Marcos Ambrose, who was running behind Johnson in the outside line, dove low down the backstretch to try and take the lead. Johnson came down and tapped Ambrose, who in turn bumped Kahne. The contact with Ambrose sent Kahne into the inside wall at high speed, ending Kahne’s night and bringing out a caution flag.
That set up a green-white-checkered restart with Johnson still at the point. Johnson got a good jump on the restart and was able to hold the lead as Tony Stewart moved into second. Stewart was right behind Johnson as the field took the white flag and flowed into turn one.
With Johnson still out front, several cars got together at the back of the pack and began crashing. NASCAR opted not to wave the yellow flag, allowing the field to race back to the checkered flag. It didn’t matter for Johnson, who held off Stewart at the checkers to complete a season sweep of the Sprint Cup events at Daytona.
“I think I showed strength early and a lot of guys were willing to work with me and kind of help me through situations, which was great,” said Johnson, who became the first driver since Bobby Allison in 1982 to sweep both Daytona races. “I don’t know if I really made a bad move tonight, so I’m pretty proud of that.”
Johnson led a race-high 94 laps en route to his 64th career Sprint Cup victory.
As Johnson crossed the finish line a second crash took out several cars mid-pack, jumbling the finishing order. Kevin Harvick was scored third at the finish, followed by Clint Bowyer and Michael Waltrip.