Hamlin Wins Emotional Daytona 500

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Denny Hamlin won the Daytona 500 on Sunday afternoon from the Daytona International Speedway after three late crashes took out most of the field.

The victory was Hamlin’s second in NASCAR’s biggest event, and he had to hold off his teammate Kyle Busch to get to victory lane.  Hamlin pulled down in front of Busch after the final restart, and he was able to stay in the lead when Busch and Joey Logano started fighting for second.

Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Hamlin said he will enjoy this Daytona 500 win more than his first victory in 2016.

“I’m just going to enjoy it more,” Hamlin said.  “I think I was just so dumbfounded by everything that happened in the first one…this one lets me soak it in a little more.”

It was an emotional victory for the entire Joe Gibbs Racing organization.  In the offseason, team founder Joe Gibbs’ son JD died following a brain illness.

Hamlin said the victory was more special to him because JD Gibbs discovered Hamlin and brought him to JGR.

“The whole family…they’ve done so much for me over the course of my career,” Hamlin said.  “This one’s for JD.  His legacy still lives on through Joe Gibbs Racing.”

Busch finished second to his teammate, once again failing to win NASCAR’s biggest event.

Busch said with so little cars running at the finish that he couldn’t have done anything differently.

“There wasn’t enough cars out there, really,” Busch said.  “With six cars running around at the end, I don’t know if anything would have been any different.”

“It’s awesome to see a JGR car in victory lane for Joe and JD…but it’s very bittersweet…for all the guys trying to get our Daytona 500 victory.”

Unofficial results:

  1. Denny Hamlin
  2. Kyle Busch
  3. Erik Jones
  4. Joey Logano
  5. Michael McDowell
  6. Ty Dillon
  7. Kyle Larson
  8. Ryan Preece
  9. Jimmie Johnson
  10. Ross Chastain
  11. Alex Bowman
  12. Brad Keselowski
  13. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  14. Ryan Newman
  15. Parker Kligerman
  16. Austin Dillon
  17. Chase Elliott
  18. Corey LaJoie
  19. BJ McLeod
  20. Clint Bowyer
  21. William Byron
  22. Jamie McMurray
  23. Brendan Gaughan
  24. Landon Cassill
  25. Kurt Busch
  26. Kevin Harvick
  27. Tyler Reddick
  28. Matt DiBenedetto
  29. Paul Menard
  30. David Ragan
  31. Ryan Blaney
  32. Aric Almirola
  33. Daniel Suarez
  34. Daniel Hemric
  35. Martin Truex Jr.
  36. Matt Tifft
  37. Chris Buescher
  38. Bubba Wallace
  39. Cody Ware
  40. Casey Mears