Earnhardt, Danica earning respect

Updated: February 24, 2013, 8:45 PM ET
By Terry Blount | ESPN.com

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Maybe for the first time ever in his career, Dale Earnhardt Jr. was just another guy during all the buildup to the Daytona 500.

Danica Patrick was the star all week, giving Earnhardt rare secondary attention status at Daytona. And she kept it up Sunday, running in front of Earnhardt most of the day while becoming the first woman to lead the race.

She had Earnhardt covered, until the end.

A last-lap shuffle moved Earnhardt ...

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