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Hamlin wins Sprint Unlimited

Speedcafe.com

Sunday 14th February, 2016 - 2:35pm

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Hamlin celebrates

Hamlin celebrates

Denny Hamlin has won a crash fest in NASCAR’s version of a pre-season hit out, the Sprint Unlimited, at Daytona International Speedway.

With the 75-lap race forced to overtime, Hamlin was out front when a big crash involving Matt Kenseth, Marin Truex Jr., Brad Keselowski, Jamie McMurray, Greg Biffle and Danica Patrick brought out the caution flag midway through the final lap.

He led home Joey Logano and Paul Menard as the yellow and chequered flags waved.

That final re-start was set-up when another multi-car wreck involving Carl Edwards, Casey Mears, Kyle Busch, Aric Almirola, and Keselowski with three laps to run, brought the field together.

Hamlin, who suffered panel damage in an early incident, gambled on fuel and track position to start off the front at the final re-start. If not for a succession of caution periods, Hamlin would not have made the distance on fuel.

“This win couldn’t have been possible without my team-mates,” said Hamlin.

“Matt (Kenseth) sacrificed so much pushing me at the right time. Carl (Edwards) at the end there as well; it was a total team effort.

“It was a leader driven race and it’s good to start the year with a win.”

The Sprint Unlimited had its share of dramas with the Hendrick entries of Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne involved in race-ending smashes. While damage to Dale Earnhardt Jr. also saw him finish out of contention.

Other drivers involved in wrecks included Kevin Harvick, AJ Allmendinger, Brian Vickers and Clint Bowyer.

Attention now switches to qualifying for the Daytona 500 which will occur tomorrow. The front row will be set after qualifying runs with the rest of the positions set later in the week in the twin-qualifying races.

RESULTS: Sprint Unlimited – Daytona International Speedway

POS. CAR # DRIVER MAKE START LAPS LAPS LED FINAL STATUS
1 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota 15 79 39 Running
2 22 Joey Logano Ford 25 79 0 Running
3 27 Paul Menard Chevrolet 14 79 0 Running
4 42 Kyle Larson Chevrolet 4 79 0 Running
5 13 Casey Mears Chevrolet 6 79 0 Running
6 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr Ford 11 79 0 Running
7 41 Kurt Busch Chevrolet 21 79 0 Running
8 3 Austin Dillon Chevrolet 10 79 0 Running
9 2 Brad Keselowski Ford 2 79 26 Running
10 16 Greg Biffle Ford 16 79 0 Running
11 10 Danica Patrick Chevrolet 12 79 0 Running
12 20 Matt Kenseth Toyota 13 79 0 Running
13 78 Martin Truex Jr Toyota 7 78 0 Running
14 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 24 78 14 Running
15 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr Chevrolet 23 75 0 Running
16 19 Carl Edwards Toyota 19 72 0 Accident
17 18 Kyle Busch Toyota 9 72 0 Accident
18 43 Aric Almirola Ford 17 72 0 Accident
19 31 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 5 69 0 Accident
20 5 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet 20 64 0 Accident
21 47 AJ Allmendinger Chevrolet 3 56 0 Accident
22 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 1 43 0 Accident
23 15 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet 8 23 0 Accident
24 14 Brian Vickers Chevrolet 18 22 0 Accident
25 4 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 22 22 0 Accident

VIDEO: Race Highlights

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