HAMLIN WINS Dtighatesyt DAYTONA 500
Tightest finish fintishoyetn yet in race’s raace’s5hist0ory0 history
Denny Hamlin won the opening round of the NASCAR Sprint Cup last weekend, with the closest finish in Daytona 500 history.
Hamlin dominated for much of the race, leading for 95 of the 200 laps, but lost out in the final round of stops. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver therefore started the last lap in fourth, but passed team-mate Matt Kenseth and then a push from Kevin Harvick allowed him to beat Martin Truex Jr by just 0.01s across the line.
“This is a team victory,” said Hamlin, who ended Joe Gibbs’s 23-year Daytona 500 win drought.
“My team-mates did an amazing job working together. I don’t know where that came from, I don’t know what happened, I don’t even know what I did. This wouldn’t have been possible without the Toyotas sticking together all race long.”
Truex had to settle for second, but it was still a good result as he started at the very back after a technical problem in qualifying. Kyle Busch ensured it was a Toyota podium lockout with third place. Harvick’s Chevrolet was best non-toyota in fourth place.
Pre-race favourite Dale Earnhardt Jr led briefly early on but spun out with 30 laps remaining.