Denny Hamlin prevails in Daytona 500 thriller

Denny Hamlin pips Martin Truex jr by the smallest margin in Daytona 500 history

Denny Hamlin pips Martin Truex jr by the smallest margin in Daytona 500 history

Denny Hamlin has clinched victory after a gripping finish with Martin Truex jr in what was the closest finish in Daytona 500 history.

Following a sixth caution period brought out by Danica Patrick and Greg Biffle’s incident with 16 to go, the race went green to the flag.

Hamlin timed his run to perfection, slotting into second place after the white flag before edging out Truex jr in a photo finish.

“This is a team victory. My team-mates did an amazing job working together,” a humble Hamlin said.

“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.”

It was the first Daytona 500 victory for Joe Gibbs Racing since Dale Jarrett in 1993.

Hamlin was the first driver to win the Unlimited and Daytona 500 in the same year a feat not achieved since Jarrett in 2000.

Kyle Busch claimed third to supply Toyota with a top three shutout of the race after the marque had late in the race filled the first five positions.

Matt Kenseth was leading until the dying stages when he had a huge moment as Hamlin was making his charge which saw him tumble down the finishing order to 14th.

Kevin Harvick was fourth ahead of Carl Edwards, Joey Logano, Kyle Larson, Regan Smith, Austin Dillon with Kurt Busch completing the top 10.

Despite the agony of coming up within millimetres of victory Truex jr was thrilled to be part of one of the best finishes in the famous race’s history.

“I’m really proud of that. I probably should have run him up a little bit more, but I thought I was close enough.” Truex jr said.

Dale Earnhardt jr suffered a heavy crash with 30 laps to go as he was making his way forward in sixth.

Polesitter Chase Elliott could not realise a dream weekend following his Xfinity win, crashing heavily just 20 laps in.

Danica Patrick brought out the sixth caution of the race after making contact with Greg Biffle with 16 laps remaining.

Full Daytona 500 results

1

Denny Hamlin

Toyota

200

3:10:25

2

Martin Truex Jr.

Toyota

200

0.010

3

Kyle Busch

Toyota

200

21:49:35

4

Kevin Harvick

Chevrolet

200

21:49:35

5

Carl Edwards

Toyota

200

21:49:35

6

Joey Logano

Ford

200

21:49:35

7

Kyle Larson

Chevrolet

200

21:49:35

8

Regan Smith

Chevrolet

200

21:49:35

9

Austin Dillon

Chevrolet

200

21:49:35

10

Kurt Busch

Chevrolet

200

21:49:35

11

Ryan Newman

Chevrolet

200

21:49:35

12

Aric Almirola

Ford

200

21:49:35

13

Kasey Kahne

Chevrolet

200

21:49:35

14

Matt Kenseth

Toyota

200

21:49:35

15

Michael McDowell

Chevrolet

200

21:49:35

16

Jimmie Johnson

Chevrolet

200

21:49:35

17

Jamie McMurray

Chevrolet

200

21:49:35

18

Paul Menard

Chevrolet

200

21:49:35

19

Ryan Blaney

Ford

200

21:49:35

20

Brad Keselowski

Ford

200

21:49:35

21

A.J. Allmendinger

Chevrolet

200

21:49:35

22

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Ford

200

21:49:35

23

Landon Cassill

Ford

200

21:49:35

24

Brian Scott

Ford

200

21:49:35

25

Ty Dillon

Chevrolet

200

21:49:35

26

Brian Vickers

Chevrolet

200

21:49:35

27

Michael Annett

Chevrolet

200

21:49:35

28

Trevor Bayne

Ford

200

21:49:35

29

David Ragan

Toyota

200

21:49:35

30

Michael Waltrip

Toyota

200

21:49:35

31

Bobby Labonte

Ford

200

21:49:35

32

Casey Mears

Chevrolet

199

1 Lap

33

Clint Bowyer

Chevrolet

199

1 Lap

34

Greg Biffle

Ford

198

2 Laps

35

Danica Patrick

Chevrolet

184

Accident

36

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Chevrolet

169

Accident

37

Chase Elliott

Chevrolet

160

40 Laps

38

Robert Richardson Jr.

Toyota

135

Engine

39

Chris Buescher

Ford

91

Accident

40

Matt DiBenedetto

Toyota

91

Accident

Sprint Cup standings

1

Denny Hamlin

45

2

Martin Truex Jr.

40

3

Kyle Busch

39

4

Kevin Harvick

37

5

Carl Edwards

36

6

Joey Logano

35

7

Kyle Larson

34

8

Regan Smith

33

9

Austin Dillon

33

10

Kurt Busch

31

11

Ryan Newman

31

12

Aric Almirola

29

13

Kasey Kahne

28

14

Matt Kenseth

28

15

Michael McDowell

26

16

Jimmie Johnson

26

17

Jamie McMurray

24

18

Paul Menard

23

19

Ryan Blaney

22

20

Brad Keselowski

22

21

A.J. Allmendinger

20

22

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

19

23

Landon Cassill

18

23

Brian Scott

18

25

Brian Vickers

15

25

Michael Annett

15

27

David Ragan

13

27

Trevor Bayne

13

29

Michael Waltrip

12

30

Bobby Labonte

11

31

Casey Mears

9

32

Clint Bowyer

8

33

Greg Biffle

7

34

Danica Patrick

6

34

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

6

36

Chase Elliott

5

37

Robert Richardson Jr.

3

38

Chris Buescher

2

39

Matt DiBenedetto

1

VIDEO: Chase Elliott crash

VIDEO: Dale Earnhardt jr crash

 

VIDEO: The thrilling final moments

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