Denny Hamlin wins his second Daytona 500

by Ryan O'Hara On Sun, Feb. 17, 2019

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 17: Denny celebrates after winning the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series 61st Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 17, 2019 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – He did it for J.D.

In overtime, Denny Hamlin with J.D. Gibbs’ name on his No. 11 FedEx Toyota, held off his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Kyle Busch, to win the 61st running of the Daytona 500 and his second in four years.

Hamlin won the 2016 running of the 500 in a photo finish, the closest ever, over now-teammate Martin Truex Jr., who had been driving the No. 78 Toyota at the now-defunct Furniture Row Racing.

The victory also snapped a 47-race winless streak for Hamlin in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series — his first win since scoring his second Southern 500 back in September 2017.

“The whole family, they’ve just done so much for me throughout the course of my career. This one’s for J.D.,” Hamlin said. “We’re desperately going to miss him the rest of our lives, but his legacy still lives on at Joe Gibbs Racing.

J.D. Gibbs, the oldest son of Joe Gibbs, died Jan. 11 due to complications following a long battle with a degenerative neurological disease.

Hamlin led 30 laps en route to the 32nd Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series win. This time, the 38-year-old who was raised just 25 minutes north of Richmond International Raceway in Chesterfield, is going to enjoy his 500 triumph a little more.

“I think I was so dumbfounded with everything the first time, with photo finish and everything,” he said. “This one will let me soak it in a little more. I’m going to have a terrible hangover tomorrow, but I’m going to enjoy it the rest of my life.”

The win all but guarantees a spot in the 2019 Monster Energy Playoffs for Hamlin, who made the cut last year despite going winless for the first time in his Cup career.

It was also the fourth major victory for Hamlin, who also has two Southern 500 wins.

Defending Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Joey Logano was fourth, and Michael McDowell completed the top-five.

Rounding out the Top 10 were Ty Dillon, Kyle Larson, Ryan Preece, Jimmie Johnson, and Ross Chastain.

There were two overtimes, two red flags, and three wrecks in the final 10 laps.

The ‘The Big One’ occurred on Lap 189 when the No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford of Paul Menard, who had previously complained about Johnson causing ‘The Big One’ at the Clash, turned Matt DiBenedetto going into Turn 3, triggering a 22-car pileup.

Aric Almirola, Ryan Blaney, Chris Buescher, William Byron, Austin Dillon, Ty Dillon, Chase Elliott, Daniel Hemric, Johnson, Kyle Larson, Logano, Ryan Newman, Preece, David Ragan, Daniel Suarez, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Matt Tifft, and Martin Truex Jr. were among those collected.

Kyle Busch won Stage 1, while Blaney earned the Stage 2 victory.

Monster Energy Cup Series Race Number 1
Unofficial Race Results for the 61st Annual Daytona 500 – Sunday, February 17, 2019
Daytona International Speedway – Daytona Beach, FL – 2.5 – Mile Paved
Total Race Length – 207 Laps – 517.5 Miles

Fin Str Car Driver Team Laps Stage1Pos Stage2Pos Pts Status
1 10 11 Denny Hamlin FedEx Express Toyota 207 6 0 45 Running
2 31 18 Kyle Busch M&M’s Chocolate Bar Toyota 207 1 0 45 Running
3 28 20 Erik Jones Sport Clips Toyota 207 10 0 35 Running
4 4 22 Joey Logano Shell Pennzoil Ford 207 3 10 42 Running
5 34 34 Michael McDowell Love’s Travel Stops Ford 207 0 0 32 Running
6 22 13 Ty Dillon GEICO Chevrolet 207 0 0 31 Running
7 26 42 Kyle Larson Credit One Bank Chevrolet 207 8 0 33 Running
8 21 47 Ryan Preece # Kroger.com Chevrolet 207 0 0 29 Running
9 17 48 Jimmie Johnson Ally Chevrolet 207 0 9 30 Running
10 36 15 Ross Chastain(i) Chevrolet 207 0 0 0 Running
11 2 88 Alex Bowman Nationwide Chevrolet 207 2 0 35 Running
12 35 2 Brad Keselowski Discount Tire Ford 207 0 4 32 Running
13 5 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Fastenal Ford 207 0 5 30 Running
14 19 6 Ryan Newman Oscar Mayer Deli Fresh Ford 207 0 0 23 Running
15 25 96 * Parker Kligerman(i) Gaunt Brothers Racing/Toyota Toyota 205 0 0 0 Running
16 20 3 Austin Dillon Dow Chevrolet 205 0 0 21 Running
17 18 9 Chase Elliott NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet 200 7 0 24 Accident
18 32 32 Corey LaJoie Old Spice Ford 200 0 0 19 Running
19 38 51 BJ McLeod(i) Jacob Companies Chevrolet 200 0 0 0 Running
20 6 14 Clint Bowyer Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 Ford 199 0 0 17 Accident
21 1 24 William Byron Axalta Chevrolet 198 0 2 25 Accident
22 16 40 Jamie McMurray McDonald’s/Cessna/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet 198 0 0 15 Accident
23 30 62 * Brendan Gaughan(i) Beard Oil Distributing/South Point Chevrolet 197 0 0 0 Accident
24 27 0 Landon Cassill PERMATEX Chevrolet 196 0 0 13 Accident
25 12 1 Kurt Busch Monster Energy Chevrolet 196 0 0 12 Running
26 3 4 Kevin Harvick Busch Beer Car2Can Ford 194 9 7 17 Accident
27 39 31 * Tyler Reddick(i) Symbicort Chevrolet 191 0 0 0 Accident
28 9 95 Matt DiBenedetto Procore Toyota 190 0 6 14 Accident
29 7 21 Paul Menard Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford 190 0 0 8 Accident
30 24 38 David Ragan Select Blinds Ford 190 0 0 7 Accident
31 14 12 Ryan Blaney Menards/Peak Ford 190 5 1 22 Accident
32 8 10 Aric Almirola Smithfield Ford 190 0 3 13 Accident
33 23 41 Daniel Suarez Haas Automation Ford 190 4 8 14 Accident
34 29 8 Daniel Hemric # Bass Pro Shops/Caterpillar Chevrolet 190 0 0 3 Accident
35 11 19 Martin Truex Jr. Bass Pro Shops Toyota 190 0 0 2 Accident
36 33 36 Matt Tifft # Speedco Ford 190 0 0 1 Accident
37 15 37 Chris Buescher Kleenex Wet Wipes Chevrolet 190 0 0 1 Accident
38 13 43 Bubba Wallace Aftershokz Chevrolet 169 0 0 1 Accident
39 37 52 Cody Ware # Winn Dixie Chevrolet 155 0 0 1 Accident
40 40 27 * Casey Mears Chevrolet 104 0 0 1 Accident
** The opinions expressed on this site are not necessarily those of the publisher. All comments other than website related problems need to be directed to the author. (c)SpeedwayMedia.com. **

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