For Hometown News
DAYTONA BEACH -- Jimmie Johnson can polish his newest trophy after getting his second Daytona 500 win.
He held off a late charge by Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Mark Martin to win the season opening race for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
Much of the attention was centered on Danica Patrick, who started on the pole and finished eight in the 500, becoming the first woman to lead a lap under the green flag.
Other winners from the long weekend of racing were Tony Stewart in the NASCAR Nationwide DriverforCOPD 300 and Johnny Sauter in the NextEra Energy Resources 250 truck race. Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch won their respective Budweiser Duels.
The Nationwide race was marred by a wreck at the end that sent debris into the grandstand, injuring 28 fans. There were 14 taken to the hospital and, as of Monday, Halifax Health Medical Center still had seven patients, which it said were in stable condition.
Speedweeks 2013 also was a time to look ahead at a huge rebuilding project for Daytona International Speedway. The entire frontstretch grandstand will be rebuilt with new entrances and several features to help fans enjoy the races.
The project still must be approved by track owner International Speedway Corp. and the Speedway hopes to get some financial help from the state.
No timeline was set for construction.
In other news of the future, the summer race at DIS is getting a new name - the Subway Firecracker 250 Powered by Coca-Cola. This year's race will be on July 6.
Also, the Budweiser Duel, the 150-mile qualifying races for the Daytona 500, will move under the lights in 2014. The Budweiser Duel at Daytona, scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 20, will join the Sprint Unlimited and the NextEra Resources 250 as night races.