It was the 55th running of the Daytona 500. Danica Patrick won the pole, becoming the first female to earn the position in NASCAR's highest division, as well as the best-ever finish by a woman at the Daytona 500. Jeff Gordon led the first 32 laps of the race. Two major wrecks occurred during the race, the first one involving Kyle Busch, Kasey Kahne,Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick, Jamie McMurray, Casey Mears, Juan Pablo Montoya, and Brad Keselowski. 9 more cars were involved in the second. Matt Kenseth led most of the laps, but dropped out with engine failure. Jimmie Johnson emerged with 16 laps to go and won.