Dale Earnhardt finished fifth and Jeff Gordon in the 33rd spot. (photo by HHP/Alan Marler for Chevy Racing)

Daytona 500

Harvick Finishes Second; Gordon Gets Caught Up in Last-Lap Wreck

Defending series champion Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, finished in second place to lead six Team Chevy drivers in the top 10 in the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday, Feb. 22. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS), the defending race champion, was third. The race ended under caution.

“Definitely, for us, it was a good solid day to start the season,” said Harvick, who won the Daytona 500 in 2007. “Obviously, you want to try to win the race, but sometimes you’re just happy to keep rolling and going out of here and head to Atlanta with a solid day.”

A single-car incident with three laps remaining set up a green/white/checkered finish.

“We didn’t get time to make a run,” said Earnhardt Jr. who was seeking to become the first driver since Sterling Marlin in 1994 and ’95 to win back-to-back Daytona 500s. “I wasn’t in a good position to think about winning, but we were going to do what we could.

Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowes Chevrolet SS, fifth place), Casey Mears (No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS, sixth), Martin Truex Jr. (No. 78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS, eighth) and Kasey Kahne (No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet SS, ninth) also finished in the top 10 for Team Chevy.

“With about 10 to go, I thought we were in position to win the Daytona 500,” Johnson said. “I wish we were in Victory Lane right now, but with plate racing you honestly have no clue what’s going to happen.”