Denny Hamlin Wins In A Photo Finish At The Daytona 500
A margin of victory less than a blink of an eye on Monday as three-time Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin wins by 0.014 seconds. This was Hamlin’s third Daytona 500 victory of his career. He has become the first racer to do so since Sterling Marlin in 1995 to win in consecutive seasons. Hamlin’s finish is the second closest winning margin in history, only after his finish 0.01-second win over Martin Truex in 2016.
Hamlin joins a small group of Hall-of-Famers to win three or more Daytona 500’s. This list includes Hamlin tieing Jeff Gordan, Bobby Allison and Dale Jarret. The 39-year-old stock car driver trails Cale Yarborough with four and Richard Petty that holds the record with seven Daytona 500 wins.
“I feel like I am a student to the game,” Hamlin said, “I never stop learning and trying to figure out where I need to put myself at the right time. It doesn’t always work. We’ve defied the odds in the last eight years or so in the Daytona 500, but I trust my instincts, and so far, they’ve been good to me.”
With the victory on Monday, it gives Joe Gibbs his fourth Daytona 500 victory as an owner, and Toyota’s third, all by Hamlin. This makes Gibbs and his team is the team to be in all of NASCAR. Last year, Gibbs and his team had a 1-2-3 sweep in the “Great American Race” and stared a year-long celebration for the company with a record-breaking 19 wins, plus a Cup Championship.
The celebration in victory lane, however, was subdued by the terrifying crash late in the final lap by Ryan Newman. In the final straightaway, Newman’s bumper was caught by the trailing car behind him. This sent Newman hard right and a harsh crash into the wall. The car flipped, rolled and was hit by another driver on the driver-side door while upside-down. Newman’s car skidded across the track in flames. Fortunately, his injuries were not life-threatening and will recover in due time.
— AJ (@TampaBayAJ) February 18, 2020