Five-time NASCAR champion Johnson led for 16 of the iconic race’s 200 laps, taking the lead shortly after the final restart and hanging on to take the chequered flag ahead of Dale Earnhardt Jr in a Chevrolet quinella. Pole-sitter Danica Patrick finished the race in eighth position as one of six Chevrolets in the top 10.
The Daytona 500 marked the public debut of the Chevrolet SS ahead of the Australian-made performance sedan’s US showroom launch in the third quarter of 2013.
Holden chairman and managing director Mike Devereux described the win as the perfect start to the brand’s pending export program.
“A win at Daytona is a major event, and a great way for Holden and Chevrolet to give the new SS some great early publicity in the market as the American brand's new flagship sports sedan,” Devereux said.
The Holden VF Commodore gets its first chance to claim victory on home soil this weekend when it lines up against traditional rival, the Ford Falcon, and newcomers, the Nissan Altima and Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG, at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide.