The 2006 Daytona 500 had more ups and downs than an Orlando theme park roller-coaster for Jimmie Johnson.
Johnson’s crew chief Chad Knaus was suspended after a post-qualifying infraction and the long road to a Daytona 500 victory for the No. 48 team started from scratch with fill-in pit boss Darian Grubb.
The day would end differently than the week had started for the Grubb and Johnson. On Lap 108, the future seven-time champion took the lead for the first time. After swapping it back and forth in the latter quarter of the race, Johnson survived a green-white-checkered finish to beat the odds and win his first Daytona 500.
After the race in Victory Lane, Johnson addressed the tough week and said “I wish Chad Knaus was here! I know he’s kicking his TV set in right now. He’s so bummed out.” Johnson would win a second Daytona 500 in 2013 and is one of two active drivers with multiple Daytona 500 wins.
Relive the payoff to Jimmie and Chad’s tough week at Daytona in 2006 with this classic full race replay.