine is like an old man. It wakes up for a while then goes back to sleep." -Dale Earnhardt Jr.
"This is my last Daytona 500. I plan to be on the couch with a remote control watching it next year." -Mark Martin
"We had two good cars and got in two wrecks that weren’t our fault. Both wrecks were caused by experienced drivers, so you can’t blame a bunch of rookies." -Kyle Petty
"Kyle Busch, he’s the one guy that is probably going to hurt somebody out here, he is all over the place. He’s what we like to call a ‘dart with no feathers.’" -Tony Stewart
"Kurt (Busch) and I had a great run all day. It was just unfortunate for him. We did a heck of a job working together. It’s the best two Penske cars have ever looked on a racetrack together." -Ryan Newman on racing with his new teammate.
"I don't know how he's (Jeff Green) blaming me because I was on the bumper of the car in front of me and just hit him. Jeff was coming up. I don't know if he was trying to get air on that or what and he touched the left-front of my car. He's got to know somebody else is there, too." -Dale Jarrett on Jeff Green blaming him for the Lap 79 incident.
"I need to apologize to Kurt. I got into him. That was 100 percent my fault." -Jamie McMurray on the lap 188 accident on the backstretch.
"I'll tell everybody this for the rest of my life." -Darian Grubb, Substitute Crew Chief for the No. 48
On a scale of one to ten cans of frozen Florida orange juice (man it was c-o-l-d!), we'll give Sunday's 48th running of "The Great American Race" a solid eight. Lots of drama, controversy, high emotions and side-by-side racing. Best of all, no "Big One" to mar the day and an example that restrictor plate racing can provide excitement without carnage. The Tony Stewart saga will no doubt grab the headlines this week as will the fate of Chad Knaus, who still faces a stiff penalty from NASCAR. But Jimmie Johnson deserves credit for driving a great race to win NASCAR's biggest event. Next a day to travel home and regroup before heading to California for race number two of the 2006 season.