Wednesday, 20 March, 2019

Born Denny Hamlin wins second Daytona 500

Daytona 500 Crash: 21 Cars Involved In Massive Collision With Only 10 Laps Left Denny Hamlin wins Daytona 500 after series of huge crashes
Cassandra Castillo | 18 February, 2019, 18:56

Denny Hamlin held off Kyle Busch to win the 2019 Daytona 500 on Sunday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona, Fl.

Caught in the pack of cars spinning out of control behind Hamlin were Ryan Blaney, Aric Almirola, and defending Daytona 500 champion Austin Dillon, all credited with a decent shot at taking this year's Daytona.

The 2018 season marked the first time in Denny Hamlin's 13-year career as a full-time NASCAR Cup Series driver that he failed to win a race.

The team is owned by former Washington Redskins coach Joe Gibbs, whose son J.D. Gibbs died last month at the age of 49, following a four year battle with a degenerative neurological disease. He signed Hamlin to drive the No. 11, his number from his football days, and it is his name above the driver door on Hamlin's auto.

"The whole [Gibbs] family, they've done so much for me", Hamlin told reporters. "We are desperately going to miss him the rest of our lives".

Since 1982, it has been the season-opening race of the NASCAR Cup Series.

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Logano was fourth, followed by Michael McDowell.

This was the 40th anniversary of the rowdy, raucous race that made NASCAR - the 1979 Daytona 500 that put stock-car racing on the map, featured a spectacular last-lap crash, a bloody brawl in the infield between Cale Yarborough and the Allison brothers and the sport's most iconic driver, Richard Petty, winning the Great American Race.

Just a year ago in the Daytona 500, Earnhardt also had a photo of Dale Sr. on the back of his helmet.

The wreck Sunday brought out a red flag for the massive cleanup. I wrecked a lot of cars. Ross Chastain, the eighth-generation watermelon farmer who lost his main ride for this year when the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided his sponsor right before Christmas, finished 10th. Indeed, the Duels were a showcase of Ford firepower, both qualifying races producing a 1-2-3 finish for their new auto as manufacturer teamwork reigned supreme. Busch, the face of the program, needs to lead the charge on Sunday for them to change that.

Hamlin's first Daytona 500 victory was in a photo finish against Martin Truex Jr. and the celebration was a blur. "I'm going to have a awful hangover tomorrow, but I'm going to enjoy it the rest of my life". "This one lets me soak it in a little bit more".

In total, 21 cars were involved in the pile-up which happened with just nine laps to go.

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