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Live updates from the 55th Daytona 500

Posted by Michael Vega, Globe Staff  February 24, 2013 12:50 PM

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End of race: Lap 200 of 200 Jimmie Johnson wins 55th Daytona 500 in his 400th career start. Danica Patrick (8th) becomes highest-finishing woman in 500 history.

Lap 191 of 200 Caution No. 6: Debris. With Jimmie Johnson leading with 10 to go, a caution for debris comes out to remove a piece of sheet metal. Johnson radioed to crew chief Chad Knaus he ran it over ``center grill.'' It came as a sigh of relief as the race was building to a tension-filled crescendo.

Lap 180 of 200 With 20 to go, Brad Keselowki has cycled his way to the front under caution after Jeff Burton tagged the wall coming through the tri-oval and brought out the fifth caution of the race.

Lap 160 of 200 Hamlin, who must be running on eggshells worried about his engine holding up, leads with 40 to go. Top 5: 11-56-16-48-24.

Lap 150 of 200 Toyotas starting to blow up. Kenseth drops out of lead on backstretch because of smoke from left front tire. Lap after Kenseth goes behind wall, Kyle Busch comes down pit road with smoke coming from exhaust. He goes behind the wall on Lap 154. Denny Hamlin leads the race.

Lap 143 of 200 The make-up of the top 10 is telling: Six Toyotas, threeChevys, one Ford. Looks like a Toyota Shootout is looming at end.

Lap 138 of 200 Caution No. 4: Crash in Turn 1. Keselowski bumped David Reutimann from behind, causing Trevor Bayne, who was running behind Keselowski, to check up and cause a six-car chain reaction. It collected the Ford machine of Carl Edwards, who was involved in his fifth wreck this month at Daytona and fourth during Speedweeks.

Lap 136 of 200 Led by Kenseth, who has led 73 of first 136 laps, six Toyotas are running in the top 6.

Lap 130 of 200 Danica pits after leading three laps.Interesting move by crew chief Tony Gibson. It puts her on sequence with Chevys of Hendrick teammates Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Lap 127 of 200 Leaders pit, but Danica stays out on track and takes lead.

Lap 120 of 200 Kenseth continues to lead. Green flag pit stops looming.

Lap 115 of 200 Kenseth leads a 10-car draft. Hamlin and Patrick continue to run i the top three.

Lap 105 of 200 No change in the lead draft. Kenseth continues to lead six-car draft that is comprised of four Toyotas. Chevrolet's of Danica Patrick and Jimmie Johnson are the only interlopers.

Lap 100 of 200 Kenseth, who went to the front on Lap 93, leads the halfway point of the race. He had drafting support from Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin, who was running second. Danica Patrick kept pace in third.

Lap 90 of 200 Danica Patrick becomes first woman to lead the Daytona 500. Patrick, who also was the first woman to lead at the Indy 500 when she lead 19 laps as a rookie in 2005, went by Michael Waltrip on the restart of the race at the end of Lap 89.

Lap 86 of 200 Leaders pit under caution. Most stopped for fuel only.

Lap 85 of 200 Caution No. 3: Debris on backstretch. Cars of Juan Pablo Montoya and Casey Mears have returned to the race. Top 10 leaders: 11-56-20-48-24-16-22-10-88-15. Mon

Lap 78 of 200 After cycle of green-flap was completed, Denny Hamlin has taken the lead. Martin Truex Jr. running second. Kenseth running third.Danica Patrick, who dropped to 12th after taking four tires and fuel, reported a bit of a vibration coming from beneath the throttle.

Lap 70 of 200 Green-flag stops on pit road. Aric Amirola hit with a pass-through penalty for speeding off pit roaad. Ryan Newman and Michael Waltrip, who have yet to pit, currently lead the pack.

Lap 68 of 200 Kenseth, who reported having an issue with a tire, continues to lead the race. Top 5: Kenseth, Johnson, Danica, Gordon, KyBusch.

Lap 45 of 200 Matt Kesenth, the two-time and defending Daytona 500 champion, took the lead and ran in front of an 11-car draft. Nine cars were involved in the wreck, which ended the day for drivers Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick, Jamie McMurray, and Kasey Kahne.

Lap 33 of 200 Caution No. 2: Crash Turn 1. Kasey Kahne triggered a multi-car crash in Turn 1 when he spun into the low line, clipping the front end of Juan Pablo Montoya and collecting the car of Kevin Harvick, winner of the Sprint Unlimited and Budweiser Duel, and Tony Stewart, Danica Patrick's boss. Patrick was running ahead of the trouble on the low line when it erupted in Turn 1. She was running third when the race restarted on Lap 37.

Lap 28 of 200 Danica Patrick drops seven spots on her first pit for two tires and fuel. Now running 9th.

Lap 27 of 200 Caution No. 1: debris. The stoppage might be huge for Gordon, whose temps creeped up because of a large piece of debris on his front grill. Leaders come down pit road.

Lap 20 of 200 Jeff Gordon, who qualified second fastest and pushed aside in Victory Lane by his daughter Ella Sofia to be pictured with pole winner Danica Patrick, has led the first 20 laps. However, he might have to back off after reporting to crew chief Alan Gustafson: ``Temps have creeped up some.'' The lead draft has been joined by Kevin Harvick (eighth), Greg Biffle (ninth) and Matt Kenseth (10th), making it a 10-car conga line.

Lap 10 of 200 Running a high line around Daytona, Jeff Gordon leads a seven-car breakaway draft that includes Danica Patrick, Kyle Busch, Kasey Kahne, Austin Dillon, Clint Bowyer, and Jimmie Johnson.

Green!Green!Green! The 55th Daytona 500 is underway. Jeff Gordon, who started on the inside of pole sitter Danica Patrick, who opted to start on the outside (high) line, wound up going to the front and leading the first. Honorary starter Ray Lewis, the former Ravens linebacker, did a swell job unfurling the green. Not such a swell job by grand marshal James Franco, whose starting command ``Drivers -- and Danica! -- start your engines!'' caused everyone to wince.

Pre-race Greetings from the press box at Daytona International Speedway where we hope to bring you the start and finish of the 55th Daytona 500, the season-opening event of NASCAR's Sprint Cup season. The Zac Brown Band is performing a pre-race concert right now as we're about a half-hour from Danica Patrick, the first woman in NASCAR history to win a Sprint Cup pole position, from leading the field to the green flag. The track has made repairs to the fencing on the frontstretch tri-oval from Saturday's horrific 12-car crash during the Nationwide Series opener, which injured 28 fans who were hit from flying debris that was sprayed into the grandstands. Actor James Franco will give the starting command. ``But maybe I'll have to change it up for Danica,'' he said before the race. Former Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis will serve as the honorary starter and throw the green flag.

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About the auto racing blog Updates and insights from The Globe's Michael Vega.

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