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updated: 2/23/2014 11:04 PM

Earnhardt Jr. wins his 2nd Daytona 500

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  • Dale Earnhardt Jr., center, celebrates with his team in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Daytona 500 auto race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla., Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014.

      Dale Earnhardt Jr., center, celebrates with his team in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Daytona 500 auto race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla., Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Through rain and wrecks, Dale Earnhardt Jr. ended the only drought that mattered.

NASCAR's most popular driver won the Daytona 500 for the second time, a decade after his first victory in the "Great American Race."

Earnhardt snapped a 55-race winless streak Sunday night that dated to 2012. It ended a streak of futility at Daytona International Speedway, where he finished second in three of the previous four 500s.

He radioed to his crew "this is better than the first one," as he circled the track on his cool-down lap in his Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet.

Rain stopped the race about 45 minutes after it began for a delay of more than six hours. When it resumed, Earnhardt dominated at the track where his father was killed in an accident on the last lap of the 2001 race.

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