Denny Hamlin captured his second career win in the Daytona 500 after he led a 1-2-3 finish for Joe Gibbs Racing.
Hamlin held off Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch in an overtime finish to add another 500 win to his record to go along with his 2016 victory.
The win capped off a wild day in a race that included several multi-car accidents. Hamlin scored the emotional win by carrying the memory of JGR’s J.D. Gibbs, who passed away earlier this year, to Victory Lane.
“The whole family, they’ve done so much for me over the course of my career,” Hamlin said. “This one’s for J.D. We’re desperately going to miss him for the rest of our lives. His legacy still lives on through Joe Gibbs Racing.”
Team owner Joe Gibbs celebrated the emotional win in memory of his son.
“What happened here is really unreal,” Gibbs said. “I’m emotionally shot …. I’m just saying, what happened here is really unreal. …. I think JD had the best view of everything.”
Erik Jones finished third to give a 1-2-3 sweep for JGR. Joey Logano and Michael McDowell rounded out the top five.
Ty Dillon, Kyle Larson, Ryan Preece, Jimmie Johnson and Ross Chastain completed the first 10 finishers.
Kyle Busch and Ryan Blaney won the first two stages of the race.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series now heads to Atlanta Motor Speedway next Sunday afternoon.
How Hamlin Won: On the overtime restart Hamlin got a great jump when the green flag flew and had the lead with Busch in hot pursuit. But as the pack jockeyed for position behind him, Hamlin was able to skirt ahead and held off a last ditch furious charge from Busch at the checkered flag to take the win.
Who Had a Good Day: McDowell scored his first top-five Daytona 500 finish. His best career finish came in the 2017 July race…Ty Dillon and Kyle Larson rebounded from being involved in earlier accidents to finish in the top-10…Ryan Preece began his rookie campaign with JTG Daugherty Racing and brought home a top-10 finish (Read More)…Ross Chastain competed in Friday’s Truck Series race, Saturday’s Xfinity Series race and capped off his weekend with a 10th-place finish in the Daytona 500.
Who Had a Bad Day: Kurt Busch had all kinds of trouble in his first start for Chip Ganassi Racing. He was involved in a spin that triggered an accident sweeping up Bubba Wallace, Tyler Reddick and Jamie McMurray among others. But his misery was compounded by a pit road speeding penalty and other mishaps that at one point dropped him 11 laps back before his day ended…Parker Kligerman and Casey Mears were involved in an accident just past the halfway mark that severely damaged both of their cars…With 41 laps to go Cody Ware and BJ McLeod got together and as they slid down pit road the incident collected Tyler Reddick, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Jimmie Johnson…Kyle Larson crashed when a tire went down with 19 laps to go spinning into the third turn wall…The dreaded “Big One” happened with 10 laps to go when Paul Menard made contact with Matt DiBenedetto (Read More) to trigger a multi-car wreck that included Austin Dillon, Aric Almirola, Austin Dillon, David Ragan, Martin Truex Jr., Ty Dillon, Daniel Suarez, Ryan Newman, Chase Elliott and others. Officially 21 cars were involved in the melee (Read More)…Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Newman, Ty Dillon and Alex Bowman tangled in an accident that happened with five laps left…The race was sent into overtime when Clint Bowyer got turned by contact from Michael McDowell and several others including William Byron, Landon Cassill and Elliott were swept up.
What Else Happened: There was much concern about the race being not much more than a single file parade after what transpired earlier in the week during the Clash and Duel races. But at the drop of the green flag it was apparent that would not be the case. The first 400 miles featured intense side-by-side competition with several strategies and alliances for track position playing out. However the last 100 miles were crash-filled with several multi-car accidents including two red flags.
Quotable: “I hope some of you drivers will get down on the bottom with Denny and Chase and make a show of it today,” NASCAR chairman Jim France in the pre-race drivers meeting.
Notable: Driving a damaged car Jimmie Johnson scored a top-10 finish in his first race working with new crew chief Kevin Meendering…Chastain scored his first career Cup Series top-10 and the second career for Premium Motorsports.