Dale Earnhardt Jr. wins Daytona 500

By Alejandro Freixes, CCNN Head Writer

Dale Earnhardt
Dale Earnhardt raises his arms in triumph.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the Great American Race on Sunday, taking first place in the 500-mile long NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500. This is Earnhardt’s second Daytona win, 10 years after his first, and breaks his 55-race winless drought. After leading in the final 18 laps, Earnhardt brought it home almost 11 hours after the race began, which was delayed for 6 hours due to rain. Talk about endurance!

Because of the crazy rainy weather, competitor Brad Keselowski said, “Everybody kept telling me over the radio, ‘There’s more rain coming,’ (and) I think that really added to the anxiety and rush of pace even more so than the break. I think everyone raced a hard 500-mile race. That has to be the hardest 500 race ever, probably one of the best.”

Considering the difficulty, it’s no surprise that Earnhardt expressed, “Winning this race is the greatest feeling that you can feel in this sport, aside from accepting the trophy for the championship.” He added, “I didn’t know if I’d ever get a chance to feel that again.”

Even though he hadn’t won a Daytona since 2004, the popular racer did finish runner-up in 3 of the past 4 years.

Images courtesy of NASCAR Facebook.