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Johnson holds off Earnhardt at Daytona 500

Jimmie Johnson celebrates in Gatorade Victory Lane after winning the 55th Daytona 500 auto race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida February 24, 2013. UPI/Dave Ferrell
Jimmie Johnson celebrates in Gatorade Victory Lane after winning the 55th Daytona 500 auto race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida February 24, 2013. UPI/Dave Ferrell | License Photo

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Feb. 24 (UPI) -- Jimmie Johnson held off Dale Earnhardt Jr. on the final lap Sunday to corral his second career Daytona 500 victory at Daytona International Speedway.

Johnson took the lead just before the race's final caution then fended off Hendrick Motorsports teammate Earnhardt to eke out a 0.129-second margin of victory.

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Johnson, who previously took NASCAR's signature season-opening event in 2006, became the 10th driver to win the event at least twice.

Mark Martin logged a third-place finish while 2012 Sprint Cup titleholder Brad Keselowski followed in fourth.

Ryan Newman rounded out the Top 5.

Pole-sitter Danica Patrick finished eighth -- the highest-ever placing by a female driver at the Daytona 500.

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