Dale Earnhardt Jr. swerved below Danica Patrick, powered past Greg Biffle and closed in on leader Jimmie Johnson's bumper.
It was the closest he got to the front of the field.
Earnhardt used a last-lap charge Sunday to finish second in the Daytona 500 for the third time in the last four years, another runner-up performance that left NASCAR's most popular driver clamoring to get back to Victory Lane at one of auto racing's showcase events.
He also was second in 2010 and 2012.
Earnhardt says winning the Daytona 500 — he accomplished the feat it 2004 — is "like a drug, I assume."
He adds: "It's such a high. You just don't know when you'll ever get that opportunity again or if you'll ever get that opportunity again."